Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Client Courtship

For motorcycle and other three-season dealers and servicers, February is prime time to begin advertising they’re upcoming spring shows.

With winter weather in full swing, for most people the last thing they want to think about are the warm weather three-season vehicles (think motorcycles, four wheelers and jet skis). Try riding your motorcycle from Indiana to Michigan in the middle of February; no thank you! But, for dealers and servicers, February is prime time to begin advertising they’re upcoming spring shows.

I spoke with Mike Claycomb, the Lead Technician at Action Motorsports in Lafayette, IN about how he’s using the “off-season” to prepare for the spring frenzy. “It’s important to winterize motorcycles and really all three-season automotives. And, it’s important to get them ready for the first spring ride.” he says. Although riding isn’t in full swing right now, it’s important to use this time to maintain the vehicles, and to put the dealership in your readers’ radar, so when the warm weather hits, they’ll know where to go.

Try something knew, and see if it works”
Mike Claycomb, action Motorsports

Claycomb says its important to go into the dealership asking questions, and have a stash of options for advertising they can explore. Treat the sales call as though you’re on a first date, talk to them with genuine care and interest, soak in what they’re saying and offer them solutions that will get their name and their product known within your home community. Don’t be afraid to give them off the wall ideas, Claycomb was intrigued to learn about QR codes and would love to have their classified advertising partner (the local newspaper) help them upkeep their social media, and advance a mobile technology campaign. “Try something new, and see if it works.”

Try creating a spec ad or guide to present to the dealership or service shop upon meeting or send them a PDF via e-mail that shows the basics of getting the three-season vehicles road ready. Prepare to run a special the first week of March and offer premium spacing to servicers, body shops, accessory dealers or venues. Create a sense of ownership over the ad, and they’ll be eating out of your hand.

If the dealer or servicer isn’t ready to promote next season, however, don’t worry, you’ve laid the groundwork for a solid relationship once the weather warms. Remember your mom’s advice before your first date: don’t forget your manners, smile, be yourself and listen to what they have to say.