Most dealership owners have figured out they need to sell their dealership to customers and not just sell the products carried by their dealership. On the other hand, the facts say that most salespeople are focused solely on selling a product and not the dealership. In fact, when we recently measured nationwide how often a motorcycle salesperson gave compelling reasons to buy from their dealership, we found that it happened only 34 percent of the time. Two times out of three there was no mention of why buying from this dealership was a better idea than buying somewhere else. The focus was solely on product.
What about the master technicians in your shop, the customer track days or dual sport rides, the trips to Moto GP races or Supercross tickets, or your wide-ranging accessories department? What makes your dealership different? If it's easy for you to answer that question, then it's probably also easy for a customer to choose your dealership over another one.
Encourage your salespeople to sell not only the product, but also their dealership, and the end result will be customers who choose to purchase based on your dealership's advantages rather than its price tags.
Differentiation is of course, always good, but how do you differentiate yourself in a small start-up dealership? We don't do track days (no tracks), MotoGP and Supercross is a long ways from here, and expensive to get to, plus our product lines don't support that kind of activity. We don't have time for group rides (one day off a week as it is) and one salesman, and the parts tech and service tech are dirt guys and don't care for the street (no dirt line). I rarely see any advice for new small operations with little funding - might be nice to see a series of articles aimed at this particular segment of the industry.
Use your small size to your advantage, brag about personal service from the owner or G.M., When customers call or come in they always know who they are dealing with and you know them (by name?). I bought my first new bike from a small shop that every time I went in the owner waited on me and always knew my name. I was a loyal customer until he sold out to a large chain that did not know me and did not care. If you are a street dealer and have a team that "don't care for the street" that is a reflection on the whole dealership, you need to fix that. Make time for that Saturday or Sunday dinner ride, make it fun, arrange a private room with a place ahead of time. Invite couples (remember who has the purse). Above all make sure personal service is your policy 24/7 and tolerate nothing less.
Of course these are just opinions and we all know what they say about opinions.........