Should you question your best salesperson’s priorities?

Every dealership has a top-performing salesperson, selling more motorcycles than anyone else; maybe selling more than two or three other salespeople combined. We know that between seven and nine out of 10 new motorcycle shoppers walk back out the door without buying, and ironically your best salesperson may drive more of these potential customers away from your dealership than anyone else.

Salespeople are typically paid on commission, and the best salespeople often learn to quickly “size-up” a shopper to determine whether the shopper is likely to buy today. Or stated another way, they decide whether the shopper is likely to put commission money into their pocket today. If not, the best salespeople will be courteous, but they often won’t want to spend a half hour devoted to a shopper who isn’t ready to buy, since to do so might mean missing the next “up” who might be ready to buy today.

But is that approach best for the dealership? Clearly what’s best for the dealership is to try to sell a motorcycle today. But it’s also important to sell the dealership and the brand too, so that the shopper eventually will buy from this dealership, and also will tell others about the dealership. The end result will be more total sales for the dealership.

To be fair, there are plenty of excellent motorcycle salespeople out there who do have their priorities aligned with the dealership, and already sell both the product and the dealership.

What happens at your dealership?


  1. I have had this happen to me as a consumer, i have a dealer within 20 miles of my home, i spent 1/2 an hour wandering around the sales room floor before i got fed up and left. I now travel 40 miles and across a state line to another dealership to do my business. I’m even willing to deal with the extra “out of state” stuff rather than ever going back to the local place. That first experience was 3 ATVs and 2 scooters ago!

  2. You got ignored which is terrible. Equally bad is that I don’t like dealing with those very slick salespeople who I can tell are trying to quickly determine if I’m ready to buy today. They are so phony and really turns me off to deal with those types. I always feel like they are never giving me honest advice — only telling me what they think will get me to buy today.

    I also have a guitar hobby and my favorite stores to buy from are the ones that let me come in and play and never ask me what I’m going to buy today. Those are the stores that I enjoy to visit and inevitably buy the most goods from. I guess this would be like the Starbucks approach to business — make the customer like to visit the store and they’ll stay longer give you better word-of-mouth, and in the end buy more.

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