Dealers – Sales & Service what’s the deal?


20 replies to this topic
  • TSFRANKLIN

Posted May 23, 2007 - 06:28 AM

#1

I have always been amazed by the lack of true interest many dealers show for many of their products, mainly new releases… I am in the computer (IT) industry and I have to keep up with new products and trends on a monthly bases or I am behind the curve from a competitive standpoint.

Over the last 15 years I have spent a lot of money on motor toys ( watercraft, cruisers, rockets, and dirt bikes) and it just seems that these guys just don’t really want to spend the time to know their products, and know what it takes to make them run like they where designed.

I recently spent $7,000 for a 07 WR450F - it was my dream bike coming off my much loved 01 WR250F. When I went to pickup the bike the sales manager was showing me around the bike and I asked him what the plug was in the front of the motor, he said “I am not sure” and started playing with it. He said he would have to look at the manual. Turns out it was the oil dip stick! ..This is 7-8 months after the bikes started appearing in the US. When I started the bike it sounded like crap with backfiring, popping and would barely run. I asked one of the techs about it and he said “they all do that” and that was it.. My enthusiasm for my dream bike was pretty low at this point, not what I would expect after spending that kind of money for a race bike.

After a little research I now know what it will take to bring this thing alive. I just don’t understand why these guys don’t take the time to know their products!!!!

I am close to having the bike the way it should have been when I picked it up… I would have gladly paid a few hundred dollars to have a good first impression.

Are they afraid the EPA police are going to come shut them down, or is it they don’t have much competition due to dealer territories? :)

  • clark4131

Posted May 23, 2007 - 06:57 AM

#2

The short answer...they care more about the $$$ than they do customer service...it just doesn't exist anymore. Not to defend them because I think 99% of all dealers suck, but I'll bet they know a lot more about the 5-figure bikes, i.e. Roadstars, R1's, etc., because of the commission a sale on one those would generate. Even then, I'd be suspect of ANY information a dealer would give...SC

  • kskyles

Posted May 23, 2007 - 10:58 AM

#3

i'm not sure about texas, but most of the sales guys here in the phoenix area are very young. i doubt that any of them actually ride.

the focus for the dealers here is to just move products out the door and try to up-sell you on ridiculous service contracts, trailers, and gear. they hire any kid older than 18 to walk around the floor and ask you what payment you can afford.

it's quite sad.

  • MSHAM

Posted May 23, 2007 - 12:45 PM

#4

I can't bitch enough about my local dealer. I pretty much had the same experience with my them. They even rewound my stator wrong(with Baja designs instructions). They verbaly told me I can take my buisness elswhere. That was after it took me 25 minutes to return a pair of gloves. The owner is such a shit hole that he can't keep employees around long enough for anyone to know how to make a return or less teach them about a motorcycle. You would have to cut my head off and drag my lifeless body through the doors to get me back in that store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D :) :ride: :bonk:

Team Bozeman, MT. Up Yours!!!!!!

  • FreeRideSouth

Posted May 23, 2007 - 01:07 PM

#5

The shops can't afford to pay big $$$ for their employees. The overhead is enormous and it is a challenging industry. They try to load you up with service contracts and accessories because there is more $$$ in those items than the sale of the bike. With so many shops in the major cities the shops compete for your business on each sale. How many new bike buyers ask to meet the service techs or tour the facility to see the equipment used to service their new ride? My point is when the sales person competes for your business it is all about price. We call every dealer looking for the deal. I am no different. I just bought an '07 WR450, :) haven't seen it yet cause I bought in Phoenix from Apache Yamaha so I can ride on the street here. My concern was price, so I could afford to ship it here. My guess is the shop made $100 on the sale, hopefully a little more and maybe some dealer incintive if there are any from Yamaha.

Bottom line is they care about making $$$ for the shop so the shop can stay open and pay the employees.

You may have figured this out from my cirmin above: I use to work as a salesman at a Yamaha shop. One of those who didn't know about every little thing on each bike. It was so many years ago and doubt the commissions have improved sine 1988.

  • ajetmech

Posted May 24, 2007 - 12:14 AM

#6

The Honda / Yamaha dealer here in Ridgecrest is great so are his employies. They all know what they are talking about and you cant beat the customer service. Threat them good and they go out of there way to help you here. Must be a small town thing I guess.

  • FreeRideSouth

Posted May 24, 2007 - 04:17 AM

#7

How many Honda/Yamaha dealers in the area, say 100 mile radius? Here there are 20 or so. I'll bet in your small town dealer there is less negotiation on price. It is great to have that service your dealer provides and it may be worth the difference in price IMHO.

  • TSFRANKLIN

Posted May 24, 2007 - 06:31 AM

#8

The shops can't afford to pay big $$$ for their employees. The overhead is enormous and it is a challenging industry. They try to load you up with service contracts and accessories because there is more $$$ in those items than the sale of the bike. With so many shops in the major cities the shops compete for your business on each sale. How many new bike buyers ask to meet the service techs or tour the facility to see the equipment used to service their new ride? My point is when the sales person competes for your business it is all about price. We call every dealer looking for the deal. I am no different. I just bought an '07 WR450, :) haven't seen it yet cause I bought in Phoenix from Apache Yamaha so I can ride on the street here. My concern was price, so I could afford to ship it here. My guess is the shop made $100 on the sale, hopefully a little more and maybe some dealer incintive if there are any from Yamaha.

Bottom line is they care about making $$$ for the shop so the shop can stay open and pay the employees.

You may have figured this out from my cirmin above: I use to work as a salesman at a Yamaha shop. One of those who didn't know about every little thing on each bike. It was so many years ago and doubt the commissions have improved sine 1988.


The person that did not know what the dip stick was happeded to be the Sales Manager, not just a junior salesman. In my area their are several dealers, and they are arrogant, and don't try to really earn your future business. It seems like their is a major disconnect between Sales, Parts & Service. Like I mentioned before, I would have gladly paid a couple hundred dollars to get this thing running with the Free mods, and AIS removal, but they where clueless. I ended up going to another dealer (that has had # 1 national champs), and I was the first to buy the AIS Kit !.... If they are trying to get added service business they are doing a bad job. ..I would like to think if I asked a dealer’s parts dept about the AIS Kit, they would say something like...O, our service tech has installed those, and can really make that WR into a rocket... you want a price????? Same with the salesman, if the margins are low, make it up on some service at the time of sale…

  • JaysDirtyRide

Posted May 24, 2007 - 06:45 AM

#9

Bummer about your stealership...:)

Fortunately my experience was exactly the opposite of yours. The sales guys knew the bikes backwards and forwards and they knew the competition's bikes as well.

When they delivered my new '07 WR (yeppers...delivered to my front door...no extra cost:thumbsup: ), the t-stop had already been exchanged for the YZ t-stop, the replacement airfilter cage had been ordered, and the tank was full of 93 octane.

The dude that delivered the bike is a service department guy and he went over every control and maintenance requirement. He pointed out the AIS and gave me the part number for the removal kit.

They continue to be very helpful and I believe they adhere to the mantra...a happy customer now is a customer in the future.

-Jay

  • FastRides

Posted May 24, 2007 - 09:16 AM

#10

Good discussion. Unfortunately, I had a similar experience with Auburn, CA "Out the Door Cycles". Service manager told me my 07 air filter cage had been replaced and offered some other generic advice that was essentially worthless or outright bad. At the end of the day, I ended up with the dreaded filter cage with gratuitous hole.
Bottom line, if you find a dealer like Jay's in NC or jetmech's in Ridgecrest, stick with 'em b/c they're rare. It's a choice to do the research that started this thread and go the extra mile for your customer. It's also a choice to be arrogant and have the "buy it or go somewhere else because the next guy will" attitude. I tend to agree with SC... most are disappointing and don't put much effort into knowing their product. Having said that, one would think that with so many competing for your business that those who run these dealerships would understand this concept and how easy it would be to stand out with good customer service.

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  • TWILES

Posted May 24, 2007 - 10:45 AM

#11

I think they treat people the way they do is because, like my dad always said, "there is a sucker born every day". My wife worked at one and you wouldn't believe the people who would come in there wanting to finance something couldn't even make their car payment. There was a guy once who ended up with $13,000 in a Rhino because he was so upside-down on his Grizzly he bought 3 months before trading it off. They can talk that way to some who is that dumb and he'll go around telling everyone about the great deal he got. Thumpertalk is AWESOME for researching the bike you are wanting to buy. I've learned the best thing to do is get on a site like this one to get all the info and "bottom line" type things you need to know and JUST BUY THE BIKE. Asking them is a waist. They will lie to you just to get you to buy something. You are NOT going to make friends with these people so don't try. Walk in, use them for what they are worth, and walk out. I know that sounds mean but given a chance, they will take you for a cleaning.

  • MSHAM

Posted May 24, 2007 - 01:08 PM

#12

I think they treat people the way they do is because, like my dad always said, "there is a sucker born every day". My wife worked at one and you wouldn't believe the people who would come in there wanting to finance something couldn't even make their car payment. There was a guy once who ended up with $13,000 in a Rhino because he was so upside-down on his Grizzly he bought 3 months before trading it off. They can talk that way to some who is that dumb and he'll go around telling everyone about the great deal he got. Thumpertalk is AWESOME for researching the bike you are wanting to buy. I've learned the best thing to do is get on a site like this one to get all the info and "bottom line" type things you need to know and JUST BUY THE BIKE. Asking them is a waist. They will lie to you just to get you to buy something. You are NOT going to make friends with these people so don't try. Walk in, use them for what they are worth, and walk out. I know that sounds mean but given a chance, they will take you for a cleaning.


That's great until you need something that day. There is one Yamaha shop here. If I need something that day I'm screwed. Most likely the local shops here won't have what you need. But they can order it for you, charge you more and take longer than getting it on the internet. I have a mechanic to go, to but he doesn't cary any extra goodies! I will definately leave town to buy my next new bike!

  • TWILES

Posted May 24, 2007 - 03:25 PM

#13

Getting something "that day" is impossible here unless its oil, plugs, and MAYBE a cable. I've needed 2 things for my bike and they had one of each and had to knock the dust off both of them....air filter and a rear tire. Anything else, its a week wait IF the parts guys remembers to order it. I hate to bitch because they don't make enough to buy the bikes they are working on but my god. Its pathetic. Some need to be sent back to the used-car lot and grocery store they came from. From what I've seen, if a person that really tries and cares about their jobs actually gets a job at a dealership they are either ran off or possibly luck up and move up the ladder and atleast have a little say-so in their day BUT that still doesn't mean the idiot under him will do his job.

  • ajetmech

Posted May 24, 2007 - 06:43 PM

#14

How many Honda/Yamaha dealers in the area, say 100 mile radius? Here there are 20 or so. I'll bet in your small town dealer there is less negotiation on price. It is great to have that service your dealer provides and it may be worth the difference in price IMHO.


There are I say at least 3 Honda/yamaha dealers with in 120 miles including Chaperral also all of the other major dealers. His prices are fair one can also pick up new bike still in a create at a heck of a deal. I believe that if you treat them fair they treat you fair. But the bottom line is you need to do your homework first know what you want and know the base cost because no matter what EVERYONE is out to make a buck or two your knowlage and attitude is going to determin if they are going to make it off of you or that " I got to have it now guy" just my two cents.

  • Lowedog

Posted May 24, 2007 - 08:43 PM

#15

Same thing here with the local dealers.:) They don't carry crap for parts for the bikes they sell. Then it's full mark up on it. I buy online from Zanotti's for OEM and get things faster than the local shop can for almost half the price.

Thinking of going orange for my next bike. There are some small shops around here that only carry KTM and they are great! They all know their product and ride them too!

-Lowedog

  • TWILES

Posted May 25, 2007 - 05:58 AM

#16

I'd like to have a KTM next but the closest shop is over an hour away.....
I love the 450XC and they have their 525XC and 450MX quads coming out later this year. I'm sure both will be great. I finally got to see a picture of one of them...aside from the hood and headlight on the XC, it looks almost identical to the 1985 Suzuki Quadracer 250...in other words, its ugly.

  • MSHAM

Posted May 25, 2007 - 06:15 AM

#17

Same thing here with the local dealers.:) They don't carry crap for parts for the bikes they sell. Then it's full mark up on it. I buy online from Zanotti's for OEM and get things faster than the local shop can for almost half the price.

Thinking of going orange for my next bike. There are some small shops around here that only carry KTM and they are great! They all know their product and ride them too!

-Lowedog

I grew up down the street from Zanotti. Zanotti's was the first motorcycly shop I was ever in. I remember looking at the atc70 and the little dirtbikes! HOOKED!!!!! Remember when three wheelers were a new thing. I do!

  • JaysDirtyRide

Posted May 25, 2007 - 01:14 PM

#18

There are, of course, basic business principles that the bean-counters obsess over and then there is the critical factor of customer satisfaction with their experience with a vendor.

Since I'm a sales guy I'm rather partial to this expression:

The customer is always served. Make a customer feel like a million bucks and you'll score some of their money...eventually. I think that true customer service is a lost art.

If you find a dealership that really enjoys serving it's customers then pass the word. Help the great dealerships thrive and starve out the crappy ones.

-Jay

  • FreeRideSouth

Posted May 26, 2007 - 07:05 PM

#19

I stand corrected. I actually believed that the shop I was dealing with could have been different.

My WR will be shipped the coming week. I ordered the GYT-R exhaust and AIS removal parts through the service department trying to give the shop that sold me the bike some work. A week after I put in the order I get the call it is all on Back Order.

Oh well, I tried. I will have it all the work done here and may opt for a Yosh slip on and the TT AIS kit with the JD jet kit.

  • Bamster

Posted May 27, 2007 - 05:21 AM

#20

If your dealer dosn't ride offroad don't buy from him.




 
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