What changes do powersports dealers need to make to be successful in the coming years?
To be successful, dealers can no longer simply be run by a powersports enthusiast, catering to superfans and focusing on moving metal. Those dealers finding success in today’s new normal are building their business around F&I and service. While selling as many units as possible is still an important part of overall dealership profitability, it needs to be supported with strong F&I and service departments designed around customer retention. F&I products keep customers returning to the service drive. The more often customers service their powersports vehicles with a given dealership, the more likely they will return to make a repeat purchase. We all know the sales model, however it’s never been more necessary than it is now to invest in F&I and service drive training, as well as implementing process improvements.
How can focusing on F&I help powersports dealers grow their profitability?
The F&I department is often thought of in the powersports space as simply there to push paper and get signatures. However, it can be so much more than that. Those dealers operating with little understanding of the true value of the F&I department are leaving money on the table and opening themselves up to potential compliance issues. Strong F&I departments can exponentially increase a dealership’s profitability through product sales. And, through positioning the benefits of those products, they can set the dealership up as a customer’s one-stop-shop for all their future maintenance needs. To drive performance in 2020, powersports dealers need to cultivate a partnership between sales and F&I to maximize every possible dollar to be made on every deal. This includes changing pay plans to focus on product penetration in addition to unit sales. It also includes training both sales and F&I teams to work together. A bi-product of this investment also relates to employee turnover. Essentially, as dealers invest in their employees to help them in their career and personal profitability goals, they should see a significant reduction in employee turnover.