Valentine's Day is still visible in the rear view mirror and the emotion most associated with it is love. This holiday asks us to take some time out of our busy schedules to celebrate our love with those most important to us. What about our business?
There is no doubt we are in an emotionally driven business. Our customers keep coming back for the emotional fix that powersports provides; serenity, joy, interest and a myriad of others. It is our job to reinforce those feelings with our current customers and relay them the best we can to prospects when selling the experience. It’s important that we eliminate our head trash that prevents us from being an enthusiastic salesperson and stay focused on the positive. I know this is tough, especially in an election year, but it is absolutely necessary if you want to be the shop that people come to in order to escape the drama. It just so happens that subsequently they spend their dollars escaping at your store instead of going down the road where they may have another salesperson dumping their own negative thoughts and robbing the customer of their escape.
Now that we talked about the emotions in the selling process, how about the other aspects of our business? Are there certain aspects of your business that could do better but your emotional attachment is hindering them? Is there a certain brand that you love to sell but you know that another brand would be a better fit? Is there a look to your store that you love, but maybe is not conducive to a modern, positive shopping experience? I am sure that there is and rest assured you are not alone. The downside of being in an emotionally driven business is that we sometimes let our emotions drive our business decisions. The numbers may tell us one thing, but based on a personal bias or preference we may do another. The classic heart/brain dilemma.
We may be influenced by a personal relationship with who is selling us the product. Maybe our own experience with a certain product is a driving force. How about a negative experience that brings up bad emotions when we associate with a person/company/product? All of these factors and more can be used for good or evil. They can be used to help relay our own emotion into a product when we are selling it by means of an anecdote or experience which is an important aspect of selling. Or they can act as a bias for when we shy away from selling another. Our job is to identify that they exist, and then with our business hat on determine if the emotional attachment is helping you or hurting you in each specific instance.
Emotion is the driving force of this business. Customers are coming through your door in order to facilitate whatever emotion it is that they feel when they are on their powersports vehicle. The feeling of freedom riding their cruiser, nailing that gap on their dirt bike, hanging with friends at a sport bike night or cresting the summit of a mountain on their ATV/UTV are all examples of what our customers may be chasing. Our job is to reinforce those emotions and suggest other products that can add to their experience, but to be careful to not let our own emotional bias negatively affect the products we sell, our business and ultimately our customer's valuable experience.
I would love to see some comments below with your own experiences and how your emotion played a positive or negative role in a process in your store. Thank you for reading!
Napoleon Tetreault is a sales representative with Tucker Rocky, an aftermarket PG&A distributor in the powersports industry. He works with powersports retailers on merchandising, profitability and management of the parts department as well as the education of dealership personnel. His experience includes being the GM of the largest indoor motocross facility in the US, owner/operator of a regional distribution company and current role with Tucker Rocky. He can be reached at: