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Sales and Service

Shop Talk: What’s New About the New Year

By the time you’re reading this, the ball has dropped the parties have ended and life as we know it goes on. If you’re reading this on the 20th of the month or later, most of the resolutions made have already been forgotten, put aside or forwarded to next year. But, you still have over 11 months of this year to go and you should be asking yourself, “What’s going to be different this year?”

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Let me help with some information. Do you know that recent average earnings for powersport salespeople is around $39,000? What might be a more powerful eye opener is that it hasn’t changed all that much in the last 10 years. In an industry based on fun purchases, rather than auto/trucks, which is often a need purchase, you’d think there would be a lot more of the higher paid opportunities. Let’s dig a bit.


No time to read? Listen instead!


A lot of earning power starts at the hire. Many dealers advertise the “lifestyle” rather than the profession. Often, they try to attract auto salespeople who are fed up with long hours and then tell the that while you may make less, the hours are better and you can wear jeans to work. The managers foster that “powersports life” as a selling tool by letting new hires live it before they earn it. Training is more about product and getting the customer to buy into service and parts while the ink is drying on their contract. But, other than in house sales meetings, there is no real training going on.

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Now, that doesn’t let the salesperson off the hook. Those coming from other sales situations, for the sake of “living the life,” put aside their experience and begin blending into the culture. Instead of going to work, they go to hang out at the dealership. Instead of following a strict and professional sales process, they let customers sit on anything and talk about their last weekend ride. But, as individuals, if we are responsible for paying our bills, we should also take responsibility for determining our income. That can only mean one thing – A PLAN.

What are you doing to determine your income for 2021? Suppose there isn’t going to be any dealer training. How will you earn what you want to earn? Imagine the rest of the staff just wanting to enjoy the life. How can you increase your earnings? Interesting questions. Yet, the one that must be asked every year, is the one that’s often missed, ignored or deliberately avoided.

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What are you willing to do differently to earn the income you want to earn?

The key word in the question is YOU. Once you determine what you want to earn, you have to make the plan and then execute it every single day. If there isn’t any training, go online and watch a video on selling. Any kind of selling! Learn something. If everyone wants to stand around at the managers desk and chat about next year’s hot new side-by-side, go outside and ride some of the older inventory to get to know it. Do something. When your co-workers enjoy chatting with each other, find people who might be interested in what you just test rode. Share something.

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If you make a habit of doing just those things every single day, you’ll be amazed. First, you will have an expert knowledge of your products and most importantly, your current inventory. Second, selling is an art and a science. Watching and learning how others do it, even in other professions will focus you on the process. And finally, if you are willing to share what you know about what you have every single day you will reach the only conclusion that’s left. You will Sell something.

So, here’s your plan:

  • Learn Something
  • Do Something
  • Share Something
  • Sell Something

Now, if your dealership decides they want to invest in some training programs, how much better in tune will you be because you’re already training every day? The good news for you is that if a dealer is willing to invest in real training for their people, you’ve chosen well and work in the right place.

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John Fuhrman is back after two knee replacement surgeries and is consulting and training dealers and sales professionals. If you’d like to reach out to him with questions or for training information, email [email protected]. Happy New Year!

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