Most new female pilots of their own motorcycle, ATV or other powersport vehicle first started as a backseat rider. It’s easier, and costs less in marketing spend, to get a woman already familiar with your brand and product to move up. These three tips show how to encourage — but not bully — her to take control and ride her own.
Remember the first time you tried something new? If you haven’t recently, get out there and try! It will help you understand these key concerns for first-timers …
- How do I learn? Make sure info on courses is prominent throughout your store, in marketing and salespeople talk it up. For motorcycle dealers, link to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation site. For ATV courses, suggest ATV Safety Institute, which also has online courses.
- What gear do I need? If she’s already a passenger, most likely she has most of the gear she needs. Tell her that sassy jacket and sexy boots may look good, but they need to be functional, or she won’t enjoy the experience.
- How do I pick up a motorcycle? When we drove 25,000 women into dealerships in one month during the first integrated Garage Party Campaign, I think the “bike pick-up” station was the most popular. See the video on Harley’s site or by Skert, the original pioneer, at Pinkribbonrides.com. Find a local woman to do this on Saturdays out front. A dropped bike attracts a lot of attention, and a petite lady picking it up raises eyebrows — in a good way!
Tell her about other women who’ve successfully moved to the front and wish they’d done it sooner. In my last article, Goldmine: Girls with Grit, I mention using relatable Role Models with inspiring stories. Promote articles from the dozens of stories at Womenridersnow.com. Even better, use examples of local customers who’ve overcome fears and feature them on your website, social media or via email.
Invite excitement and discovery
Plan an event to show her “The front feels fantastic!” Encourage current customers (men and women) to invite two female friends. Some ladies feel more comfortable in a women-only environment, so keep that in mind if you do an event that includes both genders. If you have experienced folks and newbies, consider separate activities. Existing customers (or salespeople) can dominate the conversation and be intimidating sometimes.
Promote the event through all marketing avenues, but don’t start the week before! Women need time to plan and bring friends. Consider radio if you can get a local female DJ to come who’s interested in going solo, or already rides her own.
- Some women may not need as much convincing or may be more comfortable learning alongside guys. Millennial women seem to exude a “Yeah, I can do that!” attitude more often than Gen X-ers or Boomers. I’m sure Title IX had something to do with that, and it’s exciting to see!
- Don’t push her. Ever. And don’t let guys in her life try to get her to go solo before she’s ready. Other women are more relatable and better at convincing her to try it.
- These tips will help you inspire those women already close to your brand. You should still work on bringing in new customers, but start with low-hanging fruit, especially if you have limited budget or time.
A rider for 24 years, Leslie spent 15 years with Harley-Davidson (three retail, 12 corporate) and created their marketing to women role in 2007. She spearheaded Women Riders Month and a Garage Party Campaign which drove 25,000 women to dealers. After two years at Trek Bicycles, Leslie now helps companies sell more to women.
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