Every Customer Is Treated With the Same Respect

By: Myril Shaw


Ensuring that 100% of your customers see your Delivery Coordinator or your Business Manager is not just a matter of profit maximization, although it should result in that…it is a matter of respect.


100% of customers seeing your Delivery Coordinator can’t just be a goal.  It has to be a mantra.  You are in charge…this simply has to happen.


Here is a story…one dealership that we know failed to turn a customer over to the Delivery Coordinator.  That customer was never offered extended warranty protection.  They suffered an expensive mechanical failure that would have been covered.  The customer sued the dealership…and won.


By itself, that should be enough.  Every customer goes to the Delivery Coordinator.


Now, while that is not sufficient…it is necessary.


Let’s start with some semantics.  You’ll notice that I have not referred to the F&I Department.  Thanks to the Auto Industry, and even they are changing now, the F&I Office, the F&I Manager have become psychologically toxic.  F&I has become the place where all bad customers are sent to be punished.


So, remove the office.  No more F&I.  Now you have a Delivery Office or a Business Office.  Remove the toxic connotations.  Remove the mental blocks from your customers.  While you are at it, make sure that your Delivery Coordinator is introduced early – before the shopping begins – and make sure that the introduction is in terms of how this person is responsible to make sure that your customer has a great experience.


Once that is done, there are a few more things that have to happen.


First, you have to enforce the rule that once the sales person has helped the customer select their desired unit (without talking rates, without taking a check from a cash buyer, without talking about pricing on backend products), they turn these customers over to the Delivery Coordinator – who should already be familiar to the customer.


There are a couple of things you can do to help ensure that this happens.  These are focused on your sales team. 


First, you can enforce the initial introduction with a “Welcome Sheet” for your customer.  When they walk into your store, the sales person on call, or the receptionist hands the customer a piece of paper that has the names of their Sales Person and their Delivery Coordinator, along with a “Customer Satisfaction Guaranty”.  Alternatively, you can either positively or negatively impact the Sales Person commission – either increase their commission on backend sales if they did the proper turnover or reduce any sales commission if they did not.


Second, you must have a comprehensive set of backend products for your Delivery Coordinator to offer.  At a minimum, you must have:


  • Extended engine and accessory warranties

  • Environmental Protection

  • Tire & Wheel or Road Hazard Protection

  • GAP Waiver


You must be sure that your team, both front and back, Sales and Delivery, understand and can articulate the value of these products…and believe in them.


Third, enforce a complete menu sale of all products to every customer, cash or finance, with finance terms (use your average finance contract rate for this for cash buyers) so that every customer sees just what they would be paying per month with financing. 


Somewhere between 19% and 25% of “Cash Buyers” are actually financing elsewhere and about 15% of “Cash Buyers” are never offered a finance alternative.  Just being offered an alternative will convert 20%-25% of Cash Buyers.  You can’t convert cash buyers if you don’t talk to them.


Finally, no matter what, do not let customers write checks on the sales floor.  Even if the customer has said that they are paying cash, even if they like the cash price of the unit, the rule for Sales People is that the customer has to see the Delivery Coordinator before any cash or checks can change hands.


Your team must respect and sell appropriately to finance buyers…and they have to sell the same way to cash buyers, with the full expectation that cash buyers will either convert, or write a check for backend products.


Passing on cash buyers does not respect them and it does not enhance your profits.  Treat every customer the same way, with respect, and your F&I profits will show the results!

Editor’s Note: The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo will take place December 5-8, 2016 in Orlando, Fla. If you find value in this blog post from our MDCE Speaker, just think of the value you could receive at MDCE.

Get registered here.

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