Evaluate Your Competition & Do the Opposite

Rod Stuckey | 03/11/2016

According to the late Peter Drucker, your store has a 1:14 chance of doing business with someone whom you have never done business with, a 1:4 chance of doing business with someone whom you have had a previous business relationship with, and a 1:2 chance of doing business with your existing customers. 


This emphatically demonstrates the importance of communicating to your customer base consistently with relevant and compelling messages.  Your customer database is your biggest and most often overlooked asset.


Speaking of relevant and compelling communication, let me ask you this: If you take every person on your customer list from young to old, male to female, touring rider to cruiser rider, off-road to PWC, in the market right now for a new bike, used bike, parts, accessories, service, or not really in the market for anything at all; is it easy to make your outbound marketing messages applicable to all?


Not really, right?


How about these common ad lingo phrases, are they relevant to all?  0% APR - Bad Credit, No Problem - No payments until July of 2016 - Top Dollar for Your Trade - First Time Buyers Program - We Will Beat any Deal - Zero Down Delivers - This Inventory Will Not Last - Managers Special - We’re Overstocked - Don’t Walk, Run - No Reasonable Offer Refused - All Credit Applications Accepted - 25 Lenders to Choose From - 20% off purple XXXL half helmets etc. 


No way, right? 



The odds of one of the previous mentioned marketing one-liners being relevant to its recipient is less than 5%. Then why are they so common?


Because most dealers are looking at what their competition is doing, which is all wrong, and copying it. 

One of legendary author Napoleon Hill’s great discoveries in his bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich, was to look at what your competition is doing and do the opposite.  


Consider these facts next time you hear your competitors’ radio commercial or see them on TV. 


• 95% of the people hearing or seeing those commercials have zero interest in motorcycles (that’s according to MIC statistics). That’s a lot of waste.


• Of the 5% that do ride and hear the ad, there are big odds against a cold prospect actually converting. 

Rather than waste tens of thousands of dollars trying to attract all new customers at crazy high odds through mass media with gimmicky catch phrases; doesn’t it make more sense to target your previous and existing customers with authentic, relationship building messages and invite them to an event or party at your dealership? 


Most dealers will not do regular monthly events, and this is exactly why you should. 

I was once at a 20 group meeting where all dealers in the room where asked about their most effective marketing. Over half of the room shared the success they had experienced holding some type of event at their dealership. When the moderator asked how many had executed again due to its success, none raised their hand. He asked why and was told, “because it was hard work.”


Back in my dealership days when I first tried events I attempted to do everything myself. From lining up door prizes, picking up the morning donuts and coffee, to remembering the tablecloths, putting up balloons and EZ-ups, etc. It was exhausting.  But eventually, we developed an open house checklist that assigned different tasks to different individuals and departments. We would have a quick manager meeting prior to the event to review the checklist and VOILA. I went from exhausted to standing around eating donuts and drinking coffee, proudly acknowledging how much better this event was than when I tried to do it all myself. 


There is one more secret reason dealers are hesitant to promote events regularly. It’s a little less talked about, and this one has nothing to do with the work load.  Most dealers don’t know the formula for marketing their event in a cost effective manner, and therefore have fear that the party will have a poor turn out if they don’t spend a small fortune. Not even us adults like to throw a party and have no one show up. 


However, there is a proven formula. It’s cost effective and it generates many more benefits than what just happens on the day of the event. This formula eliminates the previous mentioned frustration of sending marketing messages to your list that are not relevant.  It eliminates the waste of mass media.  And, it generates a quality list of authentic leads for every department in the dealership, month-in and month-out. And best of all, it isn’t a one and done, it’s part of a bigger strategy to nurture your biggest asset by touching them 52 to 104 times per year. 


We call this secret formula the ‘Sharp Shooter’ and I’ve only scratched the surface of how we can help you sell more bikes and make more money this spring. You’ve already proven you’re a better operator than your competition, because he didn’t even read this article, now do what he won’t do and pick up the phone and call us now at 877-242-4472 and speak with one of our event marketing experts.