The “Bourbon Street Vendor”

Charles Campbell Articles

It certainly is a mystery as to how any dealership in the RV industry would allow themselves to stroll down the path to becoming the retail equivalent of the “Bourbon Street Vendor.” You know, the guy standing on the corner of Upper Bourbon Street during the Mardi Gras pedaling everything imaginable. From stopwatches and gold chains located on the right inside of his trench coat to the windup toys and bobble heads located on the inside left, and from the knockoff productions of name brand watches to silver bracelets that adorn the length of both arms, if you want it, he’s got it. Quality and satisfaction don’t matter; if you are willing to buy it then he is more than anxious to sell it.

What is our true target market?

In good times or bad, we must utilize carefully structured sales presentations to maximize each opportunity presented. However, isn’t it time to start concentrating on what our primary products are that we are offering to our customer base? Perhaps this should be done in a time-tested manner that has proven itself highly successful. That is, maximize the time provided in the finance/delivery office by presenting a limited core of products that truly provide a benefit to the customer as well as providing much needed revenue for the dealership.

How many is too many products and services?

Well, that can certainly be the subject of many an argument. However, I would propose that the F&I Manager limit the offering of Ancillary products to three to five choices. Which ones should be placed on this narrow field? Again, that is debatable. Perhaps you could allow me to once again offer some suggestions, without prejudice towards any Ancillary product. In a three-product offering, perhaps the reliable core of Ancillary products of a VSC (Vehicle Service Contract), Appearance Protection Package and a Tire & Wheel Roadside Hazard Protection program. To add to the offering, you could add GAP and Roadside assistance.

This isn’t to say that other Ancillary products simply get thrown out with the bath water, but perhaps the other products and services can be offered elsewhere, such as the service and/or parts department. This would eliminate costly mistakes in the finance/delivery office by allowing the most proven and valuable products to be offered to the customer, while still allowing the dealership to earn additional profit as the F&I Office provides proper attention to paperwork and compliance concerns, while efficiently & productively describing in detail the features and benefits of these Ancillary products to the customer.

Learn About This Author

Charles Campbell

Charles Campbell is a nationally recognized authority in areas of Federal rules, laws and regulations. Along with his well reviewed, and insightful, articles and his unique, dynamic and energetic, presentations, he remains a highly sought after presenter, public speaker and educator. He heads up the acclaimed U.S Compliance Academy, and may be reached at (541) 408-4136 or at