Checklists—they’re not just for astronauts and surgeons anymore!

If you’re a dealership working in the heavy equipment, trailer, or commercial trucking industries, checklists can make your life dramatically easier as well.

Enter: the deal jacket checklist.

In this quick video and corresponding article, we’re going to cover:

  • What is a deal jacket checklist?

  • Why a deal jacket checklist is such an important tool for sales representatives just like you

  • What steps you might want to include in your deal jacket checklists

And…

  • How to set up and begin using digital deal jacket checklists in your My Little Salesman Dealer Management System to make your life so much easier

Let’s get started!

Firstly, what is a deal jacket checklist?

Deal jacket checklists have been used by sales professionals—mostly in the automotive industry—for generations. Almost always in paper form, deal jackets have usually been templated checklists used to make sure that all actions and details of a sales transaction have been completed or have been accounted for.

Why is a deal jacket checklist such an important tool for sales representatives?

Whether you’re a sales professional or you’ve spent time in the buyer’s seat, you have a pretty good idea of just how much information, how many forms, and how many steps are necessary to complete a transaction. Keeping track of all of the necessary steps can feel like shopping for the week’s groceries without a list. There are so many items that need to be accounted for. Deal jacket checklists provide sales professionals with a transactional blueprint that is half roadmap and half success gauge for any transaction.

What steps might be included in a typical deal jacket checklist?

Presently, there are several paper deal jacket manufacturers that sell templated deal jackets designed specifically for the automotive industry. These deal jackets contain checkbox fields for items to be accounted for—such as the Bill of Sale, Title, Odometer Certification, Contracts signatures, Power of Attorney, Buyer’s Guide documents, and the like.

While many of these items may still apply to deal jacket checklists for the heavy equipment, commercial trucking, and trailer industries, the ability for every dealership to customize their own deal jacket checklists is extremely useful. For example, you might need a space that denotes that equipment hour meter readings or equipment shipping to a buyer’s location have been accounted for.

Simply put, if there is any item or action that needs to be accounted for associated with a transaction, it’s in your best interest to include these in your deal jacket checklists.

Let’s hop into the fun stuff.

How can I begin using deal jacket checklists today in my My Little Salesman Dealer Management System?

Digital deal jacket checklists!

So, let’s start defining and building your deal jacket checklists.

Logged into your My Little Salesman Dealer Management system, head over to your Sales Desk Settings. You can easily find this by finding the Sales Desk tab menu and clicking or tapping that to access the sub-menu, and selecting “Settings.”

Looking down the page just a little ways, you’ll find “Deal Settings” and under that, you’ll see “View and manage deal jacket checklists.” Go ahead and click the “Manage” button.

Deal Jacket Checklists Settings Page

Welcome to your Deal Jacket Checklists settings page. From here, you can create and edit various deal jacket checklist templates. Originally, much like their paper predecessors, this was where you could edit your single deal jacket checklist. However, after receiving feedback from dealers just like you, they requested the ability to create and customize several different deal jacket checklists depending on the type of transaction—for instance, different deal-related tasks may be necessary for out-of-state buyers versus in-state buys.

If you’re less familiar with the Deals section of the My Little Salesman Sales Desk, we have already created a walk-thru tutorial to help familiarize you with how your Deals systems works, which you can find linked in this video description and associated article.

How to Create a New Deal Jacket

So, how can we create a new deal jacket checklist? From that Deal Jacket Checklists page, there will be a red button labeled, “+ New Deal Jacket.” Select that to be taken to an “Add Deal Jacket Checklist” page.

How to Add a New Deal Jacket Checklist

From this page, as the name denotes, you can create a new deal jacket checklist. This is very simply where you enter the name of the deal jacket checklist, possibly a short description or instructions for use, where it is active, and you can hit “Create” to create that one or “Create and add another” to create multiple deal jacket checklists at a time.

How to Edit a Deal Jacket Checklist

Once you have created a deal jacket checklist, you’ve really only named a new blank deal jacket checklist. To add or edit items on this checklist, make sure you’re on the Deal Jacket Checklists page—that previous page that we accessed through the Settings section of the Sales Desk. From here, you will see all of the deal jacket checklists that you have created or a Default Deal Jacket—an autogenerated deal jacket.

You’ll see here that my company has edited the Default Deal Jacket to our In-State Deal Jacket and we’ve created an Out-of-State Deal Jacket. It looks like Curtis made that one.

So, how do you add items to check off of your deal jacket checklist? Very easily. Simply locate the “Actions” button with the down-arrow carrot, select it, and you should see two options—”Edit” and “Edit Items.”

“Edit” will essentially take you back to a page much like the “Add a New Deal Jacket” for this item—allowing you to edit information about this deal jacket checklist—such as the name, description, and “Active Flag” status.

“Edit Items,” on the other hand, will allow you to update the items you will be later checking off the list. Let’s see what that looks like. I’m going to select “Edit Items” on this deal jacket checklist we previously created entitled “In-State Deal Jacket.”

Opening this up, you’ll see several line items that will be available to be checked off once we connect this checklist with a Deal—such as Power of Attorney, Arrange Shipping, and the like.

Adding a new line item is very simple and much like creating a new deal jacket checklist. Simply, select the red “+ New Line Item” button, which will take you to a place where you can add new details about this “checkable” item—such as the Name, Description of the item, whether it is required, and its active status. When you filled in the necessary information, select “Create” and you’re ready to roll.

Jacket Completion

When the “required” option is selected, this means that this line item, when checked off, will count toward the jacket completion percentage listing for an associated Deal. I know that probably sounded like a lot of gobble-de-guck, so let’s see what this looks like in action.

Ok, so we’ve made the option for Power of Attorney required on this In-State Deal Jacket checklist. Let’s see what that means when associated with a Deal that is using this particular deal jacket checklist.

This time, I’m going to navigate to my Deals panel in Sales Desk by selecting “MY ACCOUNT” in the upper right-hand corner, finding the “SALES DESK” menu, and selecting “Deals.”

Once on my Deals page, I have a Deal that has been associated with my In-State Deal Jacket checklist. You’ll notice that one of the columns is labeled “Jacket Completion.” Below that, you’ll see a completion bar—very similar to a download status bar or something like that. This metric is the percentage of required items checked off from my In-State Deal Jacket checklist.

This Jacket Completion view is one of my favorite aspects of the Deal Jacket Checklist functionality. No matter how many Deals I have lined up here, I can see at a glance which ones require attention. It looks like this particular Deal is only 60% complete according to the line items on my In-State Deal Jacket checklist.

Let’s see what steps still require attention.

If I select the Jacket Completion percentage bar, the line items appear. Taking a look at this, it appears that I haven’t uploaded all of the necessary documents into the dealer management system and I haven’t asked him for a review.

Now, for the sake of demonstration, let’s say that I actually have uploaded these documents and I emailed Jason to ask how easy this transaction was for him so he can sing the praises of my dealership online in the form of a review. Well, I can simply check these items off, and even make some notes about these line items for the record. Let’s say that I want to document that I emailed Jason today at 9 AM and provided him with instructions on how to leave a review. I can just type that here.

Once I have all of that information entered, I select “Save changes” and bob’s your uncle, check out that Jacket Competition status—100%. This tells me that I’ve met all of my criteria for an In-State transaction. You can also see the most recent status of these line items in the Summary of the particular Deal.

How to Assign a Deal Jacket Checklist with a Deal

When you open your Deals page, all Deals will be automatically associated with a default deal jacket checklist. If you plan on making the most of the deal jacket checklist functionality, you’ll want to assign the most appropriate deal jacket checklist for that particular deal. And doing this is pretty simple in the Settings panel of the associated Deal.

As we’ve covered in our Deals tutorial, every Deal has a Settings panel. If I select the “Edit” button associated with this Deal, I can access and update all information associated with this deal using the tile-like buttons the run along the top. If I select the button entitled “Settings,” this will take me to the Settings panel where I can select which of my various Deal Jacket checklists to associate with this Deal. Once you’ve made any changes to the Settings, make sure to scroll down the bottom to “Save changes.”

Changing Deal Jacket Further into Process

Just a head’s up on changing Deal jacket checklists: If you change a Deal’s associated deal jacket checklist in the Settings panel after the fact—let’s say, for example, I changed this to an Out-of-State Deal Jacket checklist—that change will overwrite any checked boxes or notes from a previous checklist for this particular Deal. Even if you switch back, all checked line items and notes will be cleared out. For this reason, it’s important to select the proper deal jacket checklist when filling in all of the sections of a deal. If you don’t feel that a particular deal jacket fits a transaction, it may be time to create a new one—which you know how to do now!

Conclusion

And it’s just that simple. Now you can see how easy it is to create and use deal jacket checklists to stay on top of every deal in your My Little Salesman Dealer Management System. If you have any questions, you can visit mylittlesalesman.com for help. My name is Ken and I wish you the best of luck with your dealer jacket checklists!


Related: Your Guide to Deals (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

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