Which dealers sell best? Harley, Ducati and BMW, say mystery shoppers

Publish Date: 
May 7, 2012
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Harley-Davidson dealers return to the top ranking in Pied Piper Management Co.’s annual study measuring how well dealers treat motorcycle shoppers.

The California-based research company today released results of the 2012 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index (PSI) U.S. Motorcycle Industry Benchmarking Study.

BMW and Ducati finished in a tie for second, followed by Triumph, Victory and Indian in a three-way tie for fourth. Industry-wide performance improved substantially from 2011 to 2012, with only three of 16 motorcycle brands failing to achieve higher scores.

Harley dealerships led all brands in 16 different sales activities such as offering test rides, obtaining contact information and asking for the sale. Brand performance varied considerably from brand to brand, with 12 different brands leading at least one sales process category. For example, Ducati, Husqvarna and Triumph dealerships were twice as likely to offer a brochure to shoppers than dealerships selling Suzuki, Honda or Kawasaki. Similarly, Harley-Davidson, BMW and Ducati dealerships were twice as likely to ask for contact information than dealerships selling Husqvarna, MV Agusta or Moto Guzzi.

Industry improvement was widespread throughout the sales process, with more than 80 percent of the individual sales process factors improving on average. Compared to the previous year’s results, the 2012 study showed that motorcycle salespeople were 14 percent more likely to provide compelling reasons to buy from their dealership, 13 percent more likely to ask for the sale, and 11 percent more likely to provide compelling reasons to buy now.

“Today’s motorcycle salespeople have become much more effective at helping shoppers become buyers,” said Fran O’Hagan, president and CEO of Pied Piper Management Co. “For example, five years ago, a motorcycle salesperson would introduce him or herself to a prospect only six times out of ten. Today it is nine times out of ten.”

Despite the progress, the study results also show that there is plenty of room for further improvement. Today motorcycle salespeople ask for contact information only 43 percent of the time, offer test rides only 16 percent of the time, and attempt to write up the transaction only 29 percent of the time.

Between July 2011 and April 2012, Pied Piper hired 1,653 anonymous mystery shoppers to visit dealerships throughout the U.S. After each visit, the shoppers answered more than 57 yes/no questions regarding the dealership and its sales process for a particular brand of motorcycle. Pied Piper then tallied the results to give each brand a score for sales effectiveness.

An example of another recent Pied Piper PSI study is the 2012 Pied Piper PSI Internet Lead Effectiveness (ILE) Benchmarking Study, in which the Lexus and Infiniti auto dealer networks were ranked first in a tie. Complete Pied Piper PSI industry study results are provided to vehicle manufacturers and national dealer groups. Manufacturers, national dealer groups and individual dealerships also order PSI evaluations as a tool to improve the sales effectiveness of their dealerships.

For more information about the Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index, and the patent-pending Pied Piper PSI process, go to www.piedpiperpsi.com.

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Posted by Arlo Redwine

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