Dealernews Blogs

Tuesday, November 25 2014

In the "Accselleration” column in the December issue of Dealernews, I chastise dealership operators who aren’t using a customer relationship management system for still trying to run a business in the 20th century.

That may have been harsh, but I wasn’t kidding.

Tuesday, November 18 2014

GAINING A CUSTOMER'S TRUST should be your top priority. You can’t sell something to someone who doesn’t trust you, right? That’s why I provide nine ways to establish trust in this month’s Accselleration column.

Monday, November 17 2014

Dear Grandma & Grandpa,

Friday, October 17 2014

THERE IS AN OLD ADAGE that you can never be too rich or too thin. A recent Harris poll has Americans choosing richer vs. thinner, 43 percent to 21 percent, both of which are apparently much less important than smarter, which came in at 14 percent, just a tick higher than younger, at 12 percent.

Thursday, October 16 2014

The 2014 Dealernews Top 100 Dealers have demonstrated extraordinary abilities as powersports retailers. And I’ll bet that each of those businesses has a strong service department. More than just a place to service, repair and enhance vehicles, the service department is the backbone of a successful dealership, attracting, retaining and cultivating clientele.

Thursday, October 16 2014


I hope y’all are doing swell up there in Heaven. I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last letter. We have been really busy here at Strokers Dallas. Fall is finally here and it’s cooling down some. We actually slow down in the summer when it’s 100 degrees every day. But now it’s fall, which is good, except I know the ugly winter won’t be far behind and I don’t like that at all. It seems like Nov. 1 is the slow down day and I’m not sure why. I think maybe because that’s when people start thinking about the holidays.

Thursday, October 16 2014

TRUST IS A word that so many sales professionals have a hard time grasping. And it is something you need if you want to close more sales, faster.

For peak-performing salespeople, selling is not combative, antagonistic or adversarial. Things like, “I got him,” or “He’s a lay down,” or “I buried that guy,” are indicators of someone who participates in what I call “gotcha selling,” which will get you in the end. It shortens your career, diminishes your customers’ experience and hurts profitability. Selling shouldn’t be something you do to your customers.  

Thursday, October 16 2014

Google motorcycle and tell me what you see.

Pages upon pages — man injured, passenger thrown, fatal crash, the list goes on. The industry has a perception problem and it is rooted in reality.

Tuesday, October 14 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Doris Schumacher doesn’t do anything halfway. She climbed, terrified, onto the back of her husband’s bike in 2009. Less than a year later, she had her motorcycle license and her own bike.

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.