It’s time to turn off the noise. Similar to the frog in the pot analogy, that white noise we keep in the background has increased in volume to the point that my ears are ringing! What am I referring to? I am referring to the negativity that seems to be plaguing this nation and this industry. It started before elections with accusations across both party lines and has not ceased to this day on the political side. All the while you can’t pick up a publication or have a conversation about our industry without hearing about national averages being down or about Amazon taking over the world. While numbers don’t lie, and a lot of what we are hearing is rooted in truth, it’s time to shift our focus from the negative of that which we cannot control to the positive and what is in our circle of influence.
Business, like real estate, is localized. That means the national averages that we read or hear about are just that — national averages. What is going on in your store is a function of what’s going on in your local market and, ironically, what’s going on in your store. There are locations where the atmosphere is negative: Employees are not held accountable for themselves, and there are no incentives to perform. These locations are underperforming and obviously dragging down the national averages for performance. Are you measuring yourself against that dealership? Are you performing at your absolute best, or are you happy being just a little better than that guy? Are you dragging the national average down or pulling it up?
If you are a brick and mortar store, how are you combating losses to online sales? When a customer tries on a piece of merchandise and says, “Now I know my size” and starts to walk away, what do you do? Are you throwing your hands up in the air and complaining how clueless people are? Or are you fighting for that sale, selling your dealership, staff, customer service, and helping the customer with his or her buying decision? If a customer walks away unconvinced, you have failed to help that customer buy from you. Don’t get defensive; learn from it and apply those lessons to the next sale. If you sell online, are you utilizing all of the tools available to you? What differentiates you from the thousands of other retailers? Are you redefining the online shopping experience, or are you hanging 10 riding waves?
The time has come to turn off the noise. Get up every morning and do your absolute best for the day. Focus on your circle of influence and how you can do better for your local market. I want you to hear the phrase, “Millennials are not getting into riding motorcycles” and view that as a market that is prime for growth, not an excuse of why your numbers might be down. Be an entrepreneur in the motorcycle business and not just an employee of the motorcycle business.
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: