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Your partners are listening, so speak up

By Liz Keener

Liz KeenerAs I’ve been attending shows and writing stories lately, the theme that keeps coming up is, “We’re listening.”

So many aftermarket suppliers lately have been explaining their new product, package, POP, or SKUs by saying that they listened to the dealers, and they made changes. And every time that brings a smile to my face.

We’re all in this game together, and if dealers don’t succeed, most OEMs, aftermarket companies and service providers won’t either.

Let’s look at a few examples. Yoshimura, which was featured in our September issue, developed a new franchise kit that packages a number of its performance products together, so dealers can more easily sell them as a full kit, making a larger profit than they would on just on exhaust, for example.

Then there was Street FX, which will be featured in our November issue mailing next week. The company realized it was asking a lot of dealers by carrying nearly 30 SKUs of its light strips, so the employees found a way to develop color-changing strips to drops those SKUs down to a handful.

Another example is Power Rail, which was featured in October. Sure, Southern Audio Services originally conceived of the rail as a way to get its Bazooka speakers easily installed on an ATV or side-by-side, but through the development process, the company discovered that by fitting the rail to accept nearly any 12-volt accessory, dealers could increase their sales on multiple products from a variety of brands.

A few companies, such as Caliber and Great Day, Inc., have improved their packaging, making the product more appealing to customers, so dealers who may have busy staffs can hopefully continue to make P&A sales, even when they don’t have a ton of time to interact with each customer.

The moral of the story is that most vendors realize they are partners, and they want to help the dealer succeed. If you have an idea about how they can help you, share it. There’s a decent chance other dealers feel the same way, and the vendor would be happy to make some tweaks to improve their partnership with you.

Liz Keener is the managing editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She assembles the brand’s three-times-a-week e-news and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis, Power 50 dealership honors program and dealership conference, Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo.

Contact: lkeener@powersportsbusiness.com
Website: www.powersportsbusiness.com

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