I count myself as one pretty lucky fellow. I have the great fortune to be able to meet and talk to a lot of wonderful people. I get to interact with dealers from all over the country, share information and ideas and pass it all on to others that can use it. Sharing ideas and mentoring others is something to embrace, and I relish the responsibility.
I was really struck by this during a couple of impromptu dealer visits a few weeks ago. These visits were just about looking at two dealerships that were totally different in look and feel. Both made me remember why I got into this industry, along with why I’ve stayed in it.
The first was a multi-line dealership that took my image of what powersports dealerships should be to a whole other level. This has nothing to do about practices. This is about the visual experience, the presentation. This is a statement about where we can go if our desires push us to believe in dreams.
I was blown away at the scale of what had been created, with the dealership anchoring it: A museum that was visually stunning. A restaurant, Zagat rating of 22! The restaurant walls were adorned with vintage pieces of different motorcycles that long ago stopped being part of something we would ride. Throw in a high-end hotel for good measure and you have your 21st century motorcycle dealership. It was so cool.
As I left, there was this overwhelming sense of pride in the industry that chose me to be a part of it so many years ago.
Next, in complete contrast but equally perfect, was a dealership that’s been around since time began. I walked through the doors, and I could feel the history. I closed my eyes and could smell the past. This dealership also had a museum, and as I walked through it I was taken back to days of Gary Nixon and Kenny Roberts. Motorcycles ridden by the greats of our past were all there.
This was “old school,” and what a great old school it was. I was like a kid in the candy store as I was shown around. I was told stories that took me way back. And I was reminded that many of the ways we used to do things still work today, and that the past is still part of our future.
It’s our charge, generation to generation, parents to children, teachers to students, to impart what we’ve learned. Wisdom guides knowledge, and we empower others’ abilities and desires for growth. We then pass on the responsibility of carrying that torch to the next generation. It’s amazing how much information we all have tucked away, and just as amazing as what we can do with it.
To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it more fit for its prime function of looking forward. ~- Margaret Fairless Barber
Mark Mooney is director, retail performance for Pied Piper Management Company LLC, a Monterey, Calif., company that works with motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers to maximize performance of dealerships. One of Pied Piper’s most popular services for the powersports industry is Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) sales mystery shopping to help turn more motorcycle shoppers into motorcycle buyers.