PowerSports Business

Sept 4, 2017

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SOLUTIONS www.PowersportsBusiness.com Powersports Business • September 4, 2017 • 55 Walk through your showroom with 'customer eyes' As you probably know, I spend a lot of time in dealer- ships across the country. Whenever I go into an unfa- miliar shop, I try to walk in like I'm a new customer. I want to see the store with "cus- tomer eyes." More often than not, what I see as I enter the showroom is a "sea of handle- bars" — motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, snow- mobiles and PWC lined up in tightly packed rows. Often, it is impossible for the customer to even sit on the product. The "sit-on" is a critical step in a good sales process. This kind of view creates the perception of a warehouse — a discount operation. This is the kind of thing you expect from a big box store that sells a commodity like appliances. There are no focal points to attract, stimulate interest and create excitement. In case you hadn't noticed, what we are selling is fun. We want customers in an emotional state of mind. To improve unit sales and shorten the sales process, help your customers take "mental ownership." Once the customer visualizes himself or herself actually riding or using the product, the sale is pretty much closed. In the showroom, this means creating focal points to draw the customer's attention. This is usually done by using raised platforms and spotlighting a particular product. Some dealers even have rotating platforms to draw more attention. When you do this, consider surrounding the display with related units (models up or down from the one on display). Personally, I like to arrange these units in a "fan" position — like rays of sunshine. Be sure to include mannequins dressed with appropri- ate riding gear and a display of related popular accessories. This not only helps create visu- alization for the customer, it also stimulates clothing and accessory sales. Don't be afraid to create more than one focal point. Some dealers have a large, primary focal point display with a hot selling unit — sometimes called a "mothership" display — usually located centrally in the showroom. However, not every customer is interested in that particular product. If your facility will accommodate it, you can help stimulate additional mental ownership opportunities by locating additional, smaller focal points in other areas of the showroom. Since the goal of visualization is to help create mental ownership, you should con- sider some additional points. Not all focal points need to be on raised platforms. For example, if you are a PWC dealer, bring in some sand and create a beach scene with a watercraft (or two) and a family (adult and children) mannequin display. Bathing suits and PFDs are the norm, along with a towable and beach ball, etc. A fake palm tree doesn't hurt as it will stand up high to attract attention. The beach scene is what we call a lifestyle display. If you look around, you will see a number of businesses using these — sport- ing goods stores, clothing stores, department stores and others not only use them in the showroom, virtually every window display has a lifestyle theme. Take note of this. Are you using your windows to their fullest potential? You can drive more sales if you go beyond just parking a unit there, or displaying "SPECIAL SALE" signs. Create a display on a raised plat- form and use spotlights to attract customer attention after-hours. Motorcycle dealers can create all kinds of lifestyle scenes with painted highway or off- road scenes in the background or TV screens with exciting video — no words, just action. Set up units with mannequins and use stands that allow them to be displayed leaning over (road) or with the front wheel in the air (dirt/ adventure bike). Be creative and think out of the box. What is the emotion you want them to get from the display? Other popular lifestyle scenes involve UTVs with cabs, a stack of optional tires and wheels with perhaps rocks or sand. If you have hunt- ing in your area, use ATVs and UTVs to create a hunting camp scene with a fake fire, a tent and mannequins in camo gear. Install winches and gun racks to stimulate accessory sales. In farming areas, dealers usually have ATV and/or UTV scenes with hay bales and accessories like sprayers, seeder-spreaders and small trailers. For snowbelt dealers, early fall set them up with snow blades and chains. We had a record snowfall year in my town last winter. Local dealers in Idaho could not get enough blades and chains to keep up with the demand. Depending on your area, you could include heavy-duty attachments like mowers, snow-throwers or generators in your displays. I've seen a number of excellent lifestyle displays with snowmobiles. If you live where there is mountain riding, use a vertical PWC/ snowmobile stand — often called a "rocket launcher" — for the unit. Add cotton batting to create the semblance of snow. Include a mannequin in full gear in an appropriate rid- ing position on the unit. This creates excite- ment as well as visualization. You'll notice I have mentioned manne- quins several times. Sadly, few dealers use them. Fact: they will do more to help the customer visualize using the product and wearing the gear than anything else you can do short of actually putting them on the product. Mannequins take up relatively little space and really help stimulate sales of both units and riding gear. PSB Steve Jones is founder and president of SJ Con- sulting, Inc. He has worked in the powersports industry for more than 30 years, for dealerships and manufacturers, as a consultant and trainer. Contact him at stevejonesconsults@gmail.com. RETAILREMEDIES STEVE JONES

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