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Powersports Business Blog Lack of floor traffic sinking your dealership?

Powersports Business Blog
Lack of floor traffic sinking your dealership?

September 2011

Too many hard-working motorcycle dealerships today are holding on for survival, trying to grind out a living relying on the same number of customer “ups” in a week that they used to see on any given day. First of all, yes, you are in good company; there are plenty of other dealerships in exactly the same predicament; and yes, most would agree that you and your team didn't cause the downturn. On the other hand, you and your team are the ones who can change behaviors to drive success at your dealership right now.

Let's focus on sustainable ways to drive more floor traffic. Note that I said, “sustainable,” since a one-time, budget-busting advertising blitz is probably not the long-term answer. Here are three free or inexpensive solutions that are sustainable:

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Powersports Business Blog Do your salespeople ask for the sale every time?

Powersports Business Blog
Do your salespeople ask for the sale every time?

August 2011

Probably not. We know that asking for the sale is an obvious key to selling motorcycles, but we also know that on average, U.S. motorcycle salespeople ask for the sale less than half the time (48 percent to be exact). Given that asking for the sale directly sells more motorcycles, why do so many salespeople resist?

Two reasons: First of all because we humans dislike rejection as much as we dislike anything. Salespeople must understand and overcome the natural tendency to avoid asking for the sale just because they believe the answer will be “no.” Ask anyway. The math says that a salesperson will have to ask for the sale to six or seven customers before one will buy. Also, only by asking for the sale will a salesperson discover — and be able to overcome — a customer's objections or obstacles to purchase. Secondly, your salespeople may be worried about coming off as too pushy. Encourage them to worry less. We know that on average. motorcycle salespeople “over-sell” less than 5 percent of the time; compared to “under-selling” 25 percent of the time.

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Powersports Business Don't talk your customers out of buying

Powersports Business
Don't talk your customers out of buying

July 2011

If your salespeople are having trouble turning shoppers into buyers, find out if the salespeople are talking customers out of buying. No salesperson would turn away customers on purpose, but by skipping the “fact-finding” step of the sales process, a salesperson may end up making customers less likely to buy.

What attracted the customer to your dealership, and why are they interested in that particular motorcycle? Armed with an answer to those questions (as well as some other probing questions, too, hopefully) the salesperson can tailor his or her customer interaction to help build trust and value and help confirm and support the idea the customer already has: to buy a motorcycle.

» View PDF of Article (330 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Does your facility really make any difference to sales success?

Powersports Business
Does your facility really make any difference to sales success?

June 2011

The best sales team selling out of a tent will run rings around an unskilled sales team at a beautiful dealership. Dealers quickly learn that skilled and trained employees are the most important ingredient for a successful dealership operation. But what about the facility? How much of a difference does a facility make to sales success?

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Powersports Business Industry's prospect satisfaction scores drop

Powersports Business
Industry's prospect satisfaction scores drop

May 2011

All but one motorcycle brand's dealers declined in their year-over-year Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) as measured in a benchmarking study by independent company, Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. Overall motorcycle industry performance declined across a majority of the sales process activities tracked by the study, which led to lower PSI scores for 13 of the 14 major brands. Only Husqvarna didn't decline, as it maintained its PSI score of 90 it had achieved in last year's study.

“What I find very interesting is that from 2009 to 2010, the industry PSI scores went up,” explains Fran O'Hagan, President and CEO of Pied Piper Management Co., LLC. “If you think about it, in that time period, the motorcycle industry was hating life, but the industry's scores went up. Why did the scores go up so much last year and then go back down this year?”

The drop, O'Hagan suggests, is likely due to staffing issues at dealerships. Throughout the recession, dealerships cut back on staffing, including in the sales department. Indeed, in a recent study conducted by Powersports Business, 50 percent of the dealership respondents suggested they reduced staff levels in 2010.

» View PDF of Article (754.1 KB) PDF Document



MediaPost News Victory a Victor in Pied Piper Bike Brand Study

MediaPost News
Victory a Victor in Pied Piper Bike Brand Study

May 2011

American and European motorcycle brands are very good at something the import brands are still struggling with: creating a strong brand affinity and satisfaction at the retail level.

For the second year in a row, Polaris' Victory Motorcycle brand is the top-ranking motorcycle maker in prospect satisfaction in the new Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI). Victory led the pack in areas such as providing a product walk-around demonstration, mentioning the availability of financing options, mentioning the availability of accessories, and pointing out features that are unique from the competition.

» View PDF of Article (235.9 KB) PDF Document



Dealernews Victory Motorcycles maintains No. 1 ranking in Pied Piper study

Dealernews
Victory Motorcycles maintains No. 1 ranking in Pied Piper study

May 2011

Victory Motorcycle has again earned the top spot in the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Benchmarking Study. Victory is followed by Harley-Davidson in second place, and Ducati and Triumph, which tied for third, with BMW and Yamaha rounding out the top five spots. According to the report, all of these brands scored above the industry average.

The independent Pied Piper PSI study employed 1,967 anonymous “mystery shoppers” to visit motorcycle dealerships across the nation in order to “measure how effectively each brand's dealerships helped motorcycle shoppers become motorcycle buyers,” according to Pied Piper. The study is now in its fifth year.

» View PDF of Article (475.5 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Blog Does your sales team sell, or are they ‘museum curators'?

Powersports Business Blog
Does your sales team sell, or are they ‘museum curators'?

May 2011

Our company applies the term, ‘museum curator' to describe salespeople who are friendly and knowledgeable and will happily answer any customer questions, but don't actively try to turn shoppers into buyers. Be careful, because when customers are asked about their experience with museum curator salespeople, the customers will often describe the experience positively, which can mislead.

When customers visit a dealership they are thinking about all kinds of subjects (Should I buy the Honda or the Yamaha? How much can I get for my trade if I sell it through Cycle Trader? Should I try to finance at the dealership or through my credit union? And so forth.) What customers are NOT thinking about is whether the salesperson is selling effectively. As long as the salesperson is friendly and helpful, it will not bother a customer at all if the salesperson never asks for the sale, never gives reasons to buy from this dealership, never asks for contact information and more.

» View PDF of Article (333.9 KB) PDF Document



Press Release: VICTORY MOTORCYCLE DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2011 PIED PIPER PROSPECT SATISFACTION INDEX(R)

Press Release: VICTORY MOTORCYCLE DEALERS RANKED HIGHEST BY 2011 PIED PIPER PROSPECT SATISFACTION INDEX(R)

May 2011

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA – May 2, 2011 – The Victory Motorcycle brand from Polaris Industries, Inc. maintained its top ranking in the newly released 2011 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(R) (PSI(R)) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study. Harley-Davidson finished second, while Ducati and Triumph tied for third, followed by BMW and Yamaha, all of which scored above the industry average.

2011 marked the fifth year for the independent Pied Piper PSI benchmarking study, which sent 1,967 hired anonymous “mystery shoppers” into motorcycle dealerships nationwide. The study measured how effectively each brand's dealerships helped motorcycle shoppers become motorcycle buyers.

Victory defended its top ranking despite a lower PSI score compared to the previous year. Overall motorcycle industry performance also declined across a majority of the sales process activities tracked by the study, which led to lower PSI scores for thirteen of the fourteen major motorcycle brands.

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PowerSports Business Blog Internet Business is No Longer Incremental Business

PowerSports Business Blog
Internet Business is No Longer Incremental Business

April 2011

In the auto industry, we recently learned that industry-wide 36 percent of customer inquiries over the Internet remain unanswered after 24 hours. Granted, that is a car business figure, but when we measured the same figure for the motorcycle industry back in 2008, we found that the motorcycle industry responsiveness to Internet inquiries was roughly one-half of the auto industry's performance.

Think about what that means. … Imagine if your salespeople paid absolutely no attention to every third customer who walked through the door of your showroom, or if your service writer ignored every third service customer. A dealer principal would never knowingly accept that sort of performance for “in-person” activities, yet it happens every day to customers reaching out through dealership websites.

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