Over in the parts department, we have the same philosophy. There is a bagger wall (because baggers are so popular) and a display of the cool, shiny, impulse stuff that the customer can't live without. Lots of people are like me and when they see something they want, they want it right away! We try our best to accommodate them by having most items in stock and ready to go on their bike.
It's a good idea to group similar parts together and space them around the showroom, again to encourage traffic. For instance, I display Victory parts with the Victory bikes and the Victory-branded apparel. Someone needing Victory grips may see a shirt he also wants. Do this with all the brands in your store.
As for merchandising your sales inventory, keep your bikes clean, charged up, and ready for a test ride. Rotate your inventory and change the way it's displayed to keep things fresh. We have a couple of lifts on the sales floor to highlight different bikes and to draw attention to new arrivals, recently reduced prices, or custom bikes.
This ain't 2002, it's 2009, and it's time to get serious or get the hell out of the industry. Harsh words maybe, but I'm tired of seeing people come and go in this business. If you don't have a passion for this industry and a great work ethic, then get your dumb ass back to the house.
This article is from the October 2009 issue of Dealernews.