March 8, 2010: Test rides: ‘It works’

Customers are offered a test ride on different Kissell Motorsport brand models each and every time they visit — a huge difference from the industry at-large.

The Pied Piper’s Prospect Satisfaction Index has found consumers across the nation are offered test rides less than a quarter of the time.

So why does owner Craig Kissell’s store, which carries predominantly European brands, take the other route? “It works,” he said.

Kissell recalled a recent snowy Saturday as an example. He had two couples, who were touring a number of nearby dealerships, walk into the store late that afternoon. One of the riders was looking at cruisers, but was at the time leaning toward purchasing a metric cruiser. However, a Triumph Rocket caught his eye. Kissell remembers the consumer thinking highly of the bike for its price and perceived value but decided against purchasing it because he had never ridden a Triumph. “Come back Monday and take it for a ride,” Kissell told the consumer, who agreed. “He took it for a ride and he bought it. It works.”

The multiline European brand store also performs well in another key retail sales area: asking for contact information. The store is twice as likely as the industry, which asks less than half of the time, to seek a consumer e-mail address or phone number.

“I do a lot of the greeting,” Kissell said. “I find out where (consumers are) from, how they heard about us. Are you on our mailing list? Are you a rider?

“People are not that sensitive about (providing) their e-mail address – it’s not normally a problem.”

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