With more than 40 years of dealership experience, Bob Weaver knows what it takes to be successful. For the last 10 years at the dealership that bears his name, Weaver has taken a hands-on approach to running his business in western New York.
“I don’t want people leaving here being blasé about the experience,” said Weaver, whose dealership has been named a Power 15 dealership by Power-sports Business. “I want them to leave here and say, ‘That’s the best dealership I’ve ever been to.’ Everybody that works here understands that.”
According to Weaver, pre-owned units have become a big seller at the dealership.
“With the prices on everything new, there’s been a tremendous amount of people looking for used,” he said. “Good used has been a plus for us. We acquire all winter long and we have product to sell in the summertime.”
Weaver said he prefers low-mileage vehicles.
“I prefer something that has less than 10,000 miles on it always,” he explained. “We do a little bit of everything — cruisers, sport bikes, dirt bikes, ATVs, watercraft and snowmobiles.”
It’s always best to do what works, not what others think works. That’s how Weaver handles his F&I department.
“All of my sales people are empowered to do the F&I themselves,” he explained. “I like it when the customer can deal with one person from start to finish. I don’t like when it’s busy, in the busy season, making somebody wait. We’re in a society of immediate gratification. If they have to wait, they’re not going to be a happy customer.
Helmets and apparel offer a strong selection, but that’s standard operating procedure for Weaver.
“Anything a motorcyclist needs, we have,” Weaver said. “Same is true with ATVs, snowmobiles and watercraft. We don’t treat any one segment of our business as being not as important as the other.”
Weaver explained that Castle and Icon have been strong sellers in apparel, but it is the helmets that carry a good profit margin.
“In New York State, helmets are required to ride so I find the helmet is something you don’t have to discount much,” he said.
With a service department that has eight bays, five technicians, a service manager and a service writer, Weaver is set up for success. He has divided service and set-up into two separate departments to keep the flow more efficient.
The set-up department includes a set-up manager and two technicians. Weaver says the arrangement has worked extremely well since he made the decision to split it from service.
“The machines are always ready, cleaned, shiny, fully gassed and ready to go,” Weaver said. “That makes a huge difference for the salesperson and for the customer.”
In turn, it has made the service department more profitable.
“[Service is] not working for the sales department, so you’re making true dollars,” Weaver explained.
“You have to market your business,” Weaver said. “You can’t sit back. You have to advertise and you have to pick the type of advertising that you like the best.”
Weaver is also a proponent of events.
“Any kind of event is a good event,” Weaver said. “Anything you can do to reach a customer, that’s definitely beneficial.”
Weaver has also used social media, particularly Facebook, and has put an emphasis on keeping his website fresh with new content.
“What I tell anyone young that’s starting out, the No. 1 word they need to learn is ‘No,’” Weaver said. “I’m very serious when it comes to that. When they say you have to take something, you tell them ‘I don’t.’ There are some things you need to do to participate and be a franchise dealer, but you don’t always have to be forced to take stuff. Inventory management starts with the word ‘No.’”
What attracts employees to the dealership?
“They come because we’re a bigger, more modern facility if they’ve never been in here before,” Weaver said. “Then once they get here and see how everyone is and that we get along well and do things together, they realize it’s like a big family. We just try to treat everyone like family.”
Location: North Tonawanda, NY
# of Locations: 1
Full-time employees: 25
Year founded: 2002
Principal/Owner: Bob Weaver
OEM brands: Yamaha, Polaris