Every month, ChopperExchange receives phone calls from motorcycle dealers who complain that they are not selling enough motorcycles online. They do not complain about the quantity of online sales leads they are receiving, but about their inability to close the deal with online sales prospects.
After numerous conversations with motorcycle dealers who complain about Internet sales, we have come to the following conclusions:
Motorcycle dealers are still behaving like order takers rather than sales people. They are failing to realize that today's motorcycle buyers have choices, and they expect dealerships to woo them with great customer service and favorable prices. This has never been more true than today, when consumers have so many purchase options at their finger tips and sellers are vigorously competing for their attention.
Sales departments at many motorcycle dealerships are extremely disorganized and without a clear chain of command. Many do not have designed sales reps responsible for Internet sales. Instead, online sales leads are often e-mailed to the sales or general manager who is too preoccupied to respond to those leads on time. As a result, many sales leads become stale and are eventually lost.
Sales managers and their staff have not mastered the art of "follow-up" during the sales process. Many complain that online sales prospects do not answer their phone or do not return missed calls, and are therefore considered "dead" leads. This is one of the biggest mistakes sales people make. In reality, a sales lead is not "dead" until he or she asks the sales rep to stop calling.
Many dealers do not offer competitive motorcycle prices, which is the primary detternt of online shoppers. This is especially true when dealers' motorcycle prices are compared with those of private sellers. It is always important to keep in mind that online buyers are comparison shoppers; they search for best deals across many websites and stores.
Very little effort is allocated to effective motorcycle listings. Most dealers resort to using stock images and generic descriptions for their online motorcycle listings. This is the worst method for getting buyers' attention. Stock images do not allow the interested buyer to see the actual bike and take mental ownership of it.
Many sales managers have not fully bought into the true power of online marketing. Instead, they narrowly focus their attention on the cost of online marketing and ignore its sales potential. Given the fact that profit margins for new motorcycles are 5-15%, it is safe to assume that one or two motorcycle sales are enough to pay for an entire year of advertising on ChopperExchange. That is a bargain! That is less expensive than one color ad in a national magazine.
The bottom line is that motorcycle dealers must start selling and taking advantage of online marketing platforms, such as ChopperExchange and Facebook, in order to remain competitive in the industry.