Need To Get Your Business Growing? Assess Your Equipment Dealership
Maybe your equipment dealership has seen a heartening uptick in business, thanks to the improving economy. Or maybe you’re still waiting to see that improvement. No matter how you’re doing right now, one of the most critical lessons from the recent lean years is that you have to keep your eye on the future in order to keep business growing.
You need to be constantly on the lookout for new sales opportunities. So maybe it’s time to take stock. To make sure you’re looking everywhere you could be, not just going after the usual suspects. Assessing the marketplace and your equipment dealership’s current position within the marketplace will give you significant insight into new opportunities.
Assess the marketplace first.
What business is out there that you’re not getting now? Even if you’ve been around a long time, your best guess isn’t a very good assessment tool. You need broader input. So talk to others in the know – your banker, accountant, attorney, fellow dealers that operate outside your service area. Ask your customers who they know that you should meet. Ask these folks to introduce you, if that’s appropriate. This is good old-fashioned networking.
Is there some type of customer you’ve not targeted in the past, perhaps because they seemed too small to be “worth it” or too large to approach? Everybody who uses the equipment you sell is a potential customer, whether they’re an owner-operator, a multi-location private enterprise or a municipality, public utility or the military. Shouldn’t they be buying from you?
Your goal is to make money, so evaluate potential new markets according to their “profitability potential.” Small, niche markets often offer more potential than larger, extremely competitive ones. So think about prospects your competitors are disregarding.
Are potential customers looking for equipment you don’t sell or some service you don’t provide? Can you add those things to your mix to broaden your dealership’s appeal?
Assess your marketing.
Smart, strategic marketing is at the heart of any plan to get your business growing.
Your own marketing team and outside professionals knowledgeable about construction equipment dealerships can help you develop enticing content that targets new audiences creatively and cost-effectively.
Besides green initiatives and greater fuel-efficiency, what’s trending in your part of the construction industry? Establish yourself as a knowledge-leader to become the go-to resource for customers and prospects.
Start – or beef up – your loyalty program that rewards customers for referrals.
Create a campaign to solicit another kind of input from customers, asking how can we improve? Growing your equipment dealership depends on increasing customer loyalty, not just generating new sales. And inviting customers to help you assess and improve is a terrific, very personal way to engage them. It reinforces the fact that you care about them and consider them a working partner, too. And of course you’re likely to get some great insight into how you can keep your business growing. That’s a win-win-win.
As you evaluate new opportunities, think about who your actual target is, so you can develop an appropriate marketing persona. Don’t forget that the person who makes the final buying decision is usually not working alone, so you’ll want to market to those who influence them, too.
You don’t have to try every new idea at once. Take on one at a time, tracking your results carefully just as you track your other marketing efforts. That way you can fine-tune your approach to new markets using the data you collect and the ongoing input you receive from customers, colleagues and others.
Creative thinking is always in style, and your business environment will continue to evolve. So make this type of assessment a part of your annual planning process to stay ahead of the competition and keep your business growing.