As an example, the service department decides to run a service promotion. Unfortunately, no one tells the parts department and therefore the proper parts are not stocked in sufficient quantities to support the program. The service department has "egg on its face," and the parts department is blamed for not stocking the right parts in sufficient quantities.
An equipment dealership could be considered as a professional sports team. If everyone on that team works together, the team will continue to score and remain successful. If everyone plays by their own rules and is concerned only about their own results, disaster results.
In order for an equipment dealer to be successful (profitable), this teamwork concept is an absolute must. If the sales department doesn't sell the equipment, then the service department has no one to buy their service, and if the sales department doesn't sell equipment, there is little need for a parts department or even for an aftermarket sales force.
On the other hand, in a marketplace where products are beginning to appear more like commodities, the sales department should recognize the following: 1] If the service department fails to provide excellent service response time or, 2] the parts department neglects to provide parts availability, then 3] the customer becomes dissatisfied and is unlikely to return to purchase the second or third piece of equipment from the dealership.
Value-added is nothing new; it has been talked about for years, but today it becomes more important than ever before. An old friend and dealer who unfortunately passed away several years ago made this statement to his customers: "We are the home of legendary service! When you buy from our dealership, you buy the entire dealership, not just the sales department!"
Statistics and cost-of-doing-business studies for equipment dealers clearly indicate that dealers who provide value-added service to their customers will generate 1 to 2% more in gross profit on their products. Furthermore, 87.1% of the buyers surveyed clearly indicated they were willing to pay more for the product if they were assured that there was value added to the product after the sale.
The industry's top producers will tell you: Find out what the customer wants and then give it to him/her! The customer wants a quality product backed by top-notch product support. Therefore, shouldn't your sales personnel talk about the total dealership and the dealership's performance after the sale? Better yet, why not have the sales person team up with the department managers when calling on prospective accounts in order to sell the whole dealership?
Doesn't it make good sense to have the service manager explain to the customer in detail all the facets of the manufacturer's warranty? This certainly eliminates the possibility of a misunderstanding later on in the relationship. Or how about the parts manager having the opportunity to explain to the prospective customer the dealership's parts availability, or in that "rare" instance when a part has to be ordered on an emergency basis, explain what the department can do to satisfy the customer's requirements. What about the opportunity for the CSSR or the After Market Salesperson explaining how the customer will be serviced after the sale?
Many will say time does not allow them the luxury of doing this at the time of the sale. Try it a few times and see what transpires with the customer's perception of your dealership and your products.