Archive for the ‘Dealer’ Category

Great video/commercial from RevZilla.com — can your store top it?

September 24, 2010

The guys over at RevZilla.com just put together this video/commercial and I’ve gotta say it’s pretty fantastic. I don’t see a lot of local marketing programming done by my locals dealers — not their fault, I just DVR most of the TV I watch. While I can’t very well endorse the part where the rider pull off the main road like that to blast through the forest (are those approved trails?) I can certainly say it speaks to something we’ve probably all felt like doing — whether it was over a median, up an embankment to an off-ramp or over the tops of the cars in front of us.

That said, this is pretty well done piece of advertising for the e-commerce site that we wrote about in our print mag back in June. Read it here and here. Enjoy.

Smart Dealers Use Facebook (Or How to Pimp a Holiday Sale)

November 30, 2009

Admittedly, I’m a bit of a Facebook junky and spend a lot of time on the social networking site. OK, it’s probably far too much time but that’s a topic for another, more humiliating conversation. For the sake of this post, let’s say I was on FB several hours a day over the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. (Hypothetically speaking, of course.) Over that time I saw many postings from people I’m friends with or businesses I’m fans of (FB lingo) but there were a handful that really stuck out.

During this holiday break, you couldn’t click a radio dial, open a newspaper or turn a channel without reading something about the retail orgy known as Black Friday and its post-consumergasm follow-up, Cyber Monday. Everybody knows that many retailers count on these two big holiday shopping days to push the books into the black. But did you know that many powersports retailers are also latching onto the idea that building sales programs and marketing efforts around these two days is a great idea?

And why not? Consumers of all stripes are conditioned to view these days as days to GO OUT AND SPEND MONEY. (more…)

Modern Selling: Creating a Friend

November 3, 2009

By Guido Ebert

Research shows that the two main reasons consumers often dread visiting motorcycle and automobile dealerships are 1) the disrespect inherent in being ignored while on the showfloor, and 2) the way in which salespeople tend to descend upon them like hawks on a field mouse. Polar opposites, but equally harmful to the selling process.

I make it a habit of visiting the five local dealerships near my home in the Minneapolis area. While I’m greeted like a long-lost friend at three dealerships — Hitching Post Hopkins, Leo’s South and Scooterville — at the fourth dealership, I often spend 20 minutes walking the showfloor, milling around the Ducati, Triumph and KTM sections, without anyone speaking with me. At the fifth dealership I’m followed around like I’m a thief on the prowl, explained every vehicle or product I stop to take a look at, and never left to simply enjoy the practice of “browsing.”

Ignoring the customer has obvious drawbacks and has long been taught to be among the top reasons for losing a possible sale, but is attempting to capture and control the customer — considered a “must-do” in many sales textbooks — any better for the selling process?

Some sales trainers working in the industry now say selling shouldn’t be a matter of controlling the customer, but a matter of creating a fan of (more…)

Great Advice from the Florida Motorcycle Dealers Assn.

October 26, 2009

We recently received the the Fall 2009 issue of “The Cyclist,” the official newsletter of the Florida Motorcycle Dealers Association.fmdalogo

In his column, association president Joe MacGuire offers some very clearheaded advice to fellow dealers. (MacGuire’s the president of Euro Cycles of Tampa Bay, a BMW, Ducati, Moto Guzzi and Triumph dealership in Odessa.) Although some of the language is directed a dealers in the Sunshine State, the overall message is applicable to any dealer anywhere.

We thought it was too good to pass up, so with MacGuire’s permission here is his Fall 2009 President’s Report in its entirety.

Straight Talk in a Tough Economy

by Joe MacGuire, FMDA president

Greetings, fellow dealers. I was thinking about the current economic times and was reminded of a story my father used to enjoy telling. I grew up out West during a time when there were still large tracts of land without any fences. Sheep ranchers would hire herders, usually Irishmen in those days, to watch the flocks. The sheep were allowed to range freely while they grazed.

One day, a wonderful old herder named Dan was lounging on the grass of a hllside watching his band of sheep below. Dan (more…)

Vendors That Compete Against Their Own Dealers

October 18, 2009

BrokenChainWhy has the industry allowed so many vendors to compete against their own dealers through online sales? Shouldn’t everyone respect the supply channel? Or do some vendors have legitimate reasons for selling directly?

Two years ago, I was attending an annual meeting of MIC members when a guest speaker told the 200 assembled vendors that they all should be selling online. “The most important way for the aftermarket to sell is the Internet,” the market analyst said. “Companies used to be worried about how it would affect their retail establishments. That way of thinking has gone by the wayside.”

This comment surprised me. When the analyst asked for questions, I asked whether he believed motorcycle dealers in particular no longer cared whether their suppliers sold directly. He gave a quick affirmative and left the stage.

(more…)

The Good and Bad of MAP Policies

October 9, 2009

Low_Price_Guarantee[1]As PG&A inventories remain bloated, the dangers of heavy discounting mount. Brands take a wallop once their suggested retail prices become a running joke on eBay. To combat this, we’ve long had minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policies.

But dealers have mixed feelings about these policies. Some dealers don’t like them, period. The market should dictate prices, they say. Most dealers like the idea of MAP pricing, but they hate the policies of specific vendors or distributors. Or, perhaps more often, they resent policies that aren’t strictly enforced.

(more…)

Without Credit, and Clueless

October 3, 2009

j0309203“What do you mean I don’t qualify for a loan? I can easily make the monthly payments. My motor home was just repossessed a few weeks ago.”

Ever hear something like that?

David Damron, owner of Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino, Calif., has — many times. “People got some excess cash, so they think they can finance,” he told me in August. “And they seem to have somehow forgotten about the two repos. It’s unbelievable the amount of people that are coming in filling out credit apps that are in the high 400 scores and wanting to know why they couldn’t get financed because they’ve got the cash flow now because they’re obviously not having to make the payment on the boat or the car or the truck. They don’t understand.” (more…)

Small Stores Versus Big Stores

September 25, 2009

Exterior_HIn a column titled Memories of Dealerships Past,” industry veteran Mike Vaughan wondered whether the industry downturn will give way to smaller, friendlier stores.

One thing is apparent. The number of dealerships is falling rapidly. But what types of stores will be the predominate survivors? What will be the best way to distribute the smaller volume of motorcycles, about half the volume of only a couple of years ago?

Going by the trBertsend in the general retail world, where big-box stores have taken over, I’m guessing the ratio of big stores to little stores will increase. That means more people riding or driving longer distances to get to a dealership. But motorcyclists typically aren’t averse to traveling.

(more…)

My House Wine: CorsaVino

June 30, 2009

A couple of months ago I reported on CorsaVino – a wine brand of limited availability launched by Arun Sharma, the general manager of MotoCorsa in Portland.

t4Well, today I received my shipment of Sharma’s 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Il Mostro Rosso, limited to a production of 98 cases and retailing for $314 by the case or $29 by the bottle; and 2005 Syrah, limited to a production of 217 cases and retailing for $292 by the case or $27 by the bottle.

Mmmm, now to deal with the most difficult decision. After all, being a wine enthusiast is a bit like being a collector of motorcycles: Do you drink/ride the product or do you not drink/ride the product?

Scooterists, Art Lovers Gather at Los Vesparados

June 14, 2009

Scooterists and art lovers from the Twin Cities and beyond gathered the evening of June 13 in Minneapolis to attend Los Vesparados, an event combining the cult following of scooters with a line up of local and international artists working in different styles and mediums to celebrate the spirit of the scooter.
Vesparados
The event featured more than 25 local and international artists showing a variety of art, from painting and print editions to metal and jewelry; a scooter exhibition in the parking lot; scooter memorabilia displayed by Michael & Eric Dregni, authors of many books on the subject; a DJ spinning mod tunes; a raffle to win a Genuine Buddy scooter; and projections of scooter movies and commercials.

Artists in attendance included: Adam Turman, Aleksandra Stancevic, Andre Knaebel, Andrea Horne, Angel Bomb, Brian Sago, Chank Diesel, Charles Youel, Dan Marshall, Emmy Lingscheit, Ethan Arnold, Greg Meyers, James Provost, Karin (more…)