“We feel that each week that goes by, our employees are becoming more knowledgeable about our products and our way of doing business,” Bowshier says. “If an employee is required to take four courses a month, then he will have attend 48 courses in a year. Now, that is an employee you can feel much more confident about [when] talking to customers.”
All prospects are entered into Traffic Log Pro so that the dealership can gather as much information as possible about why that person chose the store, what advertising they responded to, and how far they traveled to come in. The five sales personnel are required to talk to a manager about any deals before the customer leaves the premises.
Customer rapport is paramount, especially when you’re operating in megastore mode. It’s a bit of a challenge maintaining a personal feel with customers when you’re coordinating the actions of 40 employees and fostering an environment where you’re all things to all customers. But smart training, good processes and a broad selection certainly help.
“We carry [seven] franchises, and most or all of the segments within those brands, and consistently maintain market share in each category,” he says. “We may not be No. 1 in our district in every segment, but we better not fall out of the top 10, or we go back to the drawing board and figure out what we need to do to get back.”
Story originally appeared in the September 2012 issue of Dealernews. Dealernews images of Competition Accessories by Brett Flashnick
Competition Accessories has a long history with the military given the proximity of the nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
As such, many of the dealership’s original customers were personnel from the base. It was this mobile customer base that gave rise to the store’s early years as a mail-order powerhouse. When airmen packed up and moved to their new posts, they’d still need P&A for their bikes, so they’d call the store for service.
The base still plays a big part in when it comes to the cash register; owner and GM Shawn Bowshier says it has seen a steady increase in military sales over the past several years. The store offers all active duty, disabled and retired military a 10 percent discount on parts and accessories purchases.
The store advertises in the base directory, and is on its seventh year of sponsoring the mandatory rider training that’s part of Wright-Patterson’s Motorcycle Safety Day, an event geared toward all military and civilian employees of the base who ride.
Bowshier says the dealership brings out high-visibility gear and other items that would appeal to the base’s riders. The event even caught the ear of Yamaha, which started sending out a rep and a handful of bikes.
“This event draws about 1,000 riders, and we feel honored to have been chosen as one of the vendors year after year,” he says.