, , , ,

This edition’s Spotlight is on Clay’s RV in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Finance Manager there, Nick Smith. I have had the pleasure of working with Nick for the last year, starting from the day he brought Coach-Net into Clay’s RV to partner with them in serving and protecting their customers. There are many reasons why Nick is such a great Finance Manager, and they are all rooted in the core values that Nick shares with Coach-Net, the most of all being, his Servant’s Heart. In addition to the ways he serves every customer that purchases their new RV from Clay’s, Nick is also a nationally respected Life Coach and author.

A few years ago, he penned a book entitled, “The Giants and the Smalls”. The short book, written in the style of a children’s book, is a tremendous story about a little dwarf named Ritt, who dreams of being a Giant. Ritt embarks on a journey of discovery and learns that to live a Giant life is more predicated on the size of your heart, the grandness of your dreams, and the amount of your will, rather than the size of your body or the state of your surroundings. There is no doubt that this is a great story for kids, that contains an impactful message for all. Nick has displayed these characteristics at Clay’s RV, not only in his service to customers but also in his dealings with Coach-Net. He looks at life through a “Win/Win” lens and has been courageous in adopting our new Hazard product and creating consistent, repeatable, predictable success.  

With Gratitude,

Jake Fossen


Dealer Sales Manager

After more than 10 years of experience in the automotive and RV industry combined, Nick Smith, the Finance Manager with Clay’s RV & Powersports in Salt Lake City, Utah, has become a bit of an expert on sales and customer satisfaction. Nick has a diverse background working at both large dealerships and small family-owned dealerships where he has helped thousands of customers find their happiness in RVing. Nick confessed it’s not his love of camping that fuels his dedication; rather it’s his passion for sales and helping people that have been the key to his success, and ultimately the source of his own personal happiness.

Many people join the RV industry because they love the outdoors, but Nick saw it as an opportunity to challenge himself. He had spent over 6 years in auto sales, had become a published author, and had established himself as a top salesperson at his dealership. But after completing his master’s degree in Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Nick was looking for his next opportunity for growth and secured an F&I position at one of the nation’s largest RV dealerships. It was there that Nick was able to combine his natural ability for sales along with his passion for psychology. In F&I, Nick was no longer selling a tangible product; he was selling a promise. A promise is inherently much more difficult to sell, but in Nick’s experience, that’s what makes it fun. “I love looking into the psychology of selling a promise. It brings peace of mind to people and there is a challenge in selling peace of mind. To me that is interesting. It gets me curious, and I have fun trying to figure it out.” Peace of mind is going to be somewhat different for each customer, so you have to truly understand the customer in order to close the deal.

Listen to what the customer wants. That’s Nick’s first step in working a deal. “You have to get to know people and figure out what makes them tick. You have to figure out the processes they personally use to make and justify their decisions.” In some ways, it’s similar to selling a tangible product. You have to understand the customer’s wants and motivators in order to find the right RV for them. The same is true for selling F&I products. You have to understand the customer’s wants and motivators in order to understand what true peace of mind is to them. Each customer is different and their plans for RVing are equally different. Some will use it just a handful of times throughout the year while others will live in it full-time. Some are traveling by themselves, or just a couple with their pets, while others can be traveling with a large family. Each customer is looking to get a different experience with their RV and each has special needs and considerations that they factor into their decision-making.

Understand what the customer needs. Lots of people like to joke that RV stands for “Ruined Vacation.” So when you’re in the business of selling RVs and RV products, getting past this mindset can be challenging for a lot of salespeople. But Nick has learned to almost embrace that concept and utilize it to help ensure his customers are prepared and can hopefully prevent a ruined vacation. “It’s never a matter of if something will go wrong. It’s simply a matter of when. We do our best to ensure we sell a quality product and follow it up with friendly and supportive customer service.” Nick insists that’s the key to his and his dealership’s success. They don’t shy away from the fact that life isn’t perfect and consequently neither are RVs. He believes it’s important to set reasonable expectations for the customer and, most importantly, to make sure they have what they need for when something goes wrong. Just because something isn’t perfect, it shouldn’t automatically mean that the entire vacation is ruined. With the right tools and support, the customer can still have a great experience no matter the setback.

Every customer will tell you what they think they want, but they don’t always fully understand what they need. They’re not necessarily thinking about everything that might go wrong. More importantly, they often are not even aware of the products and services available to them for such unexpected events. No matter their motivators or their plans for RVing, practically every customer wants the same thing: ease of use. They’re buying a vacation. Vacations can be exciting, action-packed, and busy, but no one wants them to be stressful or difficult. That’s where the peace of mind comes in. “Hands down! That’s why Coach-Net’s sign-and-drive products are the best in the industry. It’s the ease of use.

“When it comes to tire & wheel protection, nothing beats Coach-Net’s program. I used to sell an inferior product where, if the customer had a blowout, they would have to source the new tire, pay for the tire, taxes, shop fees, etc., and then try to get reimbursed for their expenses. It was a nightmare. I had one customer who lost five tires in a single year from road hazards. Imagine the hassle she went through to get reimbursed for each of those. Coach-Net’s program eliminates that hassle. Now I sell a product where if the customer has a blowout, they simply call Coach-Net and Coach-Net does the rest. They source the tire, deliver the tire, or even tow the customer to the nearest service facility. They handle the hard part, the customer signs, and they are on their way. No hassle. No deductible. No stress. So easy! The stuff a customer would be doing on their own, Coach-Net takes this on and allows the customer to relax in the most stressful of situations. I tell my customers, if you break down, call Coach-Net, and go make a sandwich or drink a beer. Coach-Net will do all the heavy lifting.”

Finally, know your worth and the value of what you’re selling. After you figure out the customer’s motivation and what they want, and you understand what they truly need to achieve their wants, then the final step is simply knowing your worth and the value of what you’re selling. If you don’t believe in the product, then it’s worthless. But if you are selling a product that you know is beneficial to the customer and you truly believe that you are helping them, then Nick believes that you should be selling to every customer with the conviction of that knowledge. Essentially, don’t water down your product or your worth. “Offer it on every deal, every time. By the nature of asking, you will close at least 40%, if not more. This is seriously one of my favorite products to sell. Ask for the max dollar amount every time. If Coach-Net caps you at $2,000 on a product, then ask for that amount. You will be surprised at how few customers negotiate. Next, continue building your confidence in the product. The more confidence you feel in Coach-Net’s line-up, the more relaxed your customers will feel. And the more relaxed they feel, the more they buy. And that means the better you will have prepared them for whatever they may encounter on the road.”

Thank you, Nick and everyone at Clay’s RV & Powersports, for choosing Coach-Net as your partner in helping RVers find their happiness. Thank you, Clay’s RV & Powersports, for being your customers’ connection to carefree RVing.

Join our Dealer Program