Case Study - Predictable Growth: Hampton Roads H-D®

Eric Pedretti | 07/21/2016



In 1978, Chuck and Mary Cox made their dream a reality when they opened Hampton Roads H-D in Yorktown, VA. Today,


they’ve grown that single store into a five store dealership group that includes Southside H-D, Harley Haven, Revolutionary H-D and Virginia Beach H-D. Still family owned, they devote their success to their legendary customer service and the many long-standing relationships built over the years.



There’s really two types of dealers out there…there are market driven dealers and then there are marketing driven dealers. A market driven dealer makes reactive advertising decisions and randomly pays for one-and-done billboard, radio, TV, and newspaper campaigns because they know they should be advertising. No one says you can’t grow the business with poor advertising, but a lot of the growth dealerships experience comes from well-timed weather, an improving market and economy, or a focus on sales process and training. Customers are solar powered; when the suns out they’re out. When the market is up, business is up; when it’s down, business is down. A marketing driven dealer has a pro-active, integrated, direct marketing plan designed to touch their buying base 52 to 104 times per year that is quantifiable. Barring natural disaster, a marketing driven dealer experiences predictable growth. 


The Sharp Shooter Program puts more control in dealers’ hands by implementing a S.Y.S.T.E.M. for Predictable Growth. Here’s how:


1) We Grow Your Active Customers, defined by folks who’ve spent money with your dealership in the last 12 months. We do this by reactivating lost customers (those who haven’t spent money with you in the last 12 months) and by driving new customers through the door (these are competitor’s customers and orphan owners that ride what you sell, live in your backyard but have never bought from you). If we can increase the number of customers who do business with you each year, your business will grow.


2) We Increase Your Annual, Average Customer Value by increasing the frequency of visits to your dealership. Let’s face it, when your customers walk through your doors, they are kids in a candy store…they can’t help themselves but to spend money. If we can just increase the amount of times they visit your dealership each year, they will buy more parts, more accessories, more gear, they’ll service their unit more often and they’ll shorten their trade cycle. We know past customers who are loyal (they like, know and trust you, so your closing ratios go through the roof along with your margin) are less likely to haggle over price.


By focusing all your time, energy and marketing dollars on driving past customers and other riders in your backyard who haven’t bought from you as frequently as possible, you will grow your business predictably despite the weather, market or economy.


Once we identify your Buying Base, we give them up to 12 opportunities to respond to a survey site to capture contact information and generate leads for every department of the dealership, and walk through the dealership’s door on event day. Short-term, Sharp Shooter Events drive a ton of traffic and typically generate hundreds of leads from proven riders in our clients’ backyard. Some dealers make the mistake of doing a one-and-done campaign because that’s what they’re used to doing, only to do another one month’s later. The real secret to predictable growth lies in consistently marketing to your Dealership’s Buying Base. Your goal should be to touch your customers 52-104 times per year. At this frequency, you are guaranteed to create affinity with your buying base, increase frequency of visits to the dealership and ultimately grow sales in all departments. Give them more reasons to walk through your door, and they will buy more from you.



Danny & Chad Cox attended our Spring Marketing Boot Camp and quickly tried their 1st Sharp Shooter in March. At the time of this article, they are planning their 5th Sharp Shooter event with us. One fundamental component of the program is focusing the message on the party and not the sale. This is exactly what Hampton Roads H-D did with their St. Patrick’s Day Party, Spring Open House and Memorial Day Event. Most dealers think if you don’t have a ‘sales focused-message’, they won’t sell anything. Hampton Roads generated a total of 287 new and pre-owned unit leads in their first three SS campaigns by focusing on the party!


So for the fourth campaign, they decided to throw a tent sale wrapped around a party and made sure to invite the 287 people who said they wanted to buy a bike. They sold 75 bikes in the first four days of June during their 4-Day Tent Event. This month they’re back to planning parties with their 4th of July Celebration on July 1st-3rd.



What’s next? Before marketing with us, some of our clients made the mistake of pulling back their marketing dollars in the summer hoping for good weather and a stable economy to keep their business going. Don’t make that mistake. Be a Marketing Driven Dealer by focusing on touching your buying base 52-104 times this year and make some more hay while the sun shines. 


For more information on how the Sharp Shooter Program can help make this the best summer you’ve ever had, give me a ring on my direct line at 877-242-4472 ext: 112 or visit us at Happy selling.