Clinton County Motorsports
6002 U.S. Hwy 68 North
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
Facebook: Clinton County Motorsports
Dave Copsey, Jason Adkins, Dale Adkins
The passion for riding was and still is great among the three owners. They always knew they wanted to open a dealership, which they did in the fall of 2002 as a single-line Yamaha dealership. “We opened in a smaller operation about 3,500 square feet, not knowing what we were getting into,” said Jason Adkins, part owner. “At first there was only Jason selling and Dave wrenching. At that time Dave was working out of an old barn we joke about now that had holes in the wall you could throw a cat through. It was about eight months when we realized Yamaha was right, and we started the search for a larger location.” They moved and expanded a few miles away, and later in 2008, they expanded again, which is now 27,000 square feet. During the years, the dealership also picked up Kawasaki and KTM. “With both Suzuki and Polaris knocking down our door, we chose not to pursue them as we were still very green and didn’t want to overwhelm ourselves,” said Adkins. “At that time we felt Kawasaki had a good offsetting mix to the product already offered by Yamaha, and KTM was more about a passion for us as we’ve always been knuckle busters.”
The rising price patterns of the OEMs concern Adkins. “They get carried away with technological advancements creating a unit that cannot be retailed due to being priced right out of the ballgame,” he said. “To me, riding should not have to be 60 payments away from ownership.
People just need an affordable escape from everyday. If they cannot afford our industry, then they’ll get their fix somewhere else.”
Anything preowned is in high demand for Clinton County Motorsports. “Currently our focus is anything preowned and OEM auction units,” said Adkins.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“To us the only trend out there is where the customer saves the most money,” said Adkins. “One of the areas that has really caused this is the loss of 8,000 jobs due to DHL Shipping pulling out of Wilmington after only being here for a very short period of time.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
The attitude of the dealership’s employees is extremely important to the store’s bottom line. “The first and most important thing is that we sell an experience and not a repair or service,” said Copsey. “The more enjoyment we can give a customer through their riding experience, the more they’ll ride and the more valuable that customer is to us.” In the service department, the three technicians, full-time service writer and part-time service writer take pride in their work and the workplace, comments Copsey. “People should enjoy working with our service department. Too many times we hear of negative situations in service departments that is just not necessary,” he said. “We also strive to do the majority of our service work while the customer waits. If a unit is sitting at our facility waiting to be worked on, it means the customer cannot be riding it.” Although the service department and hard parts sales are fairly strong this year, the add-on items are nearly non-existent compared to a couple years ago, notes Copsey. “We have tried numerous methods to advertise our parts and service departments,” he said, “but have yet to be satisfied with the results of those efforts.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Events, events and more events are the dealership’s No. 1 marketing tool. “We are firm believers that it’s face-to-face contact that makes you successful,” said Adkins. “We do three weeks of county fairs, as many local events and rallies as possible, and we even cross-market. All winter long we’re attending boat shows, camping shows, RV shows all over.” It’s important to note this tactic isn’t going to be successful if a dealer only does it once or twice, says Adkins. “We’ve been doing this for eight years, attending shows. Yes, after awhile you start seeing the same people and getting to know their names, and what is that? That’s a relationship. They’ll tell their friends, and they’ll think of you next time they need something. To make a show/event successful, you, the owner/principal/manager, have to be there completely dedicated.” Besides going to other events, Clinton County Motorsports hosts many of its own events. At the minimum, the dealership has six events a year, not including free motorcycle rides every third Saturday of the month — rain or shine. “We always leave in the morning and are back for a free cookout at the dealership,” said Adkins. “It’s amazing watching the people hang out, talk with each other and walk around. When the customers talk to other customers, we call it third-party selling. Very low pressure is our key to success and very CSI driven.” This year the dealership is hosting a Spring Kick-Off Open house, Easter Egg Hunt and cook out, Demo Day and Fathers Day Hog Roast, Christmas in July, and in September the dealership is trying something new. “We’re taking an event to an off-road park to try to capture more of that market by being in the dirt with them,” said Adkins. “Lastly, we finish up the year with a Spooktober Fest. Those are our themes. Changing up the events each year within the theme keeps them coming back.”
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Love thy customer. They are all you have,” Adkins said. “Fire those customers that fire you up. Don’t let someone drain you and your staff. It’s bad for business.”Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2010 Powersports Business