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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



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.

» View PDF of Article (366.2 KB) PDF Document



PowerSports Business How to get your customers to say, “I'll take it”

PowerSports Business
How to get your customers to say, “I'll take it”

March 2011

How do some experienced salespeople make selling motorcycles seem so easy? The simple answer is that they have mastered three basic steps: trust, understanding and value. Yes, the motorcycle sales process consists of many more than three steps, but these three often separate the beginners from the pros.

» View PDF of Article (291.4 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Blog How to avoid, “No thanks, I'm just looking.”

Powersports Business Blog
How to avoid, “No thanks, I'm just looking.”

January 2011

Salesperson asks, “Can I help you?” Shopper answers, “No thanks, I'm just looking.” Ten minutes later the shopper walks out the door. The shopper was interested in motorcycles. You are interested in selling them a motorcycle. What was the problem?

You heard what the shopper said, but this is what the shopper was thinking, “I'm psyched to be looking at these motorcycles, and if you were my friend, I would tell you all about what I like and don't like about these motorcycles. But I don't know you. You're just a salesperson, not my friend.”

Most of the very best salespeople (in any industry by the way) don't succeed from superior product knowledge. Top salespeople succeed from being able to take a “stranger” and very quickly make the customer feel comfortable with them.

» View PDF of Article (339.1 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Blog Will you surrender to ‘creative destruction?'

Powersports Business Blog
Will you surrender to ‘creative destruction?'

December 2010

In business, the term “creative destruction” applies to successful new ventures rising out of the ashes of other failed businesses. We watch a typewriter manufacturer go out of business, but find that its building and its employees are snapped-up by a new supplier to the computer industry. Or newspapers lose circulation and layoff journalists who instead find jobs making online publications successful. How does the “creative destruction” concept apply to the motorcycle industry?

» View PDF of Article (338.8 KB) PDF Document



PowersSports Business Blog Internet inquiries: Respond by e-mail or telephone?

PowersSports Business Blog
Internet inquiries: Respond by e-mail or telephone?

November 2010

More than 80 percent of today?s motorcycle shoppers visit a Web site before visiting a dealership, so we shouldn?t be surprised as more and more shoppers? first contact with a dealership is by Internet/e-mail too. Successful dealerships have a defined process in place to handle Internet/e-mail leads, but is the ?best practice? to respond by e-mail or by telephone?

Some experts argue that since the customer contacted the dealership by Internet/e-mail, the response should come by e-mail too. Others argue the most effective selling only begins with a phone conversation. What?s the correct answer?

» View PDF of Article (326.7 KB) PDF Document



Dealernews Want a customer's perspective?
Try Secret Shopping.

Dealernews
Want a customer's perspective? Try Secret Shopping.

November 2010

The PSI process measures how effectively each brand?s dealerships help motorcycle shoppers become buyers. Dealers can pay Pied Piper to secret-shop their own store. The cost is $99 per salesperson evaluation, and the information is collected and viewed using a Web-based program.

» View PDF of Article (220.3 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Blog When was the last time you spoke with your customers?

Powersports Business Blog
When was the last time you spoke with your customers?

September 2010

Years ago, after he had created a multi-billion dollar business from scratch, Ross Perot was asked about his role at the company. His answer was ?sales.? Along with all the other obvious roles of a CEO, Perot was clear his top priority was taking care of customers and finding new customers.

How often today do owners or general managers pick up the telephone to spontaneously call a customer who hasn?t been to the dealership for a while? Turn the tables and imagine you were the customer, getting an unexpected phone call from the owner or manager of a local business.

» View PDF of Article (190.9 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Blog What can your dealership learn from Starbucks?

Powersports Business Blog
What can your dealership learn from Starbucks?

August 2010

Are Starbucks baristas hired only if they love coffee, or only if they already have experience making a cappuccino? And does a Starbucks manager dread losing an employee since the departing employee?s ?tribal knowledge? will be so hard to teach to a new hire? No.

The Starbucks business model embraces the fact that baristas will come and go, by making sure the processes used to run a Starbucks are written down and are simple and easy to follow. Since making coffee is such a well-defined process, Starbucks employees are taught instead to focus first and foremost on the customer. The best Starbucks employees are therefore not the ones who make the best cappuccino. The best Starbucks employees are the friendly ones who remember repeat customers, help them have a good day, and are the reason why the customers keep coming back to pay $4 for a cup of coffee.

» View PDF of Article (279.8 KB) PDF Document



Powersports Business Blog Answering the Brochure Debate

Powersports Business Blog
Answering the Brochure Debate

April 2009

Motorcycle prospects walk into a dealership interested in buying a new motorcycle, but the facts say that half the time those prospects will walk back out the door holding nothing in their hands. No keys to a new bike, but also no brochure.

Why the reluctance to provide a brochure or other selling materials to prospects? Some dealerships argue it's too expensive to hand out so many brochures, and others argue that the quickest way to send a prospect out the door without buying is to give them a brochure.

» View PDF of Article (221.3 KB) PDF Document