GRAPEVINE, Texas - Minutes after the doors open to the Longhorn hall of the Gaylord Texan Resort, Tucker Rocky sales reps are pouring through, coffee in one hand, the day’s agenda in the other. It’s the second day of the powersports distributor's annual Sales Meeting, and the reps are on their way to their last round of vendor presentations before the event switches over to the distributor’s annual Dealer Showing.
But beginning Saturday morning, powersports dealers from around the country will filter into the hall at this resort and convention center outside of Dallas to peruse the products of about 150 Tucker Rocky vendors exhibiting here this weekend.
With unit sales down, it’s increasingly this selection of parts, gear and accessories that adds to a store’s bottom line, the importance of which Tucker Rocky president Steve Johnson hopes to emphasize with TR reps, vendors and customers.
“It is so important that dealers have inventory, that dealers carry stock, that they still have people on the floor that can sell the product, that the dealers stay connected with their customers,” he told Dealernews.
Johnson points to e-mail newsletters, online video, social networking and other methods of staying connected as integral to a dealer's business in today's market. But it's also important that dealers merchandize and market these products in a way that draws customers into their stores. So he's encouraging TR reps to act more like consultants to help dealers improve their PG&A sales.
To emphasize this point, the distributor is running two seminars for dealers on Saturday and Sunday, one featuring retail specialist Jennifer Robison called, “Fun with the Fundamentals of Visual Display,” and the other from Sean MacPhail called “Retail Selling Strategies.”
In addition, dealers can attend a seminar with industry researcher Paul Leinberger on Success Strategies. Leinberger will also sit in on a panel discussion with Harley-Davidson of St. Augustine owner Clark Vitulli, MAG Group chairman Arnie Ackerman, and Suzuki’s Rod Lopusnak, that will be moderated by Johnson.
“Units are really stressed right now and are probably pulling a lot of dealerships in the red,” Johnson says. “One of the things we can do is really stress how important parts and accessories is now to the profitability of a dealership.”