Ask Tory: Other Than Marketing More Effectively, How Do I Grow My Dealership and Take My Sales to the Next Level in 2017?

Tory Hornsby | 12/15/2016


If you cut through the clutter of your dealership, there are only 4 ways to grow your business.  


1. Improve Your Closing Ratio 


2. Raise Your Average Value per Customer 


3. Generate New Customers


4. Increase Visits/Purchases from Your Existing Customers


The first 2 are a matter of training, the second 2 are driven by marketing. 


I often write about 3. Generating New Customers and 4. Increasing Purchases from Your Existing Customers through our Sharp Shooter event based marketing program, and the Local Web Dominator digital marketing program. If you haven’t given them a try at this point, what’s holding you back?  Call 1-877-242-4472 and get started with the industry’s most quantifiable and ROI generating advertising.


In this article, however, I want to focus on the first 2 ways to grow your business in a more indirect manner than usual. As I previously mentioned, 1. Improving Closing Ratio and 2. Raising Your Average Value per Customer are both a matter of training. The following are strategies to get more from your team than you ever have, while improving the culture of your dealership. 




Every person who could ever talk to or work with a customer is in Sales. Even your grumpy Office Manager. 


The attitude that everyone is in Sales raises the ante on what’s expected out of your staff, and one thing I’ve learned over my years of managing is that people tend to adapt and fulfill what’s expected of them.  Change your culture to one where the wants and needs of every prospect and customer is the chief responsibility of ALL of your staff members. 




In most dealerships, the investment in training is small or non-existent. Training is a journey, not a destination. You can get more from your top-performers, the average salespeople, and those in the bottom third. Although it is important that your training isn’t dumbed-down to be catered to your new guys or those at the bottom of the list,

good, steady training has a way of turning some poor performers into average, and ultimately top performers.  While it’s difficult and time-consuming, it’s the best way to of getting more out of your team. 


At Powersports Marketing, we spend 45 minutes to 1 hour in training EVERY DAY. Yes, you read that right. Every. Single. Day. We cover everything from product knowledge and looking at the numbers to role playing how to handle objections. It’s a big investment of time and money, and it’s a big part of our growth. It will be for you, too. 




Your salespeople should be spending as much of their work hours as possible…… selling. Not cleaning bathrooms, sweeping the floor, cold prospecting, stuffing envelopes, filling out forms, reading the newspaper, playing on their phones, etc. They should be selling.


This means relieving them of as much of everything else as you can.


For instance, prospecting should be replaced with marketing, and the manual labor of prospecting replaced with media. Prospects can be found or created, brought forward, asked for their information (including what they’re most interested in) and more. 


As I wrote about a few issues ago, you also want your salespeople selling to the best and highest value, highest probability prospects—not just anyone, the most affluent customers in your market area. Putting good salespeople in front of poor prospects (including those who don’t ride) is simply not smart. There’s a better way. Call us and ask about our Sharp Shooter and Local Web Dominator programs– both of which focus on the best audience, use the right media to reach that audience with a message that get a great response and is quantifiable. 1-877-242-4472




“If the guy is selling and making things happen, I don’t care what he’s doing or how he’s doing it.” 

I’ve heard that from dealer principals and other business owners a lot.  Steve Forbes even said it on TV about the advertising reps that work for Forbes magazine. Steve Forbes may be incredible with money, but he’s off his rocker regarding this.


This is why 90 percent of the prospects that leave a dealership are never contacted again. This is why the sales process doesn’t get followed. This is why leads aren’t appropriately called and followed-up with. And Lord help you if your salesperson makes enough money to be happy by the third week of the month ‘cuz they’ll stop pushing and working hard – they’ll put it on cruise control for the rest of the month. No calling the prospects who visited but didn’t buy during the first visit. The opportunity just dies. 


You just can’t leave your staff on their own to decide how they’ll use (or waste) the company’s resources and opportunities.


You can’t leave them alone with ‘how’ they do it either. Your dealership’s reputation and long-term sustainability and equity are all put at risk by every spoken, written, emailed, facebooked, snapchatted, or tweeted word, and especially by every action of your representatives.


Listen to their calls, watch them as they work with customers so you can coach them to be the ambassador of your dealership you expect. Continue to inspect what you expect. Staff members who are given a good opportunity and want to excel will respond reasonably well to accountability if it’s aim is to help them improve. It’s best if the people who resist and resent this kind of accountability find their happiness elsewhere. 


For more information or questions regarding the 4 Ways to Grow Your Dealership, give me a call at 1-877-242-4472.


- Tory