Dealernews Blogs

Tuesday, September 30 2014

I don’t think anyone can argue against the idea that we live in a far more information-dense and interconnected world today. Social media, smartphones and world-spanning news networks see to that. Interestingly, this adds some unique challenges that have rarely been seen on such a widespread scale in product-driven industries such as ours. The problem? Maintaining the veil of secrecy.

Thursday, September 25 2014

“What kind of riding are you planning on doing?”

Come on! You can do better than that when talking to would-be buyers. That question is non-differentiating (they hear it everywhere) and very often doesn’t result in meaningful information for you (“Uh, I’m not sure, around town, maybe some trips”).

Effective questions involve your customers more deeply in the conversation and give you important clues about themselves. But before we get into the types of questions that will set you apart from the rest of the sales pack, here are two things to keep in mind:

Tuesday, September 23 2014

In the parts, gear and accessories (PG&A) department, we think of gear as what we wear to go riding or racing, such as helmets, armor-equipped jackets, gloves, Kevlar-reinforced pants and riding boots. In service, our gear has more to do with the service reception design, staff attire and the attitude we project. To attract and retain the best customers and grow our business, our “service gear” should send a message of being professional, knowledgeable and personable.

Tuesday, September 23 2014

Our editorial mission is, for all intents and purposes, a balancing act: helping you, as a powersports dealer, retailer, service shop, etc., combine your passion for the sport with your pursuit of profit. A noble cause, yes.

Tuesday, September 23 2014

I recently interviewed Richard Beattie, the new executive vice president of marketing and sales for Kawasaki. I was astounded by what he told me about the total number of products, considering category, models, paint schemes and options, that a dealer would have to inventory if he were to represent the entire line.

Tuesday, September 23 2014

I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “Half my marketing works; the only problem is I don’t know which half!” Today, more than ever, this is a big challenge for powersports dealers. My staff at Powersports Marketing talks to hundreds of dealers every month regarding marketing and advertising. We consistently hear a common concern from dealers about mass media: they aren’t able to quantify it and aren’t sure if they’re wasting their money. At the same time, most dealers are afraid to stop their mass media (radio, TV, billboards, newspaper, etc.) because they think it may be working.

Wednesday, September 10 2014

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – During a recent trip to the Dealernews offices in Santa Monica, Calif., I stopped into Scorpion Sports headquarters in nearby Santa Fe Springs. National Sales Manager Jayson Wickenkamp gave me a tour of the place, and along the way I got to see some of the new products coming out in 2015.

Monday, September 08 2014

“I WANT YOU TO THINK of this department as your own business,” Tommy Hannum said, as he opened the door to the service department. A year or two older than me, he was a third-generation Harley-Davidson dealer, and I was just getting started in the business. “Do what you think is best,” he said. “We’re counting on you.”

Wednesday, September 03 2014

I recently had the opportunity to ride Suzuki’s new Burgman 200 scooter around the San Diego area, and I came away impressed. Not only did the machine easily do all the things you expect a scooter to do well — carry stuff, be light and easy to ride — it also shined when pushed outside of its comfort zone.

Tuesday, August 26 2014

All right, maybe not. But 1985 has definitely regurgitated its neon hues and funky color blocking all over the industry’s gear and apparel.

Neon never really went away in our world, thanks to products that promoted high visibility for riders. Not that long ago, though, those products were primarily limited to safety vests and small neon touches built into gear.

Thursday, August 21 2014

LET’S HOPE you’re not the average salesperson. Because, according to The Sales Board Inc.’s study of more than 16,000 customers and 300 salespeople in 25 industries, here are three things average salespeople do:

Thursday, August 21 2014

I feel rich.

Thursday, August 21 2014

I was recently attending a dealer 20 group meeting where the homework assignment had been to call the service and sales department for the dealer on the roster below them. Dealers came to the front of the room, hooked their cell phones to a speaker and played their mystery shops for the group in real time.

Thursday, August 21 2014

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,

Monday, August 04 2014

Former MotoGP racer Ben Spies was at a recent Helmet House event, representing long-time sponsor, HJC helmets. I was interested in asking him if he planned a return to racing, and his take on the current state and future of U.S. road racing.