January is nearly gone. Super Bowl is this weekend, and of course I want my Seahawks to take the win!
The Super Bowl has significance to our powersports retail. It means that with football over, spring is so near, and our customers want to turn their attention to riding their motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs. So we are all in a frenzy to reset the stores for the 2014 season! For me and my team at Tucker Rocky and Bikers Choice, it means getting to you and showing you the great new goods and staple items that make customers buy from you.
I would like to remind you of what our goal is, yours and mine — SELL A LOT MORE!
Some of you right now as you read this think, “Well get me more customers, and I will sell more!” Even if I could drive more customers to you, what would you do then them? Customers know what retailers are good sources for them and for what products. If you’re shrinking in P&A, but unit sales are up, you have a problem. I wish I had the power to make more people shop your store! I don’t have that; you have more power to influence customers. The question really is when is the last time you courted them and made sure that your store is relevant to their needs? Do you offer what they really want; have you ever asked them? Is your parts manager more of an inventory babysitter or a business development manager?
The strategy of most parts mangers today is (Old School):
- Get me better margins (We won’t buy that unless its 80 percent margin.)
- Keep cost down and staff cost down
- Help customers
- Display showroom
- Don’t buy too much
- Stay late and unpack that freight the shipping kid won’t do
- Sell, help staff in service, stay late come early while junior staff is on the counter texting
The strategy of a parts business development manager needs to be (Strategist):
- How are you and your team going to sell more; what is your plan?
- What products can we eliminate or add to help us turn more?
- Create more turns; think strategy.
- How are you going to promote the parts and accessories department and products; what budget will you need?
- Motivate and drive staff.
- Engage in boosting customer satisfaction.
- Be aware of the showroom’s look and feel, related to growing sales.
- Partner with brands and products to differentiate from the competition.
- Create brand spaces that draw consumers and initiate higher dwell time and engagement.
- How can you collaborate with sales department and service to create more value to consumers?
- What processes can you improve?
- What innovations can you consider to present to owners and senior managers?
- Have you done a unit sales analysis with your general manager and sales manager, so you’re aligned with new and used units sold (relevant to new unit buyers, keeping all sales in house)?
- How you can compete with other local and e-tailers? (There is a way.)
Look at this list; see if you and your team are looking into tomorrow and how your store at your scale can be that place people want to be. It can be done! Open up; put your competition hat on, and lets work together to have a 2014 season to smile about!
Jennifer Robison’s career began in 1987 when she served as a service writer/parts sales for a high-end import auto dealer before becoming one of the first generation of Harley-Davidson Motorclothes managers at a Northwest dealership (1991-2000). From 2002 on, Jennifer has been with Tucker Rocky Distributing. Jennifer has educated the Tucker Rocky sales force and dealers about the powersports apparel business and powersports retailing. Jennifer’s expertise is in powersports retailing, merchandising and display, promotions and in-store marketing. She has lectured and written about powersports retailing and continues to perform dealer educational workshops and seminars across the United States.