Tapping into the customer's enduring passion for the road bike

Tapping into the customer's enduring passion for the road bike

Ultimately it’s about the emotion of performance. A road bike makes a very clear and bold statement. It’s about the ride and it’s about you.

Stripped of paraphernalia, you tune into where you’re heading and your position on the bike.
As your muscles warm up, you hit that sweet spot where you can power up, let it roll, recover and repeat. We’re drawn into a

narrative – our mind’s eye plays images of the great legends climbing Alpe d’Huez. The road bike basically says “come on” - it’s our ego staring right back at us and asking what we’re waiting for.

Less is more: You can forgive your customer for not knowing where to start when there are so many road bike options available. Displaying a random floor full of bikes doesn’t necessarily help. Less is more. Look at how Shimano marketed their Steps mid-motor last year with about seven larger-than- life customer profile portraits - when you look at a display, you remember the emotion you feel from what you see. We all have a preferred learning method – through our eyes, our ears or hands. Ideally use all three when you’re with a customer.

On listening: I believe the customer has all the answers; you just have to ask the right questions. What got you into cycling? What are you currently riding? Where do you see yourself riding? Who do you ride with? How’s your fitness? What’s your job? Even asking a customer if they remember their first bike may tap into that passion. Listening to your customer’s answers should reveal what aspirations they have. Keep the focus on them, and be mindful that your authenticity and passion comes across.

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Yeah, but – how do you stop the freshly-informed customer just walking away and ordering online? Well, here’s a fact that’s stayed with me from the early days of Trek UK. When Stacey said “sell your store”, she meant “and the customer will want to buy what you’re selling”. “People buy from people” is an old adage but, people still need to buy from people to get exactly what they want. The fact is, most of us don’t watch a YouTube tutorial and then cut our own hair.

On looking: Your store should convey the emotion that’s behind a customer being for life, not just for Christmas. An image can go straight to the heart
– find a good photographer and show some emotion. Put that authenticity, professionalism and passion into images within your store.

On hands on: Consider offering a programme of masterclasses for your road bike customer community e.g. going tubeless, changing a tube on the road, handlebars, riding clipless, saddles and riding position, hydraulic brakes, going wireless, bespoke gearing. Get the coffee on, keep the numbers low and let word of mouth work its magic.

There is so much technology out there but when it comes down to it, your store holds the key to matching the right technology with the right customer together with the right interface.

Liz Colebrook BSc OT BA, framebuilder Liz@beaumontbicycle.co.uk www.beaumontbicycle.com

Tags: opinion , cycling industry news , Liz Colebrook

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