Once the exclusive domain of paid professionals, more and more amateur competitive and enthusiast cyclists are purchasing power meters to take their riding to the next level. With a little bit of knowledge, some simple sales techniques, and the right inventory and/or distributor relationship, a specialist retailer can open up a new and highly profitable source of revenue. Stages sheds light on the who, what and how’s of the market…
Here David Walker of Stages Cycling shares his insight on how to drive your power business…
WHO’S THE CUSTOMER?
Power meters are usually associated with bike racers, triathletes, and other competitive athletes. At this point, virtually every pro uses a power meter, but the market for power measurement is much broader than that. Beyond racers, consider any rider training for a goal event such as a Gran Fondo, a century or a charity ride. A rider will find a comfortable power output during training, then translate that effort to the event to make sure they’ll finish strong. Or how about someone who’s taking up cycling to lose weight? A power meter will allow them to measure and track calories burned in a much more accurate manner than using estimates from heart rate. Bottom line, the market for power measurement is much broader than just racers.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
If you wait for people to ask for a Stages or another power meter, you’ll only be getting a small fraction of potential sales. So here’s how to identify potential buyers!
First, find out if they have a goal for their cycling:
“Are you planning to just go out and ride for fun, or do you have a fitness goal in mind? You know, training for an event, losing weight, or just monitoring your progress as you improve?”
Note that it’s important not just to ask about fitness, but to give them some examples that they may either have already thought of, or that your question might prompt them to want to do.
If you get a positive response, next, find out how technical they are. “So have you used a bike computer before, do you have a Garmin, or a SmartPhone? Or do you use Strava?” They need to be at least somewhat technically inclined or equipped before they’ll be interested in power monitoring.
With positive answers to these questions, you are ready to talk to them about how a power meter can help them meet their goals. Of course, it helps to also have a sense about their budget. A $500 hybrid shopper may not bite on the power meter this time, although it never hurts to briefly introduce the concept of measuring power. This is especially true if the rider has an indoor cycling background as they may have been introduced to the concept of power during their indoor classes
A $5,000 road bike buyer who drove up in a BMW is a more obvious target; someone who’s into the tech and seeking a goal will better consider spending 10% of the bike price, no matter what their age or current fitness level. But there are plenty of customers in between those. Think again about their goals and how power might help them be reached. Don’t leave MTB riders out, too – remember that all top cross-country racers, enduro pros, and most downhill guys also train with power.
Power is the single best investment in reaching your fitness and/ or competitive goals. The more you measure, the faster you’ll progress. And Stages power meters are quick and simple to install – 10 minutes and you can start down the path toward your goal.
- Work with brands that protect your pricing. For instance, Stages does sell consumer-direct, but at the MSRP price only. Dealers have the same 48-hour delivery, but with the need for installation it means the customer will buy it from you.
- Power meters provide an opportunity to up sell on cycling computers, especially to one like Stages Dash delivers a complete ecosystem.
- Consider working with brands that allow easy, low-investment stocking of multiple options that will work seamlessly with the most common bike specifications.
Stages Cycling is available in the UK via Saddleback, who are contactable on 01454 285285.