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Harley dealers boast effective selling; what about other brands’ dealers?

2012 Pied Piper PSI results for the U.S. motorcycle industry confirm that Harley-Davidson dealerships sell as effectively in 2012 as they did back in 2008 — pre-recession — when motorcycle dealerships nationwide were still enjoying another year of solid sales. But what about the dealerships that sell Honda, Triumph, Kawasaki, or any of the other brands? Many of these dealerships operate in 2012 with half the dealership staff that they had in 2008. How effectively could they possibly sell today compared to 2008?

It took the Harley-Davidson dealerships four years for their Pied Piper PSI score measuring sales effectiveness to climb back up to their 2008 level; a performance that in 2012 leads the industry. In contrast, while the 2012 PSI averages for all other brands trail Harley-Davidson, the improvement for all other brands from 2008 to 2012 is much greater.

That’s right, despite of — or maybe because of — the tough times and smaller dealership staffs, dealerships selling the non-Harley-Davidson brands on average sell more effectively in 2012 than they did in 2008. Leading the way, with the most improvement, are the dealer networks selling Husqvarna, Triumph, Aprilia, Yamaha, KTM, Moto Guzzi and Honda.

Some examples? The typical Honda salesperson in 2012 introduced him or herself to a prospect 78 percent of the time and asked for the sale 52 percent of the time. Yes, there is plenty more room for improvement, but in 2008 those figures were 59 percent and 44 percent respectively.

So take a moment to congratulate yourselves on improving how motorcycles are sold at your dealership. … Now back to work pushing those improvements even further.

For more on the Pied Piper PSI results, see the next issue of Powersports Business.

Fran O’Hagan is president & CEO of Pied Piper Management Company LLC, a Monterey, California company that works with motor vehicle manufacturers and dealers to maximize performance of dealer networks. One of Pied Piper’s most popular services for the powersports industry is Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) sales mystery shopping to help turn more motorcycle shoppers into motorcycle buyers.


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