During my calls to dealers over the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing good things about being “swamped,” “covered up” and “so, so busy.” Rural lifestylers are filling up your showrooms and keeping your phone lines lit up.
Take advantage of this interest by capturing all the contact information you can for those slower times that are sure to hit later in the year. Your customer relationship management or dealer management system will offer functionality for doing that. I wanted to offer some other ideas — and get some discussion going about what other low-cost, low-tech ways you use to gather contact information.
1. For your commercial or municipal customers, get more than one contact. Employees change jobs or change positions all the time, so guard against losing your connection by having at least a backup contact. Also, remember that those business contacts may be purchases of equipment for their own properties.
2. Put someone in charge of entering every name and phone number for those who leave a voicemail message. And, when you or your receptionist returns the call, be sure to gather their email address.
3. Offer an in-store giveaway or discount and ask people to sign up and provide their phone and email address. Do that over and over during this busy season — and, again, make sure someone is in charge of entering that information.
4. Set up a raffle or giveaway at an information station with videos, brochures and inexpensive promotional items where customers need to supply their contact information.
5. Set up a “friends and family” program and ask employees to share names of anyone they know who might be interested in equipment. And, be sure to add your own personal and business contacts as well.
6. Your sales team should have emails or mobile phone numbers (for texting) of everyone they talk to in a day. Make sure they have a process for gathering them and entering them into your database.
7. Set up signs in your store or notices on your website for customers to send a text. Capture those mobile numbers as a starting point to gathering more information, such as emails.
8. Develop some kind of loyalty program, even if you just reward customers for visiting your dealership. The loyalty program sign-up can ask for basic contact information, along with detailed preferences re: how people like to be contacted, description of their property, etc.
9. Consider hiring an intern for the summer who focuses solely on gathering and entering customer contact information.
The important thing is building and maintaining a pipeline for those times when things aren’t quite so busy. What ideas do you have? You are in prime time for building relationships, so please take a few moments and share what’s been working for you.