On my way back from an errand the other day I passed by the Harley-Davidson dealership. Harley-Davidson has marketing down to a science. Think about what vision pops to mind when you see a Harley? For most, it’s a 40 something accountant being able to “step outside his box”. Leathers on, wind blowing through his hair and the loud, unmistakable sound of a big hog speeding down the open road. It’s not about the bike – it’s about the experience. Now that’s marketing.
The typical Harley-Davidson costs between $15k to 30k? Sound about right? Now that’s the same price as a vehicle but with one big difference. A car is a necessity. The bike is a luxury. It comes from the disposable part of the person’s budget not the fixed expenses. It falls into the same category as the diamond rings, campers, boats and vacation homes. It’s purely for enjoyment.
We hear a lot of whining and complaining from the car industry about the price of the product they are selling. “It’s so hard to market a big ticket item”. “If only I had something less expensive to offer…”
Our answer to the dilemma – offer something that is either free or low-priced to go with the main product you are selling. This does two things. 1. It builds your client list. Many people will come in for a free or low cost item. It grabs their attention. Not many things in life are free. 2. Once people spend money with you the first time they are more likely to do it again. You can focus more on the larger profit the second time.
Harley does just this. Many advertisements go like this: “[Picture of the bike] Just $23,997!”
Some ads may have a little additional info like payment terms, financing ect…
But this particular dealership I passed by had a huge banner outside that said: “Learn to Ride: $199!”
What a great idea. They took the $20,000+ sale and turned it into $199 introduction.
Think about it. You are a 40 year old guy or gal needing a change. Feeling the itch for the open road and the wind blowing through your hair. You love the idea of a motorcycle. Everyone, including your spouse and kids, thinks you are losing your mind and need to be committed to the nearest institution. After all $20,000+ is a lot of money if you are not even sure you can ride a motorcycle. What if it turns out to not be your thing?
But….for a mere $199 you can get all your concerns answered. You can prove to yourself, and your wife, that you can ride. It’s a very small investment and if it doesn’t work out you can simply walk away. What a deal! “This is the answer”, you say to yourself.
For Harley this is the best part: you are paying for their sales pitch. They know that, for most people, once they sit on the bike, that is it. The itch for the open road just becomes stronger. It’s merely a test drive and you’ve just paid for it.
So when the offer is made a few things happen:
1. You become their customer
2. The thrill of the ride
3. The sales pitch
4. The desire to not only buy a motorcycle, but buy a Harley-Davidson
All great benefits for the dealership.
So how does this relate to you? Take from what Harley has done. Try to think of something smaller you can offer to bring them in the door. Get that first sale to make them a loyal customer. Think about ways they can pay you for your sales pitch.
Understanding this tactic can make a big difference in your business.
About The Author
Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller provide the world’s greatest advice auto marketing and are the co-authors of Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers. They also provide a free auto dealer marketing gift at http://www.automarketingadvice.com