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GIE’s inaugural ‘UTV University’ draws hundreds of dealers
David Rountree | October 21, 2016
utv-university-gie-expo

Organizers of the first ‘UTV University’ at GIE+EXPO were well-pleased with the turnout. Here, speaker Ty Bello talks with dealers about how to maximize sales of utility vehicles.
Photo: David Rountree

The landscaping industry’s growing use of utility vehicles over the past several years has made UTVs a fixture at GIE+EXPO.

At this year’s trade show, for the first time a series of special educational programs – dubbed “UTV University” – attracted not just the vehicle makers to the show but also hundreds of dealers from across North America.

Powersports Business magazine coordinated the program, with Jacobsen and Cub Cadet serving as major sponsors.

In addition to sessions drilling down into the industry’s performance, plenty of attention was devoted to sales training.

Ty Bello, vice president of sales and marketing at American Landmaster, reminded dealers attending his presentation that it’s their “passion” for UTVs, not a spiel, that will sell the vehicles.

“More people will buy from you because of your passion,” Bello said. Everyone in a UTV dealership who shares that passion “will sell without selling.”

He suggested, too, that “every one of you go to Cracker Barrel and get some of those birthday cards” featuring facts from earlier generations, such as what an item cost in 1930 or 1945. That sort of information can help salespeople understand their customers better.

“You don’t have to push (generational information) into the conversation” with a customer, Bello added, telling participants they would sell more simply by appreciating their customers’ perspectives more fully.

Knowing “the why” of individual UTV customers is just as important as knowledge of the vehicles’ features and benefits, he said.

“Features and benefits have to have legs,” Bello said, and knowing why a customer is considering a UTV purchase is the way to give the vehicles’ capabilities legs in the sales process.

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