In Economics 101, I learned when demand increases, price increases. I also learned when demand decreases, so does supply, which often results in labor cutbacks. I know, genius, right? However a dealer I recently spoke with doesn’t believe in subjecting his business to these basic economic laws.
Wilkins Harley-Davidson Co-owner and General Manager John Lyon refuses to raise unit prices even if they can’t keep the bikes in stock. He’s a firm believer in price consistency. After years in business, his customers have taken notice, and some have reached the point where they don’t even ask for the price because they know the dealer will always be fair. The result has been an incredible repeat customer base and extremely strong word of mouth advertising.
If price consistency is what it’s going to take for customers to keep coming back, then this is the route we need to take to get through this tough economic time. We need to rethink some of the traditional concepts we learned in Econ 101, and cater exactly to what the customer wants, even if that means not raising prices in times when we can get away with it. If we can manage that, like Wilkins Harley-Davidson has done, word of mouth will spread like wild fire and business will flourish.
Lyon’s untraditional business practices have led him to nearly double sales in the past four years. The dealership had its best year in 2009 when countless others were failing. Plus, they’re the No. 1-ranked Harley-Davidson dealer in New England for customer service and has been for the past decade.
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