Articles

The Unhappy By-Product of Record Sales

Marisa Tils | 07/23/2020



Most of the dealers I’ve spoken with recently are happily reporting record breaking sales for the past couple of months. They tell me about staying hours after closing time, keeping the showroom open late, selling their new units before they even arrive at the dealership, or being booked to the gills in service. 

Being in sales myself, I understand well the heady feeling that comes with closing deals, especially during those times when it seems to come easily and in great abundance. I also understand that the faucet can shut off at any time, and it’s up to me to take the proactive steps necessary to make sure my family doesn’t die of dehydration when it does.

No one could have predicted that a pandemic would produce the type of demand our industry has been experiencing; I know several dealers who closed up shop before shutdowns were even fully in place simply because they were convinced it was the best option. Still, there were others who quickly found ways around the guidelines so they could continue to sell and provide service. We call that improvising, adapting, and overcoming. It’s a matter of being proactive vs reactive. 

You see, right now, you’re selling machines faster than you can get them in, everyone’s wallets are fat, and you barely have time to eat a sandwich during the day. The numbers feel good. The problem is that all of that running & gunning has one unhappy by-product: It’s out of control. 

Since all of this started, every month has brought a new & different challenge. Everything from wishing you could move units early in the year, to nearly shutting down, to being overwhelmed with sales, and now hoping for inventory to roll in. Like I said before: It’s out of control. 

You and I both know that this level of demand won’t go on forever. You also know that you can’t control the OEMs, delivery services, economy, or the governor. So, how do you get control?
For starters, you identify the current strengths & weaknesses of the dealership. Low on inventory, too busy to manage marketing right now, short staffed? Those are just a few we are hearing right now. You’re in a state of uncontrolled chaos. You’re possibly even starting to drown. Great news! We have a life preserver. 

The new Integrated Digital Marketing Program allows you to have a completely done for you, customized, proactive solution each month based on the specific needs of your dealership. Focusing on a buyback campaign quickly solves low inventory issues, while running a Now Hiring campaign can help you get the staff you need. A service special is a great way to generate revenue while you’re low on units. You’ve sold a quarter’s worth of machines in a month’s time and those new customers are going to need accessories, gear, and service moving forward. 

In this time of winging it day to day, letting your marketing slip through the cracks because you’re busy, and just trying to stay afloat, you can’t forget about retention. You may be running low on inventory, but your customer list has grown in spades these past few months and that list is your greatest asset. You cannot ignore them. A huge influx of new customers means nothing if you don’t stay in front of them and continue to earn their business. 

Integrated Digital Marketing and PSM can take care of that for you. It’s easy to get started. Give us a call or text at 770-692-1750 and let’s put a plan in place that gives you the most control over what happens to your business the rest of this wild year. 
 
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The Proof is in the Pudding

Marisa Tils | 06/15/2017

 

 If I walked into your office today with a box full of the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of every proven rider within a thirty mile radius of your dealership, would you let me walk out without a fight? What if that list also told you exactly what each of those riders is in the market for right now, whether it’s service, accessories, gear, or a new ride? I’m pretty sure I’d be taken hostage. 

 

I recently followed up with a dealer who, after a brief conversation, told me he is a numbers guy and to send him some proof that what we do works and then we could talk some more. No problem, Mr. Dealer. We’ve executed literally thousands of direct response marketing campaigns and I can send data for days. So, I sent him over a few campaign wrap up reports, and here is a breakdown of what those looked like: 

 

  1. 483 responses, including 162 riders interested in a new/used unit purchase

  2. 195 responses, including 53 riders interested in a new/used unit purchase

  3. 410 responses, including 95 riders interested in a new/used unit purchase

 

That last dealer I listed saw a 156% increase in traffic with their first campaign. They sold more motorcycles in January than in any other January since 2010, and more in February since 2011.

 

I included that information in the email, as well, feeling that bubbling of excitement that I always get when I think about teaming up with a new dealer and growing the business in a way that, very literally, changes lives. The impact that successful, proactive, and targeted marketing has on a dealership is very profound. It’s what we call a win/win. 

 

When you sell a motorcycle to someone, you’re not just making a sale and putting one more tally mark on the month. You’re enriching a life. You didn’t just make a sale and (hopefully) a tidy gross profit. You provided wind therapy, freedom from whatever stress may be in that person’s life, weekends spent with friends and family who share the same passion, escape. The flip side of that is you gained a new customer, increased your revenue, and with the right marketing, you now have the opportunity to earn all of that customer’s future business. 

 

So, why wouldn’t you want to do that for every enthusiast living in your backyard? Why wouldn’t you want to do that for yourself?  If you could get the names and contact info for nearly every person in your backyard who wants to buy a bike from you this month, would you do it? 

 

If you answered no, then I need you to do something for me. Reach into your pocket, take out your keys, go lock up, and find your happiness elsewhere. If hundreds of sales opportunities across all departments doesn’t get you excited, then you’re in the wrong business. If you can look at those figures above and not want to have the same for your dealership, then perhaps you’ve lost your passion. 

 

However, if you got excited about the results I shared with you, and the idea of having increased traffic and leads has you dreaming about a different life, then the simplest thing you can do is call me. Let’s discuss a plan for predictable growth with quantifiable results that will change your life. 

 

Marisa Tils

877-242-4472  ext 131

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BRAND, or BLAND?

Marisa Tils | 04/27/2017

I spoke to a dealer this morning and, once again, the conversation turned to brand advertising. This happens a lot. So many dealers say, “We’re doing everything through the OEM. We’ve got our marketing covered.” Or, “We do radio and TV; our name is getting out there to everyone.” 

 

Brand advertising does have its place. If you’re Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple, then branding works well. If you’re in a niche industry, Powersports for instance, and only a tiny percentage of folks are likely to spend money with you, then brand advertising isn’t going to get you the results you truly want. 

 

In order to really benefit from your marketing, and see growth each and every month, you must put a pro-active, direct response strategy in place. Forget everything you’ve been told about simply blasting your dealership’s name across every airwave, billboard, and television screen you can, and focus on a call to action that drives traffic through your doors and generates leads. 

 

This particular guy was feeling the frustration of five inches of freshly fallen snow that came in overnight on the heels of some pretty incredible, early spring temperatures. He shared with me that the dealership had taken on an air of disappointment and the hope they had been feeling about a great first quarter had disappeared with the arrival of this blanket of doom on the ground. He had spent hard earned money on traditional mass media and the results he thought he had gotten from it were really just a byproduct of the good weather they had been having. 

 

I told him of one client we have in Wisconsin and how they had just experienced the two best months they have had in six and seven years, respectively. January and February in Wisconsin isn’t exactly prime riding season, yet, they had over a thousand proven riders respond - that’s right, I said respond - to the marketing. This resulted in 181 people who were interested in a new or pre-owned motorcycle giving their contact information directly to this dealer. When is the last time any of your current marketing did that for you? 

 

His response, initially, was to bet that this dealership was going to be slow this week, too, along with his, due to the weather change. I agreed with him that their door swings might be a little lower, but that no one would be sitting around playing on their smartphones, because they had over five hundred total sales opportunities to follow up on all week long from their February Sharp Shooter campaign. He didn’t have an argument for me on that point. Frankly, there isn’t one. 

 

Stop wasting your hard-earned marketing dollars on methods that you can’t truly quantify, are dependent on the weather, and whatever happens on the one day of your event is what you get. Stop it. 

 

Use that budget to target the right audience, which is going to be riders who will spend money with you. Then, give them multiple opportunities to respond to a compelling call to action, with a sense of urgency. Send out the right message, ensuring that you aren’t alienating anyone. Lastly, do it at the right time, so you are guaranteed the best possible response. 

 

That’s what our Sharp Shooter system does, time and time, again. We grow the number of active customers you have doing business with you, then we increase the number of times they come into the dealership each year. It’s a simple formula that yields major results. 

 

Call me today and let’s chat about how to put more control in your hands and truly grow your business. 

Marisa Tils 877-242-4472  ext 131

 

 

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PMS: You Have the Cure

Marisa Tils | 01/30/2017

 

Hot damn, it’s finally February! We have made it through the bitter cold and icy bleakness of December and January, and are now on the downhill slide into spring. For those of us in the Powersports industry, this is a time of rejoicing. The birds are singing once again, the sun seems brighter, and the days are bursting forth with new opportunity!

 

What’s that, you say? It’s cold outside? There’s still a little snow on the ground? No one is riding, yet?

 

Hey, I get it. We haven’t “officially” made it to spring, yet, but we are a heck of a lot closer than we were a month ago and, in this business, it is a crucial time to start tapping into that conversation while it’s going on in the heads of your customers.

Your customers. Those loyal, die-hard, wind therapy loving folks, who have been suffering miserably from PMS these past several months. What do I mean by PMS? Glad you asked - PMS is Parked Motorcycle Syndrome, and they’ve all had it. The great news is that you have the metaphorical pain reliever that they need. 

 

That pain reliever comes in the form of shiny, new parts & accessories, riding gear, leather jackets, boots, fresh service to get their ride ready to go, and for some, it comes in the form of that brand new, sweet bike they’ve been eyeing online all winter long. They want it, you’ve got it, now it’s time to give it to them. 

 

I hear a lot of dealers say, “Call me back in the spring.”, and I just want to reach through the phone and give them a gentle, but firm shake. If you’re waiting until spring is actually here to invite folks into the dealership, then you’re a day late and a dollar short. Chances are, you’re lots of dollars short, because they’ve already gone somewhere else to get the relief they’ve been craving. 

 

Now is the perfect time to throw a party at the dealership, whether it’s for Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, a Pre-Spring Meltdown Party, or something else, and get as many of these guys and gals through the doors as possible BEFORE it’s prime riding season. Having a party is the best way to warm your customers up for the great riding days ahead, create affinity with them, and make sure that they don’t go anywhere else when the time comes to make that new bike purchase. 

 

That’s what our Sharp Shooter has done thousands of times over the years for hundreds of dealers in all corners of the country. It’s a proven winner that works regardless of the weather, market, and economy. We drive qualified traffic into your dealership, while also generating a pipeline of leads for every single department of the dealership. Every single rider that responds to a campaign is going to tell you who they are and what they are interested in buying right now. 

 

Imagine how much bigger and better your spring quarter could be if you had that information!

 

Give me a call today and let’s talk about how to maximize your marketing budget by focusing on the right target audience, with the right media, using the right message, and making sure we’re doing it all at just the right time. There is no better way to utilize your marketing dollars than with our direct response system for predictable growth. 

 

I look forward to chatting with you!

 

Marisa Tils

877-242-4472

Ext. 131

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You Lose with a Short Fuse

Marisa Tils | 09/23/2016

 

“You can feed your ego, or you can feed your family. You cannot do both.” Our old pal, Zig Ziglar, said this and he was right on the money.

 

Speaking of money, chances are, you won’t make any if you let your ego get in the way. Unfortunately, this happens all too often in business, when customers who feel they have been “done wrong” take it to the internet and blast you, your staff, and your business with a strongly worded negative review.

 

For some, ego takes over and thus begins the unraveling of what could have been a lifelong relationship with a good customer. The impulse is to make excuses for what happened, argue with them, and perhaps worst of all, write your own heated reply to their review online for all to see.

 

Studies show that the average powersports enthusiast spends about seven hundred and fifty dollars per year on service, gear, parts, and accessories. That’s a pretty good chunk of change to lose in exchange for feeling like you won an argument. So, how do you save face and these guys at the same time? I’m glad you asked.

 

A person who has a less than excellent experience with a business is eleven times more likely to go online and write a review about it. Imagine a solution that allows you to ask each and every customer that comes in about their visit to your dealership the very next day. Take that a step further, and imagine that every person who didn’t have a good experience is taken to a private review site, where they can berate you to their heart’s content without ever affecting your online reputation.

 

That’s exactly what the online reputation management portion of our Local Web Dominator does. Through an automated system, we allow those unhappy customers to vent their frustration and our Feedback tool filters those reviews from the positive ones. I know it isn’t always pretty, but these guys represent a lot of business. You need to hear them.  However, instead of it rearing its ugly head on Google and crushing your star rating, enticing you to respond angrily on your own keyboard, it is quietly emailed to you and your management team. This allows you time to investigate the situation, find the solution, and contact the customer after your ego has had time to pipe down.

 

The result is that you are able to increase retention, address any systems or processes that led to the problem in the first place, and keep that customer and their money at your store. The Feedback system in our Local Web Dominator has helped many of our clients turn a disgruntled customer into a loyal friend of the dealership.

 

Call me today and let’s get your finger on the pulse of how happy or unhappy your customers are!

 

Marisa Tils

877-242-4472  ext 131

 

 

 

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PSM Marketing

825 Highway 74 South
Peachtree City, GA 30269
Tel: (877) 242-4472
Int: (770) 692-1750
Text: (770) 692-1750

Questions?