Editor's Note: Here's an excerpt from a feature story in Rural Lifestyle Dealer's spring issue. Click here to read the complete feature.


Industry expert Steve Shankin, president of Seizmik, a manufacturer of UTV accessories, breaks down a UTV sales example to show what dealers can expect to achieve when they create excitement. A $12,275 vehicle at 10% gross margin means $1,227 in gross profit. Sales of $1,716 of accessories at 35% gross margin means $600 in gross profit — and a 49% increase in a dealer’s profit.

You can achieve those numbers by understanding the possibilities for vehicles in your own market and let customers know that accessorizing is common. “This is the opportunity for brick-and-mortar dealers. You know what people do in your area, what kinds of chores they have and what they need to maintain their properties. This is where you can add value because they can’t get this expertise from the internet. That’s where the opportunities really start to unveil themselves,” Shankin says.

Shankin offers these steps to start selling differently:

Entice people to come into the store by committing to inventory. “Customers may know you as selling something else like tractors or OPE, so if they don’t see exciting models on display, they are going to ‘default’ and go to the powersports dealership.”

Stock good, better and best, and start by displaying the best. “I’m not talking just about engine size, but vehicles equipped with different levels of accessories. Start with the highest priced model, which could be as much as $35,000. It changes the customer’s perception of their own interaction with the vehicle.”

Don’t take accessories off the vehicle if the customer objects to the setup. “Don’t apologize for it and don’t start giving things away for free if the customer starts negotiating. If they don’t want that model, redirect them to something else.”

Integrate the sales and parts department. Work together to set up accessory packages ahead of time and don’t waste time by specing out each one with the customer. “It makes for a faster shopping experience and it makes for a better experience overall.”

Build a process for accessorizing units. “A fundamental truth is that your ability to grow is a function of your systems and processes. Set up a simple spreadsheet that outlines accessory packages, so that you can easily build new units. Keep fine-tuning the process as you learn more about your local market.”

View Steve Shankin's presentation in the Dealer Success Academy, "UTVs & the Massive Missed Opportunities."

Dealer-Success-Academy