There are several sales processes that Business
Managers use today:
- Step Selling
- Menu Selling
- Staggered Selling
- Sandwiched Selling
- Load, Lock & Fire ( Shock &
All of these sales processes can produce excellent results and
whichever process you elect to use will simply be a matter of
personal preference. A Business Manager might elect to use a Menu
or a Load, Lock & Fire sales procedure if there is a myriad of
products offered. Some Business Managers will use a combination of
strategies. For example, you could step sell creditor insurances
and then menu vehicle protection products and an extended
A trending strategy is to stagger the turn-over. This is an ideal
method for busy sale days or when multiple sales have occurred at
once. The Business Manager sees the customer at the time of salebut
only sells the tangible products that need to be placed on a
get-ready work order. Warranty and creditor insurances are sold at
the time of delivery. This does require two turn-overs but many
dealerships have moved to having their customers complete the
documentation at delivery with the Business Manager first to ensure
You should consider which sales process will work best for the
culture of your dealership and also consider experimenting month to
month to determine which one will work best for you.
As indicated earlier, a lack of product knowledge is usually at the
root of a lack of performance. Not fully explaining and showing a
customer the limitations of the manufacturer’s mechanical,
cosmetic, corrosion and tire warranties is a recipe for poor
If your customer is not enlightened during the presentation,
there’s a good chance that you are not creating enough of a need
and value in the products that you offer. Consider a complementary
telephone consultation with F-I Resource to determine the need to
acquire further product knowledge.
If you are closing with a “Yes” or “No” strategy, change it
immediately. Close with options and allow a customer a way to find
a solution that will best suit their needs and financial budget.
The classic taboo close that is heard in Business Offices to this
day is “So, do you think you’d be interested in something like
An objection is a statement or a situation that prevents us from
moving forward to close a sale. A rebuttal is an attempt to change
the customer’s perspective using logic, analogies and sometimes
humour. They can be very clever or funny as long as they get the
customer to do what you want them to do. Being prepared with an
arsenal of rebuttals is a Business Manager’s responsibility.
Some of the most common objections that are heard in Business
Offices today are:
“I’ve got plenty of life insurance.”
“I’m covered for that at work.”
“I won’t be keeping the vehicle that long.”
“I’m leasing it. I don’t need any of that stuff.”
“The vehicle already has a corrosion warranty.”
“The vehicle has a 5 year mechanical warranty.”
“It costs too much.”
“I’ll take my chances.”
“I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
These are just a sample and there are many more. If you are not
competent at overcoming these most common objections, you will
never reach your potential. Again, further training would be a
Is a Turn-Over at your Dealership
Have you ever personally purchased or leased a newer vehicle? It’s
pretty exciting and it makes you feel special doesn’t it? You must
take advantage of the emotional feelings that a customer
experiences when purchasing or leasing a vehicle. Some ingredients
in making a turn-over a celebration are:
COMPLIMENTING THE CUSTOMER’S CHOICE.
REASSURING THEIR DECISION.
GAINING THEIR TRUST BY INFORMING THEM WHAT IS GOING TO
FUELING THEIR EMOTIONS.
RELAXING THE CUSTOMER AND OFFERING HOSPITALITY.
BUILDING RAPPORT: DURING MEETING AND GREETING AND DURING THE CREDIT
APPLICATION, ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CUSTOMER’S PERSONAL LIFE, WORK
These are selling skills that some Business Managers naturally
have. If they don’t, they can be learned through more training.
People buy from people they like and Business Managers need to
learn to be more likeable.
Do your Salespeople, Sales Managers, Service Advisors and the
Service Manager Believe?
It’s difficult to sell or endorse a product or service that you
don’t believe in. Even if you bonus or spiff your people on the
sale of F&I products, many will not endorse them for their
ethical reasons. This is a quick fix for most dealerships by having
as little as a half day training session on the importance and
value of Business Office products. You can do it yourself or hire a
trainer to get it done for you. Why keep trying to push water
uphill? If your team believes in what is sold in the Business
Office, they will endorse your products.
If you are not recording the penetration levels and gross profit
per transaction, it’s unlikely that you will be motivated to
improve. Dealerships, performance groups and some manufacturers
measure Business Office performance and compare results to similar
size stores or brands. It’s one of the quickest ways to determine
what product lines need improvement. Once identified, develop an
action plan that will allow improvement in that area. You can
consult your suppliers or F&I Trainers/Consultants to assist
you in your quest. You cannot manage what you cannot measure.
Manufacturer Incentives, Cash Deals, Lines of
Credit, Leasing and Extended Manufacturer
This is a trend in the marketplace for dealers and Business
Managers alike to rationalize and accept poor performance in the
Business Office because of external factors allegedly beyond their
There are import Business Managers that generate over $1500 per
unit and there are others who work for those brands that generate
less than $500 per unit sold even though their manufacturers offers
4 or 5 year comprehensive warranties.
There are luxury brand Business Managers who work in dealerships
where leasing penetration levels are at 70% or more who generate
less than $500 per unit to those that generate well over $1000 per
There are dealerships where either cash incentives from the
manufacturer are strong or the demographics of their dealership
draws many customers who pay for their vehicles with cash or use
their lines of credit.
These are common objections that can prevent you from selling more
products and as such, if there is any trending common objection
preventing you to generate more income, you need to develop or
acquire the necessary rebuttals or sales strategies to overcome
them. There is no question that training is the prescription rather
than accepting mediocrity.
A single Business Manager can normally handle 50 to 70 turnovers
per month with profitability and customer satisfaction. Beyond
that, financial performance will most often decline. Ensure that
you have the proper staffing according to your annual sales
Some dealerships who do not quite have the volume to justify a
second Business Manager will hire an administrator to assist the
Business Manager. When a dealership turns a salesperson into a
part-time Business Manager, they usually lose the individual to
another dealership as they wish to pursue a full time career. Be
careful who you hire—you could lose a top salesperson and your
Furthermore, it is absolutely imperative that if there is more than
one Business Manager in the dealership, they all be on duty during
peak sales periods such as Saturdays. It is extremely frustrating
for salespeople, sales managers and customers alike when there are
long waiting times for a single Business Manager on a busy selling
Having a lack of coverage promotes haste and waste. It is not
uncommon to see a single Business Manager make a pretty decent
living from a high volume of sales yet producing poor gross dollars
per unit sold.
For further assistance or consultation, please contact:
Hector Bosotti firstname.lastname@example.org