Are You Prepared for Ripening Market Conditions?

Interest rates are climbing. Energy costs have gotten the attention of every North American who does not live in a cave. Long term financing has put the majority of retail auto customers in an “upside down” position. The Middle East situation is volatile and unstable as a source of petroleum. The Big-3 manufacturers are sitting on a way-too heavy supply of vehicles with the new models due to hit showrooms in less than 60 days. And the import manufacturers have sky-high residual values just begging for a low monthly payment.

The year was 1986. That�s right, twenty years ago.

How quickly time flies.

As I looked around U.S. showrooms this month, I wondered how many automotive retail professionals can remember the true benefits of leasing, let alone how to properly present it. And isn�t a proper presentation with proper disclosure more important today than ever before?

“Hybrid” Trade-Cycle Technology

Back when �hybrid� meant more than an environmental alternative to a gasoline engine, I was leasing vehicles in a big way and doing it with integrity. In 1988 I was promoted to �Plan Sales Manager� at Fette Ford in Clifton, New Jersey; subsequently, we became the number one 24-month Red Carpet Lease dealership in the nation for Ford Division. We offered full disclosure of selling price (years before it was popular or mandated by federal law) and trained our sales force on the benefits of a protected residual that would insulate consumers from uncertain market conditions. We averaged 90 retail lease agreements per month and put our dealership on the map.

Two years later we were sure glad to bring those customers back � and without the negative equity.

Today, in the “new economy”, I am reminded of those lessons learned from the 80�s. My wife and I leased our new 2006 Toyota Sequoia last fall. When we took delivery in October, did we know that gasoline would reach $3.00 per gallon today? Whew!

Is Your Sales Force Trained and Prepared to Explain Leasing?

Dealers throughout North America are taking the time this summer and fall of 2006 to discover the benefits of a trained sales force. Leasing and the sales process (beginning with proper Appointments, Meet and Greet, Fact Finding and Product Presentations) spell the basics of what every dealership needs in order to be successful.

Leasing is a tool to help sell more vehicles.

If you�re not yet using it, or if your sales team has not yet been exposed to sales and lease training,find out more about in-house workshops and in-dealership training.

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