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From the Editors

What happened to web ads?

By Christopher Gerber

The year is 1994. Less than half of a percent of the people in the world have a web connection, and Netscape Navigator hasn’t been invented yet. Trying to find a way to pay for its web writers, HotWired.com comes up with the idea of reserving a place on each page for a “banner” ad.  The year is 1994, and ...

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What are you doing to get your customers excited about riding?

By Liz Hochstedler

The news hasn’t been pleasant — the MIC reported first-quarter motorcycle sales were down 13.3 percent; Harley-Davidson said its U.S. retail sales dropped 12.7 percent; in the Midwest and West, it’s still snowing. So what have you been doing while all of this has been going on? Have you been sitting on your hands whining about the weather, or have ...

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Powersports leaders continue to impress

By Liz Hochstedler

Each spring the annual question comes up at Powersports Business headquarters: Who should be named the Executive of the Year? In my third year in on the discussion, I found myself better versed in the industry and more easily able to contribute my own list of names for consideration. Several came up, and going through their accomplishments made us reflect ...

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Baseball: In Minnesota, it’s also a winter sport

By By Christopher Gerber

It’s cold in Minnesota. I should clarify: It’s unseasonably cold in Minnesota. With temperatures as low as the teens in late April, the Minnesota Twins are in a bit of a bind: A snowstorm had just passed through, dropping 3 inches around the Twin Cities, and the baseball team would be hosting the New York Mets at their new outdoor ...

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Consumer show reports are signs for optimism

By Chris Gerber

Show season has been wrapping up, and despite the worries in Washington, dealers and consumers appear to positive for a successful 2013. Consumer shows in powersports, automotive, RV and boating have shown an increase or flat attendance, but reports from exhibitors have been signaling a vastly improved selling season in 2013. Some other show reports might provide interested perspective for ...

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What are your customers saying about how you treat them?

By Liz Hochstedler

At our weekly PSB meeting the other day, the subject of customer service came up. As a magazine dedicated to informing and educating those in our industry on a variety of topics, including customer service, we’re especially aware of customer service hits and misses in our daily lives. The conversation we had Monday didn’t bode well for the businesses discussed. ...

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What a customer hears — or doesn’t hear — on the phone

By Liz Hochstedler

When customers call your dealership and get put on hold, what do they hear? Are they treated to an exuberant “Welcome to Joe Schmo’s Cycle, where we carry the greatest brands in town. Did you know most of our staff has been here 10 years or more, and they can’t wait to get you on your dream bike,” or do ...

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Don’t forget the importance of personal follow-ups

By Liz Hochstedler

In the era of email, text messaging, Facebook and Instagram, it’s easy to get lost in our own impersonal worlds. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people I’d rather email than call, or Facebook rather than meet up with in person. But all this technology has made me appreciate personal touches even more. A few weeks ago, I took my ...

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When faced with challenges, Power 15 dealers show innovation

By Liz Hochstedler

Staying in business over the past several years has not been easy, yet some dealerships have found innovative ways to not only persevere through the hard times, but to actually succeed and better their business permanently. We at Powersports Business asked some of those dealers to be part of our inaugural Power 15 class. Power 15 is an editorial honors ...

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How open are you about price?

By Liz Hochstedler

“Price” can be a dirty little word. If it weren’t for price outweighing budgets, a lot more people would own motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles and PWC. In fact, if it weren’t for price, I, along with a lot of other people, would own all of the above. Especially in a sour economy, “price” has become ugly. Most people don’t focus ...

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