One distinctive effort involved an employee who is attending California State University, San Bernardino. The staff member came up with the idea to have a display of bikes and gear on campus during events, along with an area set up for taking credit applications. “The results are that Triumph is now well represented in the parking lot at CSUSB,” they wrote in their Top 100 application.
Given its passion for riding, the store also sponsors the Inland Empire Rider’s Association of Triumph (RAT) club, and the OCMoto.com forum, a popular online community of riders in Southern California.
Guilfoil believes that if the store hadn’t cut costs when it did, turning its attention to social network marketing and online business while keeping its focus on serving customers, it would be in a world of hurt. Now the goal is to maintain an upward trajectory by increasing the store’s Web presence and making its website more interactive for customers.
He also knows that the shop has to stay loyal to its customers by offering them what they want and need out of a dealership while running a good business — something he admits might not be the norm in this industry.
“Unfortunately, a fair criticism, to some extent, of the motorcycle industry is it’s an industry that has a lot of old-time guys in a very modern world, and the stores aren’t that well-run,” he explains. “You can’t run these kind of stores in another industry the way we run them.
“So the question is, how do you get it to change? Well, part of it is, don’t expect to be the guy who knows everything. Get off your throne and start realizing that you’re not really the most important person in the store.”
This article originally appeared in the May 2010 issue of Dealernews.