Dealer Training Services - The Rikess Group Dealer Training Services - The Rikess Group
TRG is the retail industries leader in implementing and sustaining a Negotiation Free Selling (NFS) process.
TRG developed the NFS process because we believe:
  1. The majority of customers dislike the negotiation’s process, especially women and Gen Y, which account for over 60% of vehicle registrations
  2. Customer’s want a time sensitive process that rewards them for the homework they have done; not a sales process that begins at MSRP and ends at least 3 "pencils" later.
  3. Dealerships can attract a higher caliber of sales consultant when negotiations are eliminated from the sales process
  4. Customers and employees dislike the "command and control" environment that accompanies the traditional negotiations process


The Strategy Session is designed to provide you all the information you need to make an informed decision whether to adopt a Negotiation Free Sales process. At the end of the session you may choose to work with The Rikess Group in implementing this model; you may find elements of the model you like and therefore can incorporate those without moving to a complete NFS model; or, you may choose to retain your current sales process. There is no obligation beyond our Strategy Session. The session lasts the better part of a day with multiple breaks for your executive team to continue to transact business. Yourself, your GSM and a couple of select sales managers should attend the session; you may also want to invite your controller. The cost of the session is $2,500 plus travel related expenses.

The following topics will be reviewed during our Negotiation Free Selling (NFS) Strategy Session:

  • The NFS steps of the sale. These steps are designed to be permission based and reinforce the benefits for the customer of not negotiating. The process is also designed to build value to the market based price
  • Managers role in the NFS process. We want sales managers to move from being "deal managers" to ones who develop people and enforce a very structured process.
  • Pricing strategies. Pricing must become a core competency for this model to optimize gross profits.
  • Methods for recruiting a better educated staff primarily made up of women and Gen Y. Your current top volume sales people will not leave; we work out processes designed to keep your top producers
  • Non-gross based sales and management compensation plans
  • Organizational structure (teams; open versus closed floor; F/I role; greeters; delivery specialists).

We'll spend two intensive days with your managers to get their buy-in, align their expectations with the reality we have seen so many times, and train them in detail on their new roles. Most importantly, we'll train them to manage a successful sales process, instead of just the results. Training includes how to establish processes to:

  • Price inventory
  • Evaluate trades
  • Manage and evaluate sales personnel
  • Identify problems and improve continuously based on customer feedback

We conduct on-site sales training only after we have built a solid foundation with executives and managers. You have established systems to support the sales behavior you desire, and you have adapted your compensation plan to the new realities. Now it’s time to train your sales people who will be the face of your new policy to your customers.

Following launch, The Rikess Group will remain at your side to provide the support you will need. Challenges will arise that will be new to you — but not to us. We’ll help you settle into your new processes and your new culture until it becomes second nature.

NFS References

  • First Texas Honda - Jim Olmstead - 512-458-2511
  • Schomp BMW - Brian Briscoe - 303-730-1300
  • Grappone Auto Group - Amanda Osmer - 603-305-1478
  • BRAM Auto Group - John Iacono - 917-567-2090
  • Marsh Auto Group - Mike Marsh - 231-947-6190

Value Creation Selling (VCS)

Value Creation Selling (VCS) is a limited negotiations sales model. It eliminates negotiations for sales consultants while allowing negotiations for sales management.

Because our society doesn’t breed good negotiators, dealerships have a very difficult time attracting high caliber sales consultants. When you eliminate sales consultant negotiations, you open the recruiting window much wider. The VCS process relies on sales consultants’ presentation skills to create more conquest and incremental sales at higher grosses, eliminating the traditional method of “deal desking”.

In the VCS model, dealers put a discounted market-based-value price on every vehicle. The pricing is based on local dealer gross averages and market conditions (supply/demand). This value price has a slightly higher gross profit than your store is currently achieving. The VCS consultant’s sole mission is to create as much value as possible to the discounted price on the vehicle. Sales consultants receive a higher level of compensation if they don’t have to discount the value price. If they cannot close the deal, they turn it over to management who has one opportunity to negotiate a final figure. This process is now value-laden and fast, but still allows limited negotiations to be conducted by management. The traditional layer of desk management (and closers) is eliminated and replaced by either team leaders or sales managers, thus reducing the dealership’s selling expense. 

Articles (click on):
Dealer’s Edge 
Looming Sales Crisis
Lean Times in the Sales Department 

Adam Simms – Toyota of Sunnyvale (Sunnyvale, CA)- 408-245-6640
Steve Lace – Royal Auto Group (Tucson, AZ) – 520-795-0760

Express Sales Process (ESP)

Why Having a More Time Efficient Sales Process is so Important

An elongated sales process significantly diminishes both Customer Satisfaction and Sales Consultant productivity. The “time it takes to buy a vehicle” is the lowest score in virtually all manufacturer sales satisfaction surveys; and it is clearly a “sore point” for most Customers. It is hard for vehicle purchasers to understand why it should take as long as four-to-five hours for them to spend over $20,000! In the minds of most consumers, dealerships – like most other retail establishments – should be doing everything possible to ensure their sales processes are not only pleasurable, but also highly time-efficient. By decreasing the time it takes to sell a vehicle through an Express Sales Process, dealerships get a “double dip” improvement in two highly significant areas: 

(1) Sales Consultant Productivity 
(2) Customer Advocacy 

Sales Consultant Productivity: TRG research indicates that it takes between 3.5 - 5 hours to sell a vehicle in most dealerships during peak business hours. Time studies have indicated that a Customer’s actual “engaged time” in the sales process is about two hours or less. This “engaged time” includes all the activities that cause a Customer to interact and communicate with a sales consultant, manager, and Financial Services Manager. Because the Sales Consultant and Customer are only engaged in working the deal for two hours or less, there is typically around two hours of wasted time in most deals. These two hours of wasted time inhibits sales consultant productivity. For example, if a deal takes four hours to transact, a Sales Consultant can only sell two vehicles a day. If it took only two hours to sell a vehicle, Sales Consultants would have the capacity to sell up to 4 vehicles a day. By taking out wasted time, dealerships can improve sales consultant productivity while also improving Customer Satisfaction.

Customer Advocacy: When the sales cycle takes two hours or less, 97% of Customers will typically utilize the selling store’s service department and refer at least one potential prospect to the dealership. When the sales cycle takes more than three and a half hours, the advocacy rate drops to 34%; when it takes over four hours, true advocacy along with referrals rarely exist.

The Bottom Line: To significantly improve sales cycle time, dealerships must develop two tactical initiatives: one for non-peak sales hours andone for peak sales hours. By having two separate strategies based on relatively predictable Customer traffic flow, dealerships can develop operational efficiencies that reward all stakeholders, and especially their Customers and sales consultants.

Click on:
Dealership ESP Proposal (PDF Viewer Required)
Sample ESP Report (PDF Viewer Required)


  • I've been saying for years that documentation is the new negotiation. If you're looking to put my adage into practice you should talk to Mark Rikess, an industry leader for whom I have the greatest respect. The Rikess Group has the preeminent sales training program for dealers who are seeking a totally transparent sales model.
    Dale Pollak - Founder // vAuto
  • From our transition to NFS in 1997 to today, the Rikess Group has been an invaluable partner for our organization. The Rikess Group has kept us on the leading edge of the industry. Mark Rikess is uniquely gifted at networking within the industry and he is continually bringing the latest industry ideas and resources to our 20 Group. It is through these resources and unique contacts that have enabled our organization to evolve with the industry leaders and to take advantage of best technology, operational strategies and training.
    Mike Marsh // Bill Marsh Automotive Group
  • I purchased Sunnyvale Toyota in 2003, when were the 222 largest Toyota dealer in the country. Today we rank in the top 12 and much of the credit belongs to The Rikess Group. They have helped me craft my current compensation plans, sales process and have provided exceptional support any time we face a challenge. Our 20 Group association continues to keep us on the cutting edge of our industry’s trends and opportunities.
    Adam Simms - Dealer Principal // Sunnyvale Toyota
  • Mike Ferris, Gary Henry and I had a great trip to Chicago. We spent a couple days with several negotiation free (NFS) dealers from across the US. I asked Mike and Gary what they learned and here are a couple highlights: many dealers there talked about the challenge of handling the extra business they saw once they converted to a negotiation free sales process. Customers (guests) really like that style of business so they tend to flock to dealerships that are willing to make it available.

    Also, this is the type of thing that makes you look back and wonder, "Why didn't we do this years ago?" This is definitely not a "flavor of the month" change. As you all know by now, this is the sort of cultural endeavor that I wouldn't ask you to attempt if I didn't believe truly that you - and our organization -were cut out for it. We are so ready!
    Amanda Grappone Osmer - Director of Sales // Fourth Generation Family Member
  • The coaching training provided by the Rikess Group and facilitated by Mike Andersen proved extremely valuable to the entire management staff at the Harr organization. Mike was very effective in getting our managers to understand how to be an effective coach and overall better leaders. Well worth the money!
    Michael Gross - Pres/GM Harr // Motor Company
  • The Rikess Group can claim the responsibility for transforming our dealership from one that was personality driven to one that is now process driven. Mark, and his team "lead me to discovery" in a way that made the will to change seem like it was my idea. This was not an easy process. It is really an eye opener when you realize that YOU ARE the impediment that is holding your dealership back. Mark and Dan used a gentle, but effective approach to share, inform, and education our staff to the possibilities that were/are available.

    As a result, we have been able to double our new and used car business, with substantial increases in customer satisfaction, and profitability. Our current service satisfaction results are above the District, Zone, and Nation in all three of our dealerships. Three years ago our stores were dead last in the nation (worst to first is way cool!).

    Our Used Car Department is currently (for the past 4 Years) the #1 selling Certified Used car dealership in the WORLD! This is for BOTH our Honda and Acura stores. When the Rikess group started with us we had aged inventory and we turned our inventory 3-6 times per year. Our current used car inventory is under 30 days old and we turn the inventory 12-4 times per year. ROI is through the roof!

    Our New Car Sales numbers have continued to climb and currently both our Honda and Acura stores are in the top 5 positions in the Nation.

    Mark and his team are lifelong partners, problem solvers and friends. They provide the best service and resources in the industry, please feel free to contact me directly for any inquiries in connection with Mark Rikess or the Rikess Group.
    Brian Benstock // Paragon Auto Group