“You have to be progressive, but you have to be progressive within your customer base,” Guilfoil says. “Sometimes the customers want grease on the walls.”
Built on word-of-mouth. For all its history and grime, Doug Douglas Motorcycles features a modern Triumph showroom that highlights the English-marque’s growing lineup of bikes and PG&A. One small section holds a couple of new Royal Enfields, a brand it just picked up to offer customers an entry-level bike. A handful of pre-owned models and demo bikes is displayed just outside the tilt-up garage door that serves as the main entry.
Yes, there’s a section of the parts counter that Manthis jokingly calls the “rain forest,” where water drips down from the ceiling during storms, but it’s a clean, well-merchandized space that also features some of Douglas’ old trophies and the tank from one of his champion Baja bikes.
It’s a small space that complements the owners’ focus on personal customer service and customer retention. Guilfoil admits it’s easy to offer such focused attention given the size of the staff, but adds that he and Manthis are involved in all the business’s operations — everything from the shop flat track team to the twice-monthly bike nights to the custom builds they produce. It’s this involvement that helps fuel the store’s word-of-mouth sales, one of its biggest drivers, he says.
The store’s performance helped it garner Platinum status in the Triumph Premiere Group program, the OEM’s effort to recognize dealers that hit high marks for sales goals, customer and sales service and presenting the brand well in the dealership. The Platinum status is the highest point, above Gold and Silver.
One of the key things is to be involved in the customers’ world, to ride and share in their passions. “I think this is very important to us because that’s our sole means of survival,” says Manthis, 53, adding that if they do otherwise and alienate the customers, “We might as well board the place up.”