Earning Customers' Trust
The “Season To Season” article series digs into the seasonal challenges and opportunities dealerships face in a typical year.
The focus of the 2017 installment is on Williams Tractor, a dealership with 7 locations stretching from the hills of northwest Arkansas to the Louisiana delta. Founded in 1973, Williams Tractor is owned by second generation owner Doug Williams. He owns the dealership with his brother Dwight and first cousin, Gary Tollett. Williams Tractor works to maintain positive off-season cashflow in the service department by offering diverse products and aggressively pursuing high machine populations.
The 2016 installment focuses on Wisconsin-based dealership Power Centers of Madison. With 2 locations in Middleton and Sun Prairie, the Middleton Power Center and Prairie Power Center, owners Duane Nolden and Ed Prochaska focus on fitting customers with the right outdoor power equipment for their needs. They identify the best match for customers by asking questions about their experience, properties and how they plan to use the equipment — even when a customer comes in with a specific product in mind.
The latest installment focuses on Fort Worth, Texas, dealership Zimmerer Kubota. With 5 locations, Zimmerer Kubota serves a diverse array of customer segments, including small farmers, construction, municipalities and commercial lawn and turf customers. Having the look of a multi-store, full-service dealer network — from the various departments, to the inventory and delivery trucks, to the computer and phone system — is important to principal Sam Zimmerer.
For the 2014 installment of the "Season To Season" series, we visited Rigg's Outdoor Power Equipment with 4 locations in Indiana. Rigg's Outdoor Power Equipment works to find the right balance of employees to manage through the slower winter months, but still maximize the high volume of business in spring and summer. Managing cashflow is a year-round challenge.
Kansas-based Heritage Tractor shares best practices for the winter season as it copes with back-to-back droughts. Heritage Tractor set up shop 14 years ago in Baldwin City, Kan. The location was not yet served by a John Deere dealership and was perfect for reaching both the ag and rural lifestyle market. It's in the middle of farm country and less than 50 miles from the metropolitan areas of Lawrence, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.