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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.