Sales Ideas from the Top 100


What’s the best method of getting customers in the door and sending them out with a new motorcycle or ATV? Well, according to our Top 100 dealers, there are dozens of them. Why not take a look at these, chuck a few of them at the wall and see what sticks. If you’ve got a sales idea that’s working for you, let us know at

Vandervest Harley-Davidson of Peshtigo, Wis., says its store events are becoming so popular that other businesses in the area are now planning promotions and offerings to coincide with those at the dealership.

Frieze Harley-Davidson in O’Fallon, Ill., held its Frieze Out Hunger program in the fall, during which time the store gave a 2 percent discount for each non-perishable food item brought in (for a maximum of 10 items or to percent off.)

For every $100 spent at Donahue Harley-Davidson/Buell in Sauk Rapids, Minn., customers earn $10 in Donahue Dollars to use for products or service at either of the store’s locations.

Cycle World of Houma in Louisiana kicks off each riding season with a VIP night. Before the event, customer purchases are evaluated and personal invitations for the event are sent to loyal, returning customers, who can then enjoy a catered dinner and prize giveaways during a party the store says strengthens customer relationships and shows them appreciation.

Hayden Honda Powerhouse of Kendallville, Ind., says in its Top 100 entry that it is, “one of the few powersports dealerships in the area that does not charge add-on or hidden fees like freight, prep, setup, doc, fuel, etc. We advertise our sale price with only sales tax and a $25 title fee adding to the total. Many customers have expressed an appreciation for how up front we are with our pricing.”

Customers at Pig Trail Harley-Davidson/Buell in Rogers, Ark., can take part in the store’s Customer Appreciation Program. By spending $250 or more during a quarter, they will receive a rebate check in the mail equivalent to 5 percent of the total money spent. Rebate checks can be spent on clothes, parts, accessories or service.

MotoCorsa in Portland, Ore., makes sure to have a presence at the local “Festa Italiana” festival, a non-motorcycling event that allows them to reach thousands of people who might not otherwise have found the Euro-centric store.

Get them started right: Cyclewise Inc./Ducati Vermont offers a road riding day tour with every new motorcycle purchased. The program pairs a trained rider with the customer for a full day of riding techniques help for experienced and new riders alike.

Here’s a perk we like, Grand Prix Motorsports in Littleton, Colo., offered sales incentives such as trips for its highest producers, paid time off, and a contest in which the winners from each department were flown out to Dealer Expo.

This story originally appeared in the Dealernews April 2010 issue.