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From the Magazine

Sometimes it Makes Sense to Follow

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he motorcycle and powersports industry has always carved its own path, and has not often followed along with whatever the automotive world has done. But there are things that can be learned and should be put into practice if you want to make it in today’s marketplace.

Pied Piper’s Fran O’Hagan says if you talk with any car dealership employee today and ask if it is important to respond quickly to a customer who contacts you through your website, the response will be, “You’re kidding, right? That’s how we meet ALL of our customers today!”

If you think about it – when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone 10 years ago in 2007, maybe one person in 10 had a smart phone (and not very “smart”). In 2007, Apple was doing good business (Fortune 500 rank #121). Today, 90% of Americans have smartphones and Apple is doing $233 billion in sales (Fortune 500
rank #3).

The motorcycle industry hasn’t reacted to those kinds of changes – YET, according to O’Hagan. But it’s coming fast. He said this movie has been played before with the auto industry 6 or 7 years ago, and noted two very important points for the motorcycle industry:

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1) This isn’t about selling motorcycles over the Internet, it’s about meeting your new customers over the Internet.

2). “Perfection is the enemy of the good.” Get the basics right first. Today, a motorcycle dealer that executes the basics perfectly will outperform 95% of the dealerships out there.

Be sure to read the results of the 2016 Pied Piper PSI Internet Lead Effectiveness (ILE) Motorcycle Industry Study (see page 6), which measured how motorcycle dealerships responded to customer inquiries received through dealership websites.

“Imagine ignoring 60% of the customers who walk into a dealership,” O’Hagan said. “A dealer principal would never accept such poor performance, yet that is exactly what’s happening today to customers who reach out through a dealer website.”

Make sure you’re not doing things to set you behind the 8-ball. Rather, make sure you’re in a position to get ahead.

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