Many times dealerships find themselves focusing much of their energy on growing equipment sales and generating new customers. These are both tremendously important to the health and success of any dealership. However, dealers mustn’t forget that new customers and equipment sales aren’t the only revenue stream.
Repeat business can be just as vital to the success of a business as new customers. The job isn’t over when the equipment is sold, the task at hand simply changes. Now it’s time to stop focusing on the sell and begin looking at how you can follow-up with the customer in the future. One of the best ways to make sure you’re top of mind with customers is by providing them with valuable content.
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Whether you cater to large-scale businesses, weekend warriors (a growing segment in the agriculture industry), or a combination of both one of the most fundamental ways to stay in touch is to provide some sort of follow-up communication about servicing. This could be in the form of an email or a traditional mailer. Reaching out to customers when they’re approaching regular servicing times, or reminding them to head in for servicing in the “off-season” can be a great way to keep in touch without seeming overbearing.
Another great way to keep customers coming back for more is to make them feel truly valued. By offering discounts or exclusive offers to loyal customers you can not only give the customer a great deal, but you are able to express just how important their business is to you.
Some dealerships have begun finding success with special customer loyalty programs that offer bigger discounts and better deals to members the longer they do business with the dealership. If that’s not something you think would work with your current business model it’s not the end of the world. As Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Everyone loves saving a buck when they can. Simply providing sales offers to existing customers can be enough to get them coming back. And when they do, the door remains open for other purchases as well.
Equipment manufacturers are always coming up with new accessories and add-ons for their machines. Let your customers know when something new comes out. Or even if the piece isn’t necessarily new, but can be particularly useful in the upcoming months or season, get the word out. If you have the ability and staff available try putting together some simple content featuring the equipment and pointing out the perks of owning it.
This technique may be particularly useful to dealerships that are selling smaller equipment to consumers (a growing trend for agriculture dealers especially). Nearly half of all North American dealers project at 2% growth in both 2WD tractors under 40HP and 2WD tractors 40-100HP.
So what kind of content can you put out to take advantage of this trend and attract this type of buyer? As with all good content marketing the key here is to make sure you focus on the customer and how it helps them accomplish their goal and not so much the equipment itself.
For example, if you were producing a flyer about a new larger mowing deck you could focus on how easy it makes it for the customer to do twice the work in half the time. Or even show them relaxing after a hard day’s work . Listing specifications and going into detail is great but you never want the equipment itself to be the star of the show. It’s just the tool that makes it possible for the job to be completed. When you try your hand at content marketing, the customer is always the hero.
A great deal of our time today is spent online. So where better to try and reach someone than online? You can take any of the methods I’ve already touched on and use online retargeting to reach your audience. With the data you have from the sale you’ve already made you can easily reach customers with tools available from platforms such as Facebook and Google AdWords.
Creating and using custom audiences of existing customers allows you to get your messaging in front of them wherever they go online. So, even if they’re not ready to make another purchase now, when they are you’ll be the first place they think of.
Taking those regular service intervals into account again you could also create ads specifically aimed to drive traffic back in for servicing. Using your knowledge you could create and distribute ads to the right people at the exact right time to remind them it’s time to come in for service.
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Any one of the various forms of outreach I’ve gone over today would be a great place to start driving repeat business into your dealership. I know it sounds simple enough and fairly obvious but it really is easy to lose sight of just how important a part of the business repeat buyers or customers can be.
For the simple stuff like mailers or service reminders you may feel completely comfortable tackling it on your own. With the more complex options such as retargeting you may want to reach out for some help. If so, let us know. Randall-Reilly has a team of experienced professionals that can help you reach the people you’re after.
Whether you decide to put out the call for help and try flying solo for a while the important thing is you do all you can to follow-up with your customers once they’re out the door. That one customer is more than just one sale. They represent the sale of the equipment and every part, accessory, or servicing associated with it. If you don’t do your part in reaching out to them to try to fill any other needs, your competition surely will.