BY NAPOLEON TETREAULT
Spring is a time of rebirth, renewal in nature. It’s also a time that most of us in powersports business’ look forward to. The end of the winter drought for many in the northern states, the awakening of motorcycles that were put away last fall and the changing of the seasons into better riding weather. New riders will be walking through your door as well as riders who haven’t seen your store in months. But beware — from what I am seeing in my travels, many have missed the memo that we need to renew as well. Read on to see if you fall into this category.
Showroom — Tis the season for a deep clean. Pull out your displays, take jackets off the wall, move helmet boxes, etc. You need to clean all walls and areas that we tend to miss during the season as well as those that are well used. Speaking of displays, lets freshen those up. Whether it be a brand new floor display to house some existing product or simply changing up the showroom, you need to be dynamic with your displays. How about we freshen up our digital footprint while you are at it? Update google images, 360° views, facebook data, yelp info and all digital platforms you may be on. Do this right after your showroom reset so you can capture that fresh new look. The goal here is not only to capture customer’s attention, but recapture customers who haven’t been in in a while and re-engage a customer who is in often.
Inventory — I get it, I’m biased. I work for an aftermarket PG&A distributor, so my existence in this business world is to help you to move more PG&A. But I still have a job because it works. Congratulations, you got your OEM oil and filter order in — this does not mean you are ready for the season. How about the oil mixture bottles so your customer can properly measure? What about the Grunge brushes to go with your chain cleaner? You need to think like a really good ecommerce website and for every staple or stock item have several upsells that you can suggest when your customer comes in. Not only are you driving sales, but you are helping your customers and building value for your dealership.
Employees — Are you and your sales staff ready to go? Have you taken advantage of any vendor training? Sales training? Have you taken your vacations during the off season and come back refreshed and ready to tackle the retail customer again? Retail is a tough game and your salespeople are on the frontlines doing a tough job. On top of that, we sell fun, so its even more important that we have a positive attitude and are upbeat. Make sure that you are aware of all programs, as manufacturers are pushing more creative ways of moving their products and earning the consumer’s dollars. Missing a program may mean the difference between you looking like a hero and earning a sale — or your competition doing it.
If you are reading this article and checking boxes in your head then congratulations — you did a good job this winter of doing what you need to do in order to keep things fresh. If you laid off your staff this winter or just didn’t have the time to get this done you are not too late. It has been said that the more a soldier sweats in peacetime the less he bleeds in war. Put the work in now so you can spring into action these coming weeks and fight for those sales!
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 U.S., owner/operator of a regional distribution company and current role with Tucker Rocky. He can be reached at: