As I write this it is still snowing across the Midwest and Northeast and in the 30s across the Southern states; but spring is around the corner and in powersports that means stocking orders, store clean up and staffing for the season!
For this blog I will break down spring prep into 4 stages: Order, Stock, Stage and Sell.
Look over all the new product catalogs; attend the dealer shows and figure out what you need to have on hand for the huge rush of customers that will be coming in once the weather hits 50 degrees!
It is easier to sell what you stock, so stock up on the newest, coolest units, the latest apparel and accessories; the filters, lubricants and consumables everyone will need for spring prep.
The Tucker Rocky show finished up in Texas; and the Parts Unlimited show in Indianapolis had to have been a flashback to everyone that had attended Dealer Expo “back in the day”, BRP had its show in New Orleans and Polaris is in Orlando this week.
Dealer turnout looked really good to me and everyone seemed pretty excited to be at the shows, ordering accessories to fill their showroom and get the savings found in the ‘show specials.’ It has been a while since I saw such excitement; most dealers I spoke with were cautiously optimistic.
Don’t just place an initial spring order. Make sure to setup your min/max quantities in your DMS and restock the top sellers. Don’t forget to use exchange orders to rotate the items you thought would sell great but are still sitting on in 60 days.
Once you know what you are going to sell and have it on its way, you need to make a merchandising plan. Where will you be placing the product on the showroom floor when it arrives? What focal points will you create with units and accessories? What planograms will you need to allow for easy re-order and restock? What products should be placed near each other to make the most of potential up-sells? Did you get any new POP displays? Plan it out and make the showroom look great!
Don’t stop at the showroom; your customers use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Make sure you plan to promote your wares on all these platforms, and don’t forget your website. All the major website providers allow dealer customization – use it!
I’m not talking about ‘order taking,’ where the parts guy cashiers the ticket when a customer brings something to the counter; not talking about the service writer scheduling an oil change when a customer calls for an appointment; or the salesman that matches the nearby dealer’s ‘best price’: I’m talking about SELLING!
Parts should be upselling everyone that comes to the counter or calls in; tear offs with the googles; smoke shield with the helmet; oil with the filter, maybe even an air filter.
Increase average lines per ticket and average ticket amount — every dollar increased on the invoice pushes gross to the bottom line.
Service should be doing walk-around inspections, recommending needed repairs; scheduling the next service when this one is complete and cold calling the sales customers that bought units last year. Get them in the store for the first service and they will keep coming back.
Sales should be selling the spiff units; getting customers to test drives units they have never ridden before, promoting the units they have in stock and maximizing every up they get.
Spring is around the corner; the first step to success is making a plan to be successful; adjust it as needed and execute it.
Best of luck!
Mike Jackson has been in the powersports industry for over 25 years: working in e-commerce sales, b2b development, supply-chain management, dealership CFO & CTO, as well as CEO of a third-party logistics operation. He recently launched MotorcycleDealer.com as the most comprehensive destination for locating dealers, vehicles and parts. In his blog Mike hopes to share some of the lessons and practices he has learned over the past 25 years, so other dealers, distributors and manufacturers can grow their business by developing WIN-WIN relationships with their customers and suppliers.
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