This dealership’s out-of-the-box thinking has helped it succeed for the past 45 years. Reynolds Motorsports has hosted a variety of open houses with unique events to attract customers. It has also altered its product lineup to continuously suit its customer base. “We started as a two-car garage,” said Scott Lyons, managing owner. “We originally started with Ski-Doo snowmobiles and eventually took on Honda products. We were strictly a Honda dealer until 1989. We now carry Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Can-Am ATVs and the Spyders.” In the peak season, the dealership has around 30-35 employees, but with the combination of the economy and slow season, they’re down to about 15.
Reynolds Motorsports has been fighting the credit crunch like many other dealers. “The banks have tightened up,” Lyons said. “Last year we had three-four local banks that did a lot of financing with us. Two of those decided they didn’t want to do recreational product anymore. The other two banks have tightened up too. I’m getting better response from credit unions right now than the local banks.”
Cruisers have always been a strong point for the dealership. Lyons says the V Star lineup has been the strongest. “We’ve sold a lot of the 950 V Stars,” he noted.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
With a buyers’ market, Lyons says consumers are shopping harder than ever for the best deals. “The things that I have marked on sale are really attracting the customers,” he said. “They’re looking for the best value for the lowest amount of money. Some of the manufacturers have been helping with rebates that we’ve been able to take advantage of. Kawasaki has been very good with rebates this year.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Lyons has been with the dealership for 25 years and started out in the parts department. He says that department and the service department always have done well. “The employees are loyal, experienced and have been with me for a long time,” he said. “Training is always going on with them.” Lyons says they promote the service department through their Web site, using coupons and specials. “We have an e-mail blast we send out every month, which is up to 2,000 people,” he noted.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Reynolds Motorsports has taken its Web site a step further than basic dealer sites. The store made a special page geared entirely toward women riders. It has everything from female reviews and recommendations to riding tips. “I noticed the women segment growing, but nobody seemed to have anything special for them,” said Lyons. “We came up with this idea to have our own section for women riders. It’s the second year we’ve done it. I’ve had some good feedback from the women riders. They really like it. I tried to put in some things specific to them, some riding tips, maintenance or stories about other women riders. Our Web site is very important to us. I think it draws a lot of customers to our dealership.” The dealership also targets female riders by utilizing its female employee. “I have an accessory salesperson, and she’s into riding. When we get new product in, she’ll start making phone calls and just say, ‘Hey we have some new riding jackets or boots’ or whatever the product may be or send out an e-mail. It seems to get good response coming from another woman.” Reynolds Motorsports does a lot of advertising. Lyons says they probably do more than the average dealer. “We’re more rural,” he said, “so our strongest advertising tool is radio.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Join a 20 club,” Lyons said. “We’ve been with a 20 club for 25 years. We wouldn’t be successful today if we hadn’t joined a 20 club. I believe it really helps you focus on how to manage your business and how to work on problem areas. Every dealership has a problem area in their dealership, and by getting together with a 20 group, it helps you not only focus where the problem is, but also how to fix the problem. It’s definitely helped us over the years. Besides that, it’s all about keeping your name out there to the customers. Make sure you’re training your staff. Above everything, make sure the staff knows the customer is your boss.”
— Karin Gelschus
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Copyright 2010 Powersports Business