In Rural Lifestyle Dealer's 2017 Dealer Business Trends and Outlook survey, we asked dealers how often rural lifestyle customers come to their dealerships with a specific brand in mind and how often customers take their advice.
About 62% of dealers said customers have a specific brand/unit in mind most of the time or almost always when they visit their dealerships. That’s up from 55% reported in last year's survey. (See the chart "Percent of Customer Visits in Which Specific Brand/Unit is Requested.")
Rural equipment buyers do a significant amount of research online as well as seek “word of mouth” recommendations. Dealers have mentioned that customers are not just “kicking tires” when they visit their dealerships. They’re looking for a brand and they’re also seeking out advice from dealers and their sales teams. Nearly 77% of dealers say their recommendations are accepted either most of the time or almost always, down some from last year’s 82%. (See the chart "Percent of Dealer Suggested Product Recommendations Accepted.")
Combining those statistics of brand recognition and expertise, it seems dealers could at least be halfway to a sale when a customer visits. And, financing is often what seals the deal. More than 62% of dealers say customers seek financing from them at least half the time. That’s up from last year when 57% of dealers said customers seek financing from them at least half the time.
A feature in Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s Fall 2016 issue looked at the topic of retail financing in more depth. Experts from Wells Fargo, Mahindra, DLL and Sheffield Financial shared how they are improving processes and accessibility and expanding programs. Go to http://bit.ly/2idAyYX to view the story.