PowerSports Business

March 13, 2017

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is continuing his popular and effective Polaris Demo Tour ride again this winter. A time- proven and highly effective way to sell sleds, demo rides offer a unique opportunity to size up potential buyers while demonstrating the advantages of the latest products, and Appol- son uses this promotional technique with other types of vehicles, too. Postponed in 2017 from January to Feb- ruary due to a lack of snow, Appolson's sled demo event began a decade ago to reach and motivate potential snowmobile buyers. Three years ago, a Polaris film crew was able to visit his Demo Tour event for sleds and was impressed. The first day was rough due to poor snow conditions, but several inches of snow overnight turned it into a great success the next day. Demo Tour ride participants are strongly encouraged to register in advance, which is done on the dealership's website. During regis- tration, participants provide full contact infor- mation, state their level of experience, request a time slot and select a specific Polaris model to try out. Unregistered drop-ins may participate, if they can be accommodated. There's also a standard waiver form to be signed at the event, and a grill with hot dogs and burgers provides on-site refreshments as an icebreaker for con- versation. And this year, riders were entered in a drawing to win a Polaris jacket and bibs. It also provides a great opportunity for Appolson and his staff to meet customers in a neutral set- ting, to get to know them better and to demon- strate their latest products. "The big thing we sell is the premium performance and comfort that Polaris is delivering with the Axys chassis," Appolson said. He and his staff also dress in the latest 32 • March 13, 2017 • Powersports Business SNOWMOBILE www.PowersportsBusiness.com If it at first it never snows, don't wait around — just get it done! Appolson's Performance Center, located near Buffalo, was originally scheduled to host its demo rides at the New York State Snowmobile Association and Erie County Federation of Snowmobile Clubs' Annual Ride-In event in January. Alas, weather conditions were 55 degrees and rain all week, so Appolson's opted out and rescheduled for the first Saturday in February at a local county park. The dealership had planned to turn the event into a customer appreciation day and have a picnic alongside the demo rides. As the date got closer, there was not enough snow to open the trail system that runs through the park. But instead of cancelling, Appolson's decided to host the event in its showroom. A private trail on the dealership's property leads to the trail system. The roughly 25 minute ride included an open area where the riders were able to switch sleds, open them up and really get a feel for the different sleds in the lineup and find out what works best for them. The shop featured a festive atmosphere with hamburgers, hot dogs, cupcakes and more for customers, both riders and non-riders. The event introduced a few more people to snowmo- biling, and kids were treated to demo rides on an Indy 120. By all accounts, the 40 attendees who showed up were appreciative that the date did not get pushed back once again — and the dealership hit a home run despite another potentially dire situation. PSB APPOLSON'S CONTINUED FROM PAGE 30 Snocross tour in Salamanca, New York. Friday night at the Eastern National, win number 125 eluded Hibbert after he finished a hard-fought second place. Confident in his performance, he entered Saturday determined to get to the top step of the podium. On winning his 125th Pro National race, Hibbert said, "It feels awesome being able to get my 125th win this weekend. We (the team) have been thinking about 125 since we got 100. It's crazy to have it actually hap- pen now. That's a lot of races and a lot of great memories." On his performance at the Eastern National: "I'm really happy with my finishes in New York getting a first and second in the mains. Unfortunately, it's bittersweet because I only won one of my qualifiers and so much points are given in the qualifying rounds. Moving forward, I need to really focus on winning my quali- fying races to be able to get back on top of the points championship." PSB CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31 While Mother Nature offered many challenges, Appolson's Performance Center near Buffalo overcame a major obstacle — lack of snow — to hold a successful snowmobile demo ride event at its dealership. apparel to show it to potential buyers in a real-world situation. "We don't expect to sell sleds immedi- ately," he said, noting that although there are always special deals available, they don't offer any sales specials that are specifically tied to the demo event. "There isn't an instant reward to this," he explained. "It's not like we sell six or 10 machines the next day. But it creates relationships." And those relationships pay off when the potential customer is ready to move to a new ride. Regarding new technology, Appolson says many customers are interested in the Polaris Interactive Digital Display (PIDD). This gauge package upgrade provides a full color display covering vehicle data, naviga- tion and smartphone connectivity through Bluetooth technology. And in aftermarket apparel, Appolson reports that FXR Racing gear has been well received since its recent addition at the dealership. PSB Based in Pittsford, New York, David Wells is a member of the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame. He has been a contributor to Powers- ports Business since its inception. Brands like Castle X, Arctiva and FXR get prime treatment for snowmobile customers at Appolson's. MAKING IT WORK DIGEST

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