The challenges facing powersports dealers today are largely expected to continue in 2023, with slight changes. Economic uncertainty, evolving dealership sales models, fluctuating profitability targets, persistent staffing challenges, and continued shortages of powersports parts are just a few of the issues which will impact the coin toss governing dealership profitability.
There are some strategic plays for dealers to implement in their game plan. Let’s look at these areas to target for a winning 2023.
Focus on the end zone
On the powersports dealership team, everyone has a role to play. But the team is only successful if everyone works together to get in the end zone. Dealers who take a consumer-focused approach will find an easier path in a potentially tumultuous year. Implementing sales and customer service best practices across all teams, managing the sales from inquiry to delivery, and focusing on the ownership lifecycle in service are all approaches that will generate points on the field.
Recession-proof the play book
There are a host of distractions when preparing the game plan including inflation/interest rates, real estate prices, and OEM challenges. However, those issues are out of your control. Savvy powersports dealers will focus on those plays where you and your team can control the outcome. Rather than simply taking an order for a new unit, consider implementing a communication strategy between placing the order and delivering the unit that includes:
- Regular updates on the unit itself and where it is in production/transportation
- Finance and credit information
- Videos or marketing material on available benefits to protect the shopper’s investment
- Introductory messages showcasing the level of service your customers receive in the service drive
- Other point of sale opportunities for shoppers to complete their powersports purchase with gear for their ride.
Additionally, focusing on service will be key to maintaining profitability during this uncertain time. Consider conducting a complete audit of the current fixed ops processes to identify areas of opportunity and capture critical revenue opportunities. Refocus the service department by implementing best practices from inspection to delivery, backed up by ongoing training focusing on customer service when conducting every-day tasks like setting up an appointment or providing estimates. A highly functioning fixed ops cylinder will be critical in a down-sales year.
Placing profitability bets
The swirl of economic uncertainty, unit inventory and parts fluctuations, the sales process evolution, and fine-tuning the fixed operations service model, has many dealer principals working overtime. The smart bet for 2023 is to “play all sides of the ball” by implementing customer service best practices. Dealers who continue to rely solely on front-end unit prices to make monthly revenue projections will miss out on opportunities to generate solid gains through the combination of F&I product sales and the service revenue those products bring in. Every budget line-item matters in 2023. Work with your strategic partner EFG Companies to stay on the right side of the coin toss.