Open House Time of the Year

Across the country the weather is finally starting to clear up and people are out on their bikes enjoying the ride. Motorcycle dealers everywhere are experiencing busy Saturday afternoons with people visiting and buying as they prepare for the season ahead. The staff has awoken from their winter’s nap and are moving like a well oiled machine.

May in the motorcycle business is good. Now is the perfect time for an Open House.

Wait? What? Why?

I’ve always found it odd that dealers choose a time when they are already busy to increase their stress level, overwork the staff and spend money on promotions to bring more people into a dealership when you’re already busy.

Sure- strike while the iron is hot and take advantage of people when they are in the buying mood and the season is still young but I can help but feel there is a better way, a better time.

What if dealers held open houses when traffic was low, pre-season perhaps? I think that might be a better alternative and here’s why.

  • Holding an open house in the off season can be and extremely effective use of time. Each “guest” will be able to spend more of it with your staff enhancing the in-store experience. Instead of the harried afternoon of a typical open house the more casual pace of an off season open house will allow for a more meaningful conversation resulting in greater sales.
  • You won’t have to complete with yard work or baseball practice for their attention. In the off-season, your customer are looking for something to do on a weekend, why not make your open house that something. You could offer a seminar on getting your bike ready for the season, create a new model review with the help of your OEM, bring in distributor reps to offer new product training. The possibilities are endless. Take advantage of the down time to offer a real benefit to the customer.
  • Tax Returns — many of your customers will have tax returns burning a hole in their pocket. Make sure they choose something for their bike instead of a TV or piece of lawn furniture.

These are just a couple of the benefits of doing an Open House off season. You can use the same reason above for hosting a fall open house. Time to put the bike away correctly, discussing winter storage, offering a winter performance or cosmetic upgrade special to keep your service department going through the lean times. Both you and your customer benefit.

So there you have it. My suggestion to abolish the spring open house. What do you think? I’m curious to hear your feedback.

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