Dealers are taking on a wide range of initiatives including increasing advertising and social media efforts, improving training efforts, building efficiencies and diversifying product lines.
What's one thing you'll do at your dealership in 2018 to make it a better year than 2017?
A: “At Rathbone Sales, we will be focusing the majority of our advertising efforts on social media and our website. We had great results in 2017 and will be doubling down in 2018.I would be interested in hearing other dealerships strategies with their social media and digital advertising. Successes and failures in digital advertising would helpful!"
— Sam Rathbone, Rathbones Sale, Moses Lake, Wash.
A: “The one thing I will do next year is advertise more.”
— Jeff Johnson, Southern Equipment Co., Andalusia, Ala.
A: “We will be developing and utilizing social media more efficiently to get in contact and maintain relationships with our customer base and focus and connect with the new generations who are taking over family farms, businesses and who are often doing business very differently. By this I mean they are more instep with current technologies offered by the industry today. As a dealer, we have to rise up and embrace the technologically advanced equipment offerings from the manufacturers we represent.”
— John Hiebert, Parkland Farm Equipment, Stony Plains, Alberta.
A: “This year we want to get turn-around times down. We have had plenty of work, but are trying to nail down why our turn-around times are not as good as we can do. Today's customer is about speed. We have more complaints about how long it takes than we do about price. This proves people are willing to pay for speed.”
— Gary Grollmus, Al-Joe's, Hamilton, Ohio
A: “Minimize and/or eliminate mistakes.”
— Todd Hopkins, Garden City Farm Equipment, Garden City, Kan.
A: “Train managers how to be effective supervisors.”
— Darrell Pankratz, PrairieLand Partners, Hutchinson, Kan.
A: “Look at more cost-cutting measures. Keep a closer eye on equipment trade values.”
— Douglas Lynn, Dillon Tractor & Implement Co., Inc., Dillon, S.C.
A: “We will add people to take some workload from other employees who have been tasked with spearheading growth initiatives. 2017 was a year of training, either internal or external. Senior management will coach and support our department managers to enable them to achieve their department financial goals. If the business coasts, it is actually falling behind.”
— Trent Hummel, KeyAg Kubota, Red Deer, Alberta
A: “Diversifying our equipment type offering.”
— Bill Bonner, Sandyland Equipment LLC., Fairfield, Texas
A: “I will make educating producers and promoting soil health management my #1 priority.”
— Jim Boak, Salford Group, Ontario, Can.
A: “We have Ag Web Services to refresh our website and make it mobile friendly. This comes at no expense to the dealer and is the trend of future tractor buyers. We have been lax on internet initiatives because our store sits on interstate 35 with more than 265,000 in traffic count daily. Our parking lot has always been running over until this past year. We are trying to change the way we perceive our customers by more social media posting and internet awareness. We hope this next year is a year to remember as a great selling year. ACM has added Gehl skid steers, track loaders and mini excavators to our lineup, trying to improve traffic.”
— Allen Berry, ACM Tractor Sales, San Marcos, Texas
A: “Delegate more nonessential tasks/processes. Focus on the reports and results. Monitor the work, not do the work.”
— Scotty Wadsworth, Tri County Equipment, Saginaw, Mich.
A: “Today's customer whether rural lifestyler, professional contractor or full-time farmer, is all about speed. The RL customer is juggling a job, family, "free time" and property upkeep. The professional contractor is trying to squeeze in one more job, while the full-time farmer is trying to operate with one less employee. When parts or repairs are needed, they are not keeping that old tractor as a backup. Same goes for parts and sales. For a new purchase, they want simple and easy. Make the purchasing decision easy to understand (different models, specifications, transmissions, weights, options and fast). If the sales person gets all bogged down in explaining the differences, the opportunity is missed."
— Gene Saville, Lamb & Webster, Springville, N.Y.
A: “Ask for more money!”
— Monte Sandifer, M.S. Diversified, Fairfax, Minn.
A: “Yes, we are interested in doing it better!”
— Les Boring, Kuester Implement, Bloomingdale, Ohio