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Prejudice against BMW Riders

Discussion in 'General R1200RS Discussions' started by Hugh, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Hugh

    Hugh Active Member

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    I am sure that this topic has been done to death but this morning on impulse popped into a dealership in the West Country that sells Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki bikes. The salesman for the latter looks out of the window, distainfully looks at my bike and says “We don’t mention the B word here” and doesn’t say another word to me again.
    Firstly, what’s he doing in sales?
    Secondly, if all the Jap riders are so bloody special how come none of them were out for a ride on a freezing day?
     
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  2. Mr. 36654

    Mr. 36654 Well-Known Member

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    Your response should have been........I'm looking for something for my neighbor's kid. He does a good job mowing the lawn....
     
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  3. Brian63

    Brian63 Active Member

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    Hi Hugh
    Its not just Japanese bike 3 years ago i was looking at a Aprilia Capanord travel pack the sales man ordered a low seat at his cost for me to try the bike but trying to get a test ride was a problem just thought he was being awkward as the weather was not the best. However a mate visited the same dealer and was looking at the same bike but he was taking to the owner who said "we have some one interested but has a BMW which we don't want him to part x " This was my 18 month old k1300s . As it was after that conversation neither of use had bike off him !! He lost two sales that day.
    its the only time i have had this attitude from a bike shop

    Brian
     
  4. Bravo

    Bravo Plenty in the tank Contributor

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    It's their low self-esteem that causes them to be like that . Everyone knows that BMW (especially RS) owners are the Master Race.
    Strength through joy!
     
  5. Brimstone Mahone

    Brimstone Mahone Well-Known Member

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    You are right, of course, the salesman's words are the opposite of what it takes to make a sale. Hard to believe he would last long as a salesman. I remember the words of my first boss when I worked for about 6 months at a music store as a first job. A customer came in looking for a specific brand item; we did not carry that brand, though we carried others. I told him that another (competing) music store a few blocks away had that brand. He thanked me and left. After he left, the boss - really neat guy - politely but firmly explained to me that my job as a SALESMAN for this store was to sell OUR products, not somebody else's. ;) I said, "But he wanted the [XYZ] brand!" He said, "Then convince him that he wants the brand WE sell! :)

    You will never sell anything by badmouthing a product the potential buyer owns. He should have praised the BMW and then asked how he could help...

    The implied part, that BMW is maybe for "older folks" is certainly real, at least as a brand ID, even though they make a sport bike that can hang with anything in the class. But, that's just the reality. Harleys used to be for the "young and restless" Now they have the same "old guy" reputation.
     
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  6. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    Name and shame ....
     
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  7. James Bagley

    James Bagley Well-Known Member

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    I don’t ride my RS because it is the envy of all who view it. Instead, I ride it because it performs very well and meets my criteria for an outstanding street bike. I expect that there are lots of folks who feel differently. No problem...that’s why there are competing marques.
     
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  8. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Maybe if the manager knew that he was saying sh*t like that he'd be gone. I go to my multi-line dealership all the time and their attitude is much more conducive to selling bikes and appreciating the customer. They do respect the BMW and Ducati owners (they sell those brands) and gladly show me Kawasakis and Yamahas if I ask to see those bikes.

    Consider leaving a review on Yelp. I did that once with a BS Toyota dealership up the road from my house and got a response from the manager regarding the matter. She tried to make things right but I was not really interested. They had already lost my business and instead had my feedback. The issue was their sales people who seemed to be lackadaisical about approaching a customer (me) interested in the product they were selling. That happened more than once.

    Something similar happened with Wild West Motorsports in Katy Houston. Went there 3 times and no one came over to say hello as I was browsing bikes. On the 4th time I got attention. I don't go there any more and do not recommend them to anyone. They are one of the 4 dealerships which sell BMWs but the other three have attitudes that appreciate the customer, and that is HUGE with me.

    As for BMW riders riding in inclement weather - you guys ride a heck of a lot more over there than here. Here people have bikes as toys, no ifs ands or buts. There may be the odd exception. Let the weather be nice and warmish and see them show up on the road (especially the HD riders!). Anything other than that and they wimp out. When you do see BMW riders here, it is in all weathers. The people in my office look at me like if I am crazy for riding in "winter" (quotes because winter in Houston does not involve snow or ice, just the occasional cold).
     
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  9. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    I hope that he also cautioned to not be too pushy while trying to sell the products that your shop sold, because to people like me that often backfires. I get grumpy and remind them that I was looking for the other part. There is am art to sales and not everyone is cut out for it. On the other hand I would remember the helpful young man who told me about the other store and would hold nothing against his store that did not have the item I wanted, this time. And I would likely come back to the same store next time and look for that same young man. I am like that and not saying this because we are on this forum and supposed to be nice to one another. :)
    Dead right. That is how a good salesman could approach it.
     
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  10. DABs

    DABs Active Member

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    Proffering impartial, informed advice first is a cheap, sound way of gaining trust. Marketing types may regard it as a loss-leader, but one often with a good return downstream.

    Dave
     
  11. Brimstone Mahone

    Brimstone Mahone Well-Known Member

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  12. DJBee

    DJBee Active Member

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    Personally, I have never suffered from anti-BMW sentiment in shops. If I ever had, I would not be there for very long anyway. I do notice that the cheery head nod or wave is often not returned by sports bike and HD riders though. Doesn't really worry me though.
    Talking of sales-men reminded me of the time I went off to buy my first set of leathers. I was a rather scruffy twenty something year old at the time with rather long hair and of diminutive stature. I had saved up the money to do the deed though. When I approached the sales-person in the well known London dealership and asked the price of the set of leathers I had been examining, he sneered, looked me up and down and said "Very expensive". He then walked off, as did I and bought my first set of leathers somewhere else. Book and cover!
     
  13. fischetg

    fischetg Active Member

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    Lousy customer service is everywhere. Locally, a multi-line dealer (Aprilia, Guzzi and Triumph) ignored me. I walked in, looked around, there were a couple of guys having conversations. I could not tell who was an employee and who was a customer. So I went about the store, sat on a few bikes, examined others. I spent at least 30 minutes there and not even a hello. So I left. I wound up buying a Thruxton R from a dealer over the phone who was interested in selling a bike.

    IMG_2016.PNG
     
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  14. Brimstone Mahone

    Brimstone Mahone Well-Known Member

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    Nice bike; I sometimes think about a Thruxton R. I'm going to need a bike to keep in the UK. Beginning this June we will be living there each year June thru Sep. Probably wouldn't be the best bike for general riding around/light touring but my Ducati 916 and (later) 996 weren't well suited for that either and I managed. Of course, I'm older now...HEY, that's why I have BMWs! :)

    That last comment is meant to be sarcastic...well other than the part that I'm older now. ;)
     
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  15. Mr. 36654

    Mr. 36654 Well-Known Member

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    Ya know, just a simple "Hello" would be nice. Of course, back in the old days, (3-decades ago) when you still had some of the old-time Mom & Pop shops.......that was a trip. They either liked or hated you just from the way you walked in the door. In 1986, I was looking for a BMW K75. One old-time BSA-Triumph dealer (still had NOS Silver Jubilee Bonneville's in his showroom), that used to my local source for Airhead parts, sent me to his buddy who was a BMW dealer of similar vintage. I made the trek to BMW dealer, had a pleasant chat with Mrs. Owner, but Mr. Owner took one look at me an said........"I'm not dealing with that guy...". End of visit.

    So, I went elsewhere. That's the way it was.

    Of course, from the salesman perspective, the issue is...........Picking the target that gets the most commission for the least amount of face-time. I've been told, by a HonYamuki salesman, that 15-minutes is a good target for time from greet to sale.
     
  16. Richard230

    Richard230 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    The sales staff at my local BMW dealer has always (since it opened in 1985) dropped everything they were doing that didn't involve a sale and immediately would rush over to a potential customer that walks through their door. They would never let a fish get off the hook and the shop has always done well over the years, through thick or thin, selling BMW motorcycles. While I have not been always thrilled about the BMW motorcycles that I have bought, I continue to buy them because I appreciate their dealerships and their customer service - especially when compared with the Japanese-brand shops that I have visited.
     
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  17. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Hahaha ... 15 minutes is an impossibility with me. Heck I need more than 15 minutes to convince myself! If a salesman is mindful of and clearly pushing for the 15 minute target he will most likely not make the sale with me.
     
  18. DJBee

    DJBee Active Member

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    I suspect that the salesman's job has rather changed when it comes to motorcycles and things motorcycling.

    Who now enters a showroom intending to buy a motorcycle (or sometimes, car) these days with an open mind, offering themselves as a malleable piece of prey to a salesman, however competent or not they might be? I think most people have pretty much decided what they wish to buy before they ever set foot in the shop. They may need the confirmation of a test ride to reassure themselves that their research has come to the correct conclusion and if their research has been thorough, this confirmation is likely to be the norm. This is certainly the way that I have bought every single motorcycle or car, mostly second-hand, over the last thirty years at least. I suppose second-hand purchases may be slightly different but decisions here are, I would say, mostly related to the actual condition of the individual specimen in question rather than the make and model. I have no recollection of ever buying a motorcycle, car, helmet etc. that did not come directly from research that I had undertaken. I have never bought any of these from a decision made on the spot and persuaded by any form of sales pitch.

    Prior to the interweb, my research was via a massive consumption of magazine articles. Yes, I know that magazine articles often had opinions strongly related to who was buying advertising in the publication, but you could usually read through the 'code' that the journalists used if you were canny. There were also good titles and good journalists who were more honest than some of their less scrupulous brethren. Of course talking to other riders was important as well- as was just keeping your eyes open.

    The role of the salesman these days is, I think, much more related to how many 'extras' he (she?) can persuade you to buy; extended warranties, servicing deals, panniers, clothing etc., and of course the final price and the various repayment/loan options. I have been told that all these extras, especially the finance options, are often as, or more important than the profit on the vehicle itself.
     
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  19. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    A 15 minute sale would be impossible in the UK now, due to all the legislative bollocks they have to read off the screen before giving you a quote, especially if finance is involved. Once I agreed the purchase of my BMW there was then a myriad of forms to sign, some of them legal requirements, some of them were to refuse the multiple extras offered by the sales person - signed on an electronic pad so the salesperson could evidence he had done his job properly. On delivery day, we had another load of forms to process. Similar processes when I bought my Triumph a few months later, and the new car ordered yesterday...
     
  20. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Hehehe ... you'd be surprised. I overhear these conversations on the showroom floor and you'd be amazed at what you hear. Sometimes its like the blind leading the blind. :D Then you see these beautiful bikes afterwards in the pre-owned inventory and conclude that the bike must have been bought for the wrong reason and without doing necessary homework.
     

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