The McDonald Group, Inc. 847-340-5518  847-340-5518
PO Box 730
Arlington Heights, IL 60006

White Papers

White Papers are organized into four sections: For All Dealer Managers, for Sales Managers, For Aftermarket Managers and For Dealer Principals and Business Owners.

For All Managers

How to Move Up to the Next Level in Your Personal Performance – Hierarchy of Dealer Knowledge:  On Becoming a More Effective Dealer Manager (download)

Dragon joustWhy do so many dealer sales and operations managers appear to be stuck at the transaction level?  They may be caught up in a whirlwind of activities, chasing back orders or struggling with rework. They may be constantly reacting to emergencies, never getting ahead of the curve. Every day is a frustrating firefight.  But in the midst of the fray, it is often extremely difficult to see how these problems can be solved more efficiently, at less cost and in a more customer-friendly manner.

Unless the manager can step back, gain some perspective and get a look at the Big Picture, he/she will be forever bogged down, reacting and firefighting. If we move up the “Hierarchy of Dealer Knowledge” from the “Transaction Level” we can begin to identify causes of problems.  And, we can start to structure proper Corrective and Preventive Action.

For Sales Managers

How to Improve Odds of Recruiting Success – Accelerated Start-up: How to Get Your Brand New Sales Rep Productive in Less than 100 days (download) 

You have just spent time, effort and money recruiting and selecting what you hope will be a highly productive new member of your sales team. Your recruitment process has been developed over the years, including testing, screening, reference checking and multiple interviews. Now, this handsome, impressive, candidate is ready to start next Monday. You feel confident about your new hire. Yet, there is a very good chance he may flounder.  More than 3 in 10 new sales hires in this industry fail. Only about 40% meet their first year performance expectations. And, new sales rep turnover costs about 150% of total compensation. The good news is, you can improve your odds for recruiting success. Here’s how.

How to Improve Selling Skills How to Sell Engineered Systems (download)

Successful sales of complex, custom designed, high-value equipment demands an intelligent diagnostic methodology. Sales tools should also include testimonials, website enhancements and powerful capabilities presentations. Additionally, product support has proven to be a highly effective entry strategy that can yield high-level management access. Product support work also enables you to identify major influencers, decision makers, technical and financial evaluators involved in the large new equipment purchase process. By utilizing product support early in the sales cycle, your company can build in the prospective target account management team the perception of your interest and capability of supporting them after the sale.

How to Improve Selling Skills Photo Shoot on the African Serengeti (download)

Organizing and conduct a successful East African camera safari is not much different than organizing and managing a highly successful equipment or product support sales territory. You must demonstrate the skills essential to identifying the game, then, you must competently execute the skills necessary to capture the photo. Included in this paper is a personal selling skills inventory checklist on the skill sets essential for high performance machinery and aftermarket sales professionals.

How to Improve Selling Skills   Sales Rep Confidential: Are You a Dinosaur? (download)

Unless you are from another planet, you must know that many dealer principals are extremely unhappy with their current sales organizations. Does your boss have the perception that you are the weakest link between his dealership and profitable new business? Are you in danger of being seen as a dinosaur by your company owner? Are you in danger of being replaced by a more cost-effective sales process in your sales territory? Check yourself out…

For Aftermarket Managers

How to Effectively Deploy Product Support   Product Support: a Barrier to Competition (download)

Building competitive strength through more robust Product Support has proven to be most effective. This is a practical guide to both internal and external programs that work best to differentiate your business from competitors. Internally we first focus on performance improvements in critical customer support areas including the dimension of employee attitudes and competencies. Then, externally, we monitor customer attitudes and perceptions on how well we meet their expectations. These combined efforts build "world class" product support that serves as an effective barrier to competition.

How to Improve Selling Skills   16 Tools to Build Your Service Labor Business (download)

Equipment dealers want and need to know how to improve service labor sales and profitability. Until now, nothing seems to work very well. Here are 16 dynamite field-proven tools you can implement today.

How to Improve Selling Skills   Product Support as a Competitive Weapon (download)

Equipment industry end-user customers are now demanding both product quality AND competent aftermarket parts and service support. By the end of the last decade, many equipment manufacturers have learned how to deliver quality products. In several industries we now see great parity between competitive product technologies and equipment performance. Consequently, the major differentiator today between equipment vendors in any given market becomes the responsiveness of the manufacturer-dealer partnership in the delivery of premiere aftermarket product support (service and parts). This guide helps you do just that.

For Dealer Principals and Business Owners

How to Optimize Business Value   Four Dimensions of Dealer Development (download)

Four Profit Improvement Strategies

Dealer Principals aspiring to be a top 10% performer in their class must look beyond the historical scoreboards of the P&L and Balance Sheet to optimize their business.

In order to optimize dealership performance and achieve financial prosperity, highly successful Dealers are exploiting the Four Dimensions of Dealer Development: Markets, Customers, Operations and Management.

How to Optimize Business Value   Four Dealer Profit Improvement Strategies (download)

What are some aggressive high-performance equipment dealers now working on to bolster revenues, strengthen customer relationships and improve operating cash? Hint: Service labor can contribute 8 to 10 times the gross profit per dollar sale than new machinery. Yet senior management often focuses the vast majority of their time and attention on lower margin machinery sales operations. The four horsemen of dealer profit improvement for strategic thinkers include renewed focus on service, rejuvenated objective focused machinery sales, creative parts marketing plus customized skill and knowledge training for each individual dealer employee.

How to Optimize Business Value   Succession Planning: Twists and Turns (download)

A relatively robust economy may help the multiples of EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) for which some business owners sell their dealerships. And, a stronger economy will drive a perceived sense of urgency to sell. However economic cycles are just that. And, no matter when you get ready to transition your business on the spectrum, if you haven’t considered some of the things mentioned in this article your business will be undervalued. Detailed here are the mistakes to avoid and positive steps you should take to preserve and optimize the value of your business.

How to Avoid Problems with OEM Agreements – Are they Functional or Fractured? (download)

In this paper, we continue the discussion on how to improve OEM- dealer/distributor relations by examining ways to avoid problems with the OEM Sales and Service Agreement. Both the OEM and the dealer, as they conduct their business, need to be respectful and mindful of the intentions, mutual expectations and landscape defined by a business Agreement. The thoughts and recommendations presented in this article may help you and your OEM get to “yes “rather than battling out legalities in court.