Dealernews Blogs

Wednesday, July 29 2015

Speed Week at the Bonneville in Utah has been canceled for 2015, the Southern California Timing Association has announced.

The reason? Not enough salt at the salt flats.

By mid-July only one of Bonneville's four courses had a maximum of 2.25 miles of dry salt, far less than three to six miles needed for the land speed runs organized by SCTA, the organization stated. “The rest of the salt flats are either wet, or wet and muddy,” SCTA reported on its website. “If the wet salt gets dry, future events could be possible.”

Monday, July 20 2015

The most demanding job position in service may be that of the service writer. Along with having significant responsibility with no, or little authority it is a position that engages with many people and departments that can include:

Customers                    Technicians                 Service Writers               Service Foreman         

Service Manager           Service Dispatcher       Service Porter              Vehicle Detailer

Parts Manager              Sales Manager              General Manager          Store Owner

Friday, June 19 2015

THERE WAS A TIME when “3D” meant cheesy horror movies and cheap cardboard glasses. These days, 3D is associated with technology and the ability to create custom, one-of-a-kind pieces. (Oh, the cool things I could make if I had a 3D printer!)

In 2014, Bell Helmets announced its custom-fit helmet program, which incorporates a 3D scan of the buyer’s head so that the interior provides a unique, custom fit. The idea, of course, is that a better fit means both more comfort and improved safety.

Thursday, June 18 2015

THE VALUE OF motorcycle salespeople is disappearing faster than a Snapchat exchange between teenagers.

In the days of yore (officially 1983, for you millennials), if customers wanted information about a motorcycle, they went to someone who sold that motorcycle. That salesperson possessed all the brochures, all the training and all the information.

Not anymore. Thanks to the online availability of specs and the prevalence of peer-to-peer forums and comparison websites, all of that and much, much more are available to consumers on their smartphones.

Wednesday, June 17 2015

I'LL TELL YOU A SECRET: I never wanted to be editor of Dealernews.

Wednesday, June 17 2015

THE JUNE ISSUE marked Dealernews' 50-year anniversary—a significant accomplishment for a trade publication.  Fifty years is five years more than my career in the motorcycle industry, although I've been a rider since 1967 when I got my Learner's Permit and bought a 1947 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car to terrorize Milwaukee's neighborhoods. Looking back, I now realize I was bucking the trend. I rode a three-wheeler at the start of my life's adventure with motorcycles, rather than the end like so many baby boomers do today.

Tuesday, June 16 2015

IN MAY I focused on the positive mental shortcuts (known as heuristics) that assist people in making good decisions. By understanding how your customers’ brains are wired, you can accelerate your sales. Now, I want to explore biases, which are negative mental shortcuts. These cognitive illusions, much like optical illusions, twist the way people think about reality.

Thursday, June 11 2015

IN MY OTHER ROLE as a contract parts and service sales trainer for Harley-Davidson University, I've had the pleasure of working in, and/or visiting dealerships across the country; Australia too. I've been to hundreds of service departments over the years, many of which have very progressive layouts and operating policies and procedures. I learn a lot of best practices from these visits.

Thursday, June 11 2015

Rule 1: Focus on customer retention. Arguably, acquiring a new customer is one of the most expensive and difficult challenges for any business. Yet for some reason, there is an enormous temptation to quickly forget about that new customer after the sale is made and continue to seek more new blood.

A huge mistake is to view marketing dollars spent on existing customers as giving it back, rather than protecting an asset and stimulating more repeat and referral business.

Monday, June 08 2015


I hope you're adjusting to Heaven in the three weeks that you've been up there, or maybe Heaven is adjusting to you!

We are still devastated to lose you, Ma, and I can't stop crying. I know it's not very "manly" to cry, but I don't care and I can't hide my feelings for how much I love you, Ma. I have a hole in my heart the size of Texas and I know it will never go away.

Friday, May 29 2015

RECALLS. No one enjoys them, but they are a fact of life. Harley has them, Ducati has them, KTM has them. Every manufacturer at one time or another has had or will have them. But you need to know how to deal with them.

What follows is by no means legal advice, so always adhere to the guidance of your attorney and OEM. But from a customer service and a sales perspective, here are some dos and don’ts when working with customers who bring up the 'R' word.

Tuesday, May 26 2015

THINKING of creating a mobile app to communicate with new, and especially younger, customers? Better make sure it works, and works well. New research from technology company Oracle reveals that nearly 55 percent of millennials say a poor mobile app experience would make them less likely to use your products or services.

Friday, May 22 2015

Companies are always coming up with new ways of making riders more visible, from reflective materials to LEDs to painfully-bright neon colors. For us at Dealernews, it’s fun to see the myriad creative solutions that companies dream up to tackle the same problem.

Wednesday, April 29 2015

YOU KNOW that pushing the starter button, turning the key or kicking the kickstart will fire up the engine of every motorcycle in your dealership. But did you realize that the human brain could be just as predictable?

As humans, we typically rely on what comes to mind with the least amount of cognitive strain. This is part of our effort to survive in a postmodern world, one in which the amount of information we’re exposed to has grown exponentially, yet the basic architecture of our brains hasn’t changed since the likes of Australopithecus Africanus roamed the earth.

Tuesday, April 28 2015

AS YOUR SERVICE DEPARTMENT ramps up for the season, it's natural that some promises will fall through the cracks. The first goal, of course, is to meet the expectations set with customers. The better we are in this regard, the fewer upsets will take place, which reduces the number of customer confrontations.