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Lack of floor traffic sinking your dealership?

September 6, 2011
Filed under Service Providers

Too many hard-working motorcycle dealerships today are holding on for survival, trying to grind out a living relying on the same number of customer “ups” in a week that they used to see on any given day. First of all, yes, you are in good company; there are plenty of other dealerships in exactly the same predicament; and yes, most would agree that you and your team didn’t cause the downturn.  On the other hand, you and your team are the ones who can change behaviors to drive success at your dealership right now.

Let’s focus on sustainable ways to drive more floor traffic. Note that I said, “sustainable,” since a one-time, budget-busting advertising blitz is probably not the long-term answer.  Here are three free or inexpensive solutions that are sustainable:

  1. Call your existing customers. All of them. Your dealership’s customer list includes thousands of customers, yet for nine dealerships out of 10 there is no process in place to regularly contact these customers. Come up with a half dozen reasons why your existing customers should visit your dealership. Examples? Check out the new model that just arrived, or a used bike just added to inventory, or an overstock sale on accessories, or a courtesy check-up provided by the service department, or demo rides (for a specific overstocked model).
  2. Introduce yourself to other motorcyclists. Hundreds of motorcyclists in your area have never been to your dealership. Print up business cards with a catchy “ad” on the reverse about what you can do for your customers. (On a tight budget? Try overnightprints.com.) Hand them out, or if a motorcycle is parked, leave your card/ad tucked in between the seat and tank.
  3. Everyone sells. Hopefully by now all of your employees understand that everyone sells. It doesn’t matter whether the employee is a tech, works in the parts department, or is the dealership bookkeeper, they know other motorcyclists, or they know others who would like to become motorcyclists. Some dealerships have success with programs that reward referrals, but the bottom line is that if the employees want to keep their jobs, the dealership needs to succeed, and selling is step one to succeeding.

Maybe the “old days” will return with plentiful floor traffic, but until they do, those who win will be the dealerships who take responsibility for driving their own floor traffic.

Comments

3 Responses to “Lack of floor traffic sinking your dealership?”

  1. Cam Arnold on September 7th, 2011 9:02 am

    How about participating in Revive Your Ride!? It is the free, industry-wide marketing program brought to you by the nearly 300 aftermarket members of the non-profit Motorcycle Industry Council. The program is designed specifically to build floor traffic for dealers and to help customers find their way to their local powersports retailer, updating their parts, accessories and gear and then back out on the road enjoying their ride.It’s simple; it’s about building consumer interest, floor traffic and sales. During the promotion periods it offers customers a chance to win money and product. Fall promotion starts October 15 through December 31. Grand prize is $10,000. Dealer incentive too. Details coming soon. See us at ProfitX. Find out more at mic.org/reviveyourride

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  2. Mark Livings on September 28th, 2011 6:38 am

    Thanks for the great information. Will put into practice

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  3. Donald Runnels on October 17th, 2011 6:51 am

    You people really have no ideal what goes on in a dealership, easy to come up with a fix when you are behind a computer. If the manufactures cannot drive in more floor traffic, most likely the dealer will have no chance. People are not looking to buy powersport toys in this economy; you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.

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