Ever heard the old saying, “The only thing worse than spending the time and money to train your staff and they leave, is not training them and they stay?” In the last 20 plus years of attending dealer meetings, trade shows, and 20 group meetings, as both a dealer and a seminar presenter, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many great, and many not so great, dealers. The consistent common denominator for the high performing dealers that I’ve met is that they believe in training and are willing to invest in training for themselves and their entire staff.
As for many of the other dealers I meet, I’m amazed they invest hundreds of thousands, if not millions in facility and tens of thousands in computer systems, inventory, payroll, advertising, and special tools, but aren’t willing to invest one cent in their own education or the training of their staff.
But I was reminded of something recently while meeting with a dealer. Most Dealer Principals (myself included) got into the motorcycle business because of a passion for the sport and the products. Not because they were excited about learning selling skills, marketing best practices, inventory control, accounting, finance, etc.
When I first entered the business, I ignorantly thought that because I was a hardcore rider and enthusiast and an expert on the products (or so I thought) that I was a qualified dealer operator. Now, for me to even write that statement out is laughable. To make matters worse I had zero intellectual curiosity to seek out and learn dealership operating best practices. Eventually, I was fortunate enough that my dad, the DP at that time, held weekly manager meetings and shared articles and best practices through his resourcefulness of seeking out quality information from seasoned experts. Per his military background he believed in training. From time to time he recommended a book that I should read like, The E-myth by Gerber or Seven Habits by Covey. Initially I just thought my dad was super-smart and figured everything out by himself. But in time, as I began reading the trade publication articles and books he recommended, I started to connect the dots. What really made my father so smart was his ongoing quest to pro-actively seek out the necessary information to make our dealerships successful.
As we grew from a single dealership to a four-store dealership group, we made some pretty serious mistakes along the way. If I had to identify the one thing that always allowed us to learn from and overcome those mistakes, it was our ongoing thirst for new information on how we could perform better, and not duplicate those errors of the past.
At some point, to be successful in this business you must take off your enthusiast hat and make the transition to being just as serious about making money as you likely were/are about the products. To do that you have to become a student of business, and you have to invest in yourself and your team.
This doesn’t mean you can’t still be an enthusiast on the weekends, I’m happy to report I spent this entire last weekend “camping with a purpose” with my family at a motorcycle event. But this Monday morning it’s back to enjoying the grind. I just read this:
“If you aren’t questioning yourself and others, investigating and detecting, worrying over what you really know, you are substituting arrogance and/or sloth for diligence, and you will be punished.”
With that said, this is the last call for our Fall Marketing Boot Camp held here in Peachtree City, GA, October 23rd through the 25th, where we’ll be revealing real-world dealership truths backed up by real data, all the while exposing so much of the B.S. that is pedaled out there by outsiders who have zero understanding of the motorcycle business.
If you’re interested in learning how to predictably grow your dealership regardless of the market, weather or economy using a tested and proven formula, you don’t want to miss this event. We’re going deep into the specifics of how you can grow new market share by targeting those who live in your back yard, ride what you sell, but haven’t done business with you before. But wait, there’s more. All too often dealers are so focused on going after new blood they completely forget about retention marketing. I’m talking about maintaining the customers you already have and even re-activating those lost customers who previously did business with you, but have quietly wondered off.
But that’s just the beginning of what you’ll learn at this event because much of the magic comes from the other dealers in the room sharing their successes and failures. So, go now to www.powersportsmarketing.com/bootcamp and get enrolled. You have nothing to lose because we offer a money back guarantee.
See ya soon,