Economic indicators seem to be top news this past week or so — or maybe I’m just paying more attention to the numbers, with the election looming. For instance, the Federal Reserve says that the country’s industrial output fell 1.2% in August, the biggest drop since 2009. Another Federal Reserve study shows that the U.S. unemployment rate would be around 7% instead of 8-9% without the current level of doubt among consumers about economic issues.

On the other end of the spectrum, optimism among the nation’s home builders climbed in September for the fifth straight month, to reach the highest level in more than six years. That’s according to numbers from the National Ass. of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index.

What does this mean for you and the rural lifestylers who spend money at your dealership? First, the economic numbers do matter in terms of understanding trends to help with your strategic planning. However, rural lifestylers include a wide range of customers with an equally wide range of economic resources. Generalities don’t work in terms of how much money they have and what they want to spend it on. For every customer that may be hurting because of the economy, there is another who is doing pretty well.

What really matters is how you hunker down and win customers. We’ve all seen businesses that seem to thrive, when others are closing down. Whether the economy is up or down, your rural lifestyle customers take tremendous pride in their properties, their havens from the world. Your expertise, resources — and ideas — are just what they need to continue enjoying their rural lifestyle dream. That tractor, zero-turn mower or attachment might be a smart investment this year for someone who has money to spend. Or, that manufacturer financing program could help someone make their first large purchase with you.

Don’t be shy about asking rural lifestylers to spend money. Just sell with integrity, so they don’t have buyer’s remorse.

What’s the economic mood in your area? Share what you’re seeing and how you’re selling, regardless of the economy.