Jennifer is a 28-year-old data analyst for a large corporation. She just moved into a condo. She is strong and independent and in the perfect place to make exciting changes in her life. Her goal is to connect with new friends outside of work.
Because Jennifer lives only three miles away from the office and does not need to get on the freeway to make the trip, she has decided that a scooter is the right choice for her; something small, safe, low maintenance, inexpensive, reliable (and cute, too). Jennifer doesn’t think she will need to ride the scooter long distances, and already has a car to use for hauling groceries or luggage. She thinks all the scooter apparel is mostly for looks and will probably do fine with the cheapest helmet possible. She’s not interested in a motorcycle because she thinks the special license might be hard to get.
The truth? Jennifer is wrong about many of these assumptions and you already know that. In fact, you may know more about what Jennifer really needs than she does — because this is your profession. So why are you not reaching out to help her? She might become your next best customer, purchasing hundreds if not thousands of dollars in gear and apparel, bringing her friends into your store and interacting on your Facebook page. She might even upgrade to that adventure sport that will take her out to the summer concerts series on the outskirts of town.
Jennifer, like most consumers today, does her research online. Her first Google search was “how do I find the right scooter for me?” This yielded a map of a few scooter-only shops in a radius around her, including one right down the street. Scrolling down the list she found a Consumer Reports article that looked interesting, but she had to pay a fee to see the results; no thanks. Down further were a few blogs on bar and saddle height that were interesting but did not really provide the guidance she was looking for.
Finally, she found a “Find Out Which Scooter You Are” quiz and took the time to answer 15 questions, mostly designed to drive an existing rider to an upgrade. None were geared to a help new rider who was looking for a commuter solution. Because she said she was going to ride daily, never in dirt and likes style and colors, she was provided with the following results: MV Augusta F4 Brutale, Triumph Bonneville, Kawasaki z1000, Honda CB1000, Yamaha FZ1N. You are probably smiling because you know how ridiculous it would be for any beginner to consider these high-performance machines for their first ride.
Frustrated, she decides to visit the scooter shop down the street. This is where you get lucky, because after 15 minutes of being ignored by the scooter staff, she leaves. Here is your chance!
Months ago, you were savvy enough to invest some time to research search engine marketing. Because of that investment, you now have a chance of helping Jennifer enjoy a great consumer experience. You wanted to expand your “new rider open house” beyond only reaching your existing customers, the ones who are already friends on your dealership’s Facebook page. You set a small budget and paid Facebook to create a “Lookalike” advertisement for anyone within a 10-mile radius of your location who makes over 50k a year. “Lookalike” ads go after the consumer who looks like the ones you already have. Jennifer gets on her phone, ready to leave a nasty review of the scooter shop, but because she friended a new co-worker who happens to “like” your dealership, the next time she opened Facebook she saw a nice banner advertising, “New Rider Open House This Weekend! No license required!”
With a new adventure in her sights, Jennifer decided to attend the event. Of course, she took the time to like and browse your Facebook page to learn more about your culture and inventory. Arriving to your store she was greeted warmly by your professional staff who made her feel at ease. No pressure, just a free bottle of water, a cookie and an answer to any question she had.
Your open house drew many of your regular customers and a lot of your rider’s club members too. This gave her an instant sense of community. Of course, you know, we really don’t sell motorcycles in this business, we sell lifestyle, we sell belonging, we sell fun. Your OEM provided you with some great tools to help her get the feeling for a clutch, which turned out to be pretty exciting. Armed with information you gave her on the Motor Cycle Safety courses taking place in the next month, she left feeling she was well on her way to becoming a rider.
This is how you took a frustrated consumer, introduced her to new friends, brought her into your dealership and made her feel comfortable on a motorcycle. You gave her a great story to tell her new co-workers about the bright sunburn on her forearms. You also gave her some valuable information on safety gear and rider courses that could prevent her from any potential accidents or injuries she could have suffered without training on a powered machine. Because you were not afraid and took a chance on a new technology to reach a new kind of prospect, you may have gained a lifetime customer. One who is connected on social media and will leave a good review of your dealership and will bring her new friends to your events. Way to go!
Dave Johnson, VP of Enterprise Solutions of Rollick, Inc., spent over two decades building corporate partnerships in the powersports, marine and RV industries. Dave is focused on delivering unique solutions to dealers to improve their lead to close ratio and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.