Ah, the holiday season. You know, the time when people — I refuse to call them customers — enter your dealership looking for accessories and other items to give as gifts to themselves or others.
They’re the ones who come in and head straight for the helmets. They start looking for a particular helmet or brand and then begin trying on a few as if there’s a prize for finding the perfect helmet in the fastest amount of time.
I hope you are doing good up there in Heaven. We are OK here in Dallas, except for all the stinkin’ rain on the weekends. I know you and I have talked about it a million times, but can you maybe talk to God and ask for a little variance in his rain schedule? Monday to Thursday, I don’t mind a little rain. Even at night, let it pour. But on weekends, please ask God almighty to smile on us poor slobs in the motorcycle business with some sunshine!
ON A BEAUTIFUL AUTUMN AFTERNOON, hundreds came to a small town in northernmost Illinois to honor the memory of Chris Hoak, general manager of McHenry Harley-Davidson, who lost his long battle with cancer Oct. 21. He was only 43.
This is my 28th year in the motorcycle business. During that time, I’ve had the privilege of working with thousands of dealership professionals and developed a keen eye for which salespeople will do well and which ones won’t.
Winning at sales involves a lot more than selling stuff. Here are six things I’ve discovered about people who succeed:
1. Their perspective is: What do I have to do to make it work?
I hope you're well up there in heaven. We are good down here in Dallas. Hey Ma, how do things work up there in heaven? I mean, do you get to watch everybody at the same time or do you have to pick who you want to watch, kinda like TV?
THE LAST GIFT I bought for someone was a two-piece touring seat with a driver backrest and a sissy bar pad. So there.
(Actually, that’s a lie. The very last gift I bought was a new coat for my sister, who celebrated this past weekend. But the two-piece touring seat with driver backrest and sissy bar pad was the second-to-last gift I bought.)
In the Aug. 31, 1972, East Coast edition of Rolling Stone magazine, an unknown musician named Peter Criscuola ran an ad that read: “Drummer: willing to do anything to make it.” Two guys looking to create a band, Stanley Eisen and Gene Klein, called Peter to explore his seriousness. “Would you wear a dress on stage?” they asked. “Would you wear high heels on stage?” “Would you wear … makeup?”
BRITTANY MORROW was wearing a pair of jeans, a sweatshirt, tennis shoes and a borrowed helmet when she climbed onto the back of a GSX-R750 to go for a ride with her friend. Forty-five minutes later, she was laying on the asphalt, waiting for an emergency team to medivac her to a hospital... and hoping she wouldn’t die before they arrived.
Dear Ma, I hope you're doing good up there in heaven. Ma, I wish you were still here running my bar for me. It's different without your "iron hand" and terrific wit keeping everybody in line and laughing. People ask me about you every day, we all miss you Ma.
Sturgis was good this year and man was it packed! This was the 75th anniversary and everybody and their brother showed up. It made the downtown traffic impossible. Luckily I've been there for so many years that I know the short cuts.
IF ANYTHING THIS SEASON gives you cause to believe the industry has momentum again, the Parts Unlimited/Drag Specialties National Vendor Presentation and Product Expo may be it. Yes, there were a million consumers in Sturgis, but on the business side, the industry's vitality has to do with the level of activity happening between manufacturer and distributor, and distributor and dealer. Are there new products being developed? Are the distributor reps excited about the new lines? And most importantly, are the dealers responding?
Owning a powersports dealership is like walking up a down escalator while juggling and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” with people throwing rocks at you. As if that weren’t enough, someone decides to set fire to the escalator. Not a pretty picture — or an easy task.
THE 2015 Sturgis rally seems to be one for the record books. Some say a million people were in the Black Hills for the 75th annual rally and races. Estimates I’ve heard are anywhere from 800,000 to a million-two. Anniversary year, good weather, lots of concerts, spendable income.
I hope you're adjusting to heaven in the short time you've been up there. I am having a hard time adjusting to life without my mother, but I know you're looking down and watching over me so that makes me feel better.
We have lots of cool stuff happening around here at Strokers Dallas. We have launched a state-of-the-art website www.strokersdallas.com and it's like nothing our industry has ever seen before.
As might be expected of the world’s oldest continuing motorcycle manufacturer, established in Redditch, England in 1901, the marque has changed hands a number of times through the years. In 1957 the tooling and rights to produce the 350cc Bullet was sold to the Madras Motorcycle Company in India, and eventually became Enfield India.
Benelli, was established in 1911, in Pesaro, Italy, when the widowed Teresa Benelli, started a bicycle and motorcycle repair business to provide stable work for her six sons, and is arguably Italy’s oldest brand still in operation.