The warm, friendly atmosphere that is presented at dealerships within the Logan Powersports Group drives all sales, according to principal Mike Ratz, a second-generation owner of the family business.
“That, and the fact that customers are greeted and approached when they enter the door,” said Ratz, whose group has been named a member of the inaugural Powersports Business Power 15. “You have to make them know that you appreciate them coming to your store. If you don’t do that, you can’t work here.”
The LPG flagship dealership is Logan Motorcycle Sales in Logan, W.Va. In addition, the group includes Keefer’s Quality Vehicle Sales in Logan, Route 119 Powersports in Danville and Hatfield McCoy Power Sports in Belfry, Ky.
The Logan store layout provides each sales manager a view of the front door and the entire showroom.
“You want your sales manager to be able to see what’s going on,” Ratz said.
Ratz goes so far as to have his sales staff confirm a greeting in the CRM.
“We have our own greeting, and they can tweak it a little, but it’s basically ‘Welcome to Logan Motorcycle Sales, I’m Mike, and you are? ...’ so that the customer responds and we get on a first-name basis with them immediately.”
Logan has rebounded nicely from a 25 percent drop in business from 2008-09, with continuous record years ever since.
Ratz relies heavily on new unit sales as a revenue stream.
“Our pre-owned purchases are mostly off the street or trade-in, but we’re not a big, big pre-owned business,” he said. “Our numbers are driven from new.”
Thanks to an assist from an F&I consultancy, Ratz has found menu ordering a boost to sales.
“We’re 100 percent, all-the-time menu,” Ratz said. “It’s the only way we do it. And we audit each deal jacket to see what worked and what didn’t.”
Logan’s growth in F&I has been exceptional.
“Every year over the past five years we’ve grown in F&I, and it’s been 20 percent or more each year,” Ratz said. “Last year was unreal, and this year we’re over last year by 10-15 percent.”
Ratz targets education as the reason for the growth.
“Not just education, but continuous education,” he said. “I’m big on education. I owe my employees two things — the tools to do the job and all the education they can get. If I know there’s educational classes, I’ll take everybody out there I can get. There’s only so much I can get here in Logan, you know!”
Ratz estimates 15-20 percent year-over-year growth the past the past three years in PG&A.
“A lot of that is driven by the side-by-side business — tops, windshields, rock sliders,” Ratz said. “ATV and motorcycle riders don’t buy the accessories like UTV riders do. We’ve seen continuous strong profit growth in it, with profit margins staying around 35-40 percent, where it should be.”
Ratz says Polaris claims the largest share of OEM PG&A. “The Polaris unit buyer wants genuine Polaris stuff,” Ratz said. “It’s like a cult.”
Service sales are up in all four stores, but Ratz says those numbers could be even higher if he could hire more technicians. A newly hired group-wide parts and service director helped increase production and efficiency in the department.
“We got the right people in the right place, and put in the right processes,” Ratz said. “Our labor hours are way up. With one person dedicated to it, it’s made a difference.”
The Hatfield-McCoy National Trailfest in October provides Logan with an annual boost in traffic from customers from outside the area. A 40-foot vendor trailer greets Logan fans at the event.
“If a guy’s on vacation here to ride, he gets top priority for service,” Ratz said. “We want him back on the trail, enjoying his time in our area and with us. We have a lot of repeat out-of-state buyers who wait to come to Hatfield-McCoy just to do business with us.”
An off-road poker run for the Mud Buddies charity also was a hit in its debut.
Ratz says that staying abreast of buying trends helps him guide his purchases.
“We look at trends, in terms of when certain product sales are up and when they’re down,” he said. “It allows us to get a better understanding of how deep, and what products, we should be looking at.”
What attracts employees to your dealership?
“I think one thing they see when they come here is the long-term commitment of our staff,” Ratz said. “Six of our employees have been here over 25 years, and a bunch more are over 10 years.”
Location: Logan, WV
# of Locations: 4
Full-time employees: 82
Year founded: 1961
Principal/Owner: Mike Ratz
OEM brands: Arctic Cat, CFMOTO, E-ton, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, Polaris, Suzuki, Yamaha