Question: Here’s how readers responded to the question in Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s 2013 Dealer Business Trends and Outlook survey:

“Simple answer is our people. Our parts and service people try to remember our customers’ interests, not just their names. As a company, trying to have the newest and latest equipment on hand to display and demo. Partnering with local organization for events. Monthly emails.”

—    Taylors, S.C.

“Each salesperson has their customer lists and we do big-time advertising.”

—    City and state withheld by request

“Outside sales has been the best way to bring in new business primarily in the construction, landscape and governmental segments. It has helped to retain our customers and obtain loyalty from our large ag customers.”

—    Fort Wayne, Ind.

“TV, open house, direct mail, customer service.”

— Rocky Mountain, Va.

“Advertising on TV attracts them. Retaining: We try to make their problem our problem.”

—    Rogersville, Mo.

“Radio and print ads.”

—    Mears, Mich.

“Giving good and prompt service. Always being honest.”

—    New Denmark, New Brunswick

“Good service and knowledge-based consulting.”

—    Iona Station, Ontario

“Our motto here: Quality Machinery is 'Strong on Service.' Most customers in this area know this is not just a motto, but it’s our way of doing business. If they buy the machinery from us, they know they are first in line when it comes to meeting the challenges of having a machine running seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We are here for them. Whatever it takes to get them going, we will do it.”

—    Hanford, Calif.

“Excellent service.”

—    Penn Run, Pa.

 “Customer service excellence, variety in our product portfolio, and competitive pricing.”

—    Lakeville, Minn.

“Fair profit, honest service.”

—    Woodbine, Md.

“Aggressive sales promotion (advertising) using radio, newspapers, billboards, direct mail, etc. Great service and long-time employees.”

—    Tulsa, Okla.

“Respecting the customers’ questions and giving correct answers.”

—    Lockwood, Mo.

“Being personable. Working after hours to help them out.”

—    Neligh, Neb.


—    Iuka, Miss.

“By providing a consistently positive retail, parts and service experience for customers.”

—    Learnington, Ontario

“Advertising is our most costly way to promote ourselves. It seems as though word-of-mouth from good service and dealings has been the most successful at converting potentials into customers and keeping them.”

—    Pomfret Center, Conn.

 “Personal touch.”

— West Jefferson, Ohio

 “Radio, newspaper and billboard ads are the main paid advertising we use. Word-of-mouth is huge for our area. We retain our customers by treating them fairly, keeping parts and equipment in stock, servicing their equipment quickly and repairing it right the first time — and listening to them.”

—    Centerville, Iowa

 “Service, service, service.”

—    Caldwell, Ohio

 “Service and meeting customers' needs.

—    Hillsboro, Texas

 “Good service.”

—    Bath, N.Y.

“Advertising in weekly papers. Prominent displays along two main highways.”

—    City withheld, Alberta

 “Always hard to keep customers.”

—    Trois-Rivieres, Quebec

 “Media and customer experience.”

—    City withheld, Georgia

“Open house, customer appreciation days, etc.”

—    Lebanon, Pa.

 “Radio, newspaper, website, social media.”

—    Cleveland, Tenn.

 “Quality products. Superb service.”

—    Chaffee, N.Y.

 “Competitive pricing and good customer service.”

—    Charles City, Iowa


“Television and print ads and word of mouth. Excellent service after the sale retains customers.” 

—   Mendon, N.Y.

 “Various media messages:  print, radio, TV and direct mail.”

—    Alvin, Texas

 “Good parts availability and service.”

—    Rockford, Ill.

“Customer service always.”

—    Benson, Ariz.

 “John Deere products and excellent service.”

—    City withheld, Ontario

 “Stay in contact. Build relationships.”

—    Tupelo, Miss.

 “Doing more electronic attraction. Good service.”

—    Glen Arm, Md.

 “We push the whole aftermarket experience.”

—    McKinney, Texas


—    Iuka, Miss.

 “Good service.”

—    West Plains, Mo.

 “Email, ads, personal contact.”

—    New Era, Mich.

 “Very good service after the sale. Top-of-the-line products. Advertisements and specials.”

—    Shreveport, La.

 “Printed advertising, web advertising, external web retail sites, follow-up calls/mailers and customer-focused events.”

—    Lititz, Pa.

 “Servicing the equipment after the sale.”

—    Tamaqua, Pa.

“Advertising (print, radio and TV) and hopefully being able to back it up with good customer service.”

—    Mountain Grove, Mo.


—    Caldwell, Ohio


—    St. Hyacinth, Quebec

 “Advertising and good service.”

—    Oklahoma City, Okla.

 “References from customers. Internet.”

—    City withheld, Pa.


—    Montgomery, N.Y.

 “Social media, web, radio.”

—    Uvalde, Texas

“Good service and parts, good location, active advertising.”

—    City Withheld, Alberta

“Excellent inventory of equipment, including implements and parts, plus excellent service.”

—    Deland, Fla.

 “Great customer service.”

—    Kimball, Minn.

 “Radio, newspaper , direct mail, word of mouth.”

—    Neligh, Neb.

 “Good service.”

—    Waxahachie, Texas

 “Advertising in multiple venues — newspaper, radio, direct mail and website.”

—    Fredericksburg, Va.

“Advertising, word of mouth, shows and fairs, and service and parts.”

—    Rockwood, Ontario

 “Newspaper, radio, cable TV, fairs, events and shows.”

—    West Valley, N.Y.

“Postcards sent out from our service department.”

—    Harvard, Ill.

 “Being fair, consistent.”

—    Hamilton, Ohio

 “Advertising and better service. Also, we do warranty work that the ‘Big Box’ stores don't.”

—    Charlottesville, Va.

 “Customer service.”

—    Great Falls, Mont.

 “Advertise commercial days yearly, like Deere day or customer appreciation day.”

—    Fort Pierce, Fla.

“Direct mailing of specials and reminder information along with occasional greeting cards.”

—    Kiowa, Colo.


—    Rockford, Ill.

 “Tractor House. Excellent Customer Service.”

— Glencoe, Minn.