BikeBiz questions Colin Rees of Quest Consultants about serving over 450 cycle shops, how to increase net profit and discounting...

COMPANY PROFILE: Quest Consultants

Give us a brief history of your business and your previous trade experience:
I have been a sales and marketing trainer to many providers, training companies and chambers of commerce through out the UK for some time now as a sort of activity-on-the-side.

I started working with the cycle trade roughly 12 years ago as a marketing consultant to the ACT. Before that, I had started and run several businesses, mainly marketing-based, ranging from TV commercials and recruitment to design, advertising and marketing consultancy.

I went on to work with Madison, again sales training their reps and shops they supplied. Initial interest was high, there were some very good stories of what happened to sales levels after each course and this went a couple of years until interest waned and I moved on to working alone.

How many cycle shops would you estimate you’ve served?
By now, I’ve probably been to well over 450 stores through the UK and Ireland training in-store as well as at central locations. I have also conducted sales training for reps for Gill, Madison and Giant. I have been fortunate to train in all sizes of business including Cycle Surgery, Evans and Edinburgh Cycles who videoed my four hour session with 30 staff, possibly so they could show it again without incurring further fees!

What will a dealer gain from having sales training?
Most definitely, increased net profit. I try to brief a dealer on what I am going to train. Then afterwards, I give a run down on the staff they have, how amenable each person was to the training and where I believe the most extra sales are likely to come from as every dealership is different.

I also like to leave an owner with a short handbook titled: ‘How to keep your staff selling’. Dealers have told me that following sessions, their staff have been much more confident. Each one seems to latch onto a few of the techniques and tries them and when they work, in time, they become second nature.

In one case, an unconfident owner I trained in selling extras sold 13 accessories to the next customer that came in. The accessory bill came to more than the new bike she bought!

Any final thoughts?
Please, industry, stop discounting! Oh, and why are Cytech qualification certificates put up in the workshop when they could be in the window advertising a quality workshop?

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