ip a center for socialization and entertainment, as well as shopping. “We have an annual auction, open houses and factory demo events. We demo our own bikes. There are events for the dirt rider and watercraft customer, too. We now can cook breakfast on the barbecue, in addition to our standard lunch, opening an option for morning rides and events. It is a way to show we appreciate our current customers and a way to meet new ones.”
A customer-pleasing innovation at Coleman is consignment sales of used gear. The dealership accepts gear in clean, good condition to be sold at the dealership in exchange for a percentage of the sale price. This is a boon, not only to the parents of young dirt bike riders, but also to street and dirt riders of all ages.
“I stumbled onto the idea of selling used gear two years ago,” Mrs. Harrison explains. “I started gathering information from consignment shops and began developing a program for our industry. Developing the process to computerize the inventory and track the sale for payment to the customer was a challenge, but I eventually figured out an automated procedure.”
Consignment sales have been very successful, and more used merchandise has sold than Harrison originally thought would. “To top things off, 60 percent of the consignment sellers take their payment in store credit,” she says.
To get the word out about all the dealership offers, Coleman continues to utilize television and radio advertisements, while making full use of the Internet. “We make a point to participate with manufacturer’s key market advertising programs for television, and we advertise on the radio for our events. We have found that our most effective outreach medium is our website and subscriber list. We have 30,000 subscribers to our online newsletter, which we have been developing for 14 to 15 years now.”
Being a part of the D.C. metro area, most of Coleman’s customers are tech-savvy, so it sends out e-mail blasts every couple of days in season and has seen good results. These weekly e-mails promote in store events, community events, specials, and industry information. Coleman’s also e-mails customer surveys, notifications and thank you notes, and has plans to get into text marketing shortly.
Coleman PowerSports has been around for more than 50 years and plans to stay around, “We see change, we will change, but we will keep the business fun and exciting,” says Harrison. “Manufacturers are starting to understand that customers want to buy, but need the products to be affordable. Price point, affordability and financing are very important, and when manufacturers understand that, we will all benefit.”
435 S Washington St
Falls Church, VA 22046
14105 Telegraph Rd
Woodbridge, VA 22192
OEM: Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Polaris, Victory, Ducati, Can-Am, Kymco, Zero, EBR, Sea-Doo and GEM
Aftermarket: Rev-It!, Dainese, Joe Rocket, Icon, Bell Helmets, Fox, Shoei, Arai, Sidi Boots, and many others.