PowerSports Business

PowerSports Business - June 15, 2015

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SOLUTIONS 26 • June 15, 2015 • Powersports Business www.PowersportsBusiness.com "So Sam, I had a cus- tomer come in and wanted to know if he could come by in the mornings to help us push out bikes. What an idiot." That actu- ally happened. A 20-plus year sales manager actually said that to me. To which my response was, "Remember when you thought pushing bikes out was cool?" When did pushing bikes become not cool? When did showing a guy a bike become not cool? When did calling back that service cus- tomer become not cool? Somewhere along the way we forgot that our actions literally change lives. To that guy, the Ninja 300 is the coolest bike ever made. The H-D Street 500 is his gate- way drug into Harley. And the V-Strom? Don't get me started. Because to the guy buying each of these units, he is in Fantasyland, and you are Santa Claus. No, the hardest part of the job isn't your sales process. It isn't navigating your CRM, and it isn't negotiating the deal. The hardest part of the job is doing it over and over and over again. Repetition. For owners, why does a manufacturer have to come out with a new model to keep you fired up? At the time of this writing, Harley- Davidson is down 1,260 units YTD. Go a little deeper, and you'll find that it's the touring models that are stale. "The Rushmore product came out last year, and now people don't have anything to get excited over," a dealer told me. Nothing to get excited over? That guy's been waiting his entire life to buy a Harley-David- son, and you think he's less excited that it's the same model as last year? Are you kidding me? Remember how pumped you were in 2006 when the Street Glide first launched? Where did that go? Repetition. For managers, you constantly struggle with mid-season turnover of staff, and you get frus- trated. Do you realize how many people would love to have a career in the motorcycle indus- try? (Deloitte Shift Index claims that 80 percent of people currently hate their jobs.) Yet you tell me that, "Good people are hard to find." No, they aren't! They're hard to find when you reactively wait until you need one. Job No. 1 of a manager is recruit. Recruiting your first team was a great joy for you, but maybe you're now on team number 23? Repetition. For front line staff, remember how excited you were to get a job at a motorcycle dealership? Remember telling your spouse how you "can't believe" you get to work there? And then, after a few seasons of bike nights, rainy Saturdays and long workweeks, you're just spent. Why? Because you're human. Repetition. If you believe you are employed to react to customers, ask questions and hope they buy something, you probably think you are doing just fine. But the job of educating the customer and hoping they will buy has been filled by another employee. His name is "The Internet." Take a page from Harley-Davidson. Ever notice how most Harley enthusiasts didn't start on a Harley? They bounced around between different metric brands, one day landing on a Harley. Ever notice how most never leave the brand once they find it? Must be because Harleys are the fastest motor- cycles. Oh that's right; they are not. Most reliable? Nope. Best performing? No, sir. Most cost effective? Not even close. Harley- Davidson has the market share it has because it's better than any other motorcycle brand at creating emotion with its devoted following. Harley-Davidson does that through advertis- ing campaigns (Stick it To The Man and No Cages) that generate feelings, not the latest bike technology. Ever wonder what it would be like for a customer to bounce around between salespeople, only then to discover you? And once they did, they never left you? That happens when you create more emotion than the Internet and the guy down the road. That's not product knowledge and ringing someone up. That's causing a sale. Nobody said it better than the late Zig Ziglar, "Sales is a transfer of enthusiasm." Transferring enthusiasm isn't just when things are going right for you. You need to transfer enthusiasm on mornings where you got in a fight with your spouse. Can you transfer enthusiasm when you got home at 11 p.m. the night before? Can you transfer enthusiasm when the customer wants the base model you're selling? Can you transfer enthusiasm when he wants the $99 jacket when you know the $1,000 Klim is way cooler? Can you be excited then? Can you get just as fired up at five minutes to closing, as you are five minutes after opening? Sure, the FZ-09 is fun to talk about. How about the Rebel 250? Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Amateurs wait to become excited due to the conditions that are presented. Professionals choose to be excited to create the conditions. Yeah, you did it yesterday, but can you do it tomorrow? PSB Sam Dantzler is the founder of Sam's Powers- ports Garage, a membership website dedicated to best practices and all-staff training. He can be reached at sam@samspowersportsgarage.com. Repetition: The hard part of sales SAM DANTZLER HEADROOM

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