Equipment Dealer Strategies for Growing Sales

Equipment Dealer Strategies for Growing Sales

Guest writers Steve Clegg and Debbie Frakes return with their blog this week covering the ways you can create lifelong customers in “Equipment Dealer Strategies for Growing Sales.”

The key to sustained success in selling equipment, parts, and service is to create long-term customers. And creating long term customers comes down to following several equipment dealer strategies that show your customers you care about their businesses and are invested in helping them grow their businesses, and that you know what works. Here are the golden rules for dealers that you need to follow:

  1. Never make your problem the customer’s problem; they have enough problems of their own, which is why they are calling you.
  2. Always say YES! Then, the question becomes when and how much.
  3. Be proactive and contact the customer before they contact you.
  4. Manage your customers’ expectations. Customers often don’t remember what you told them; they only remember what they expected to happen.

In this article, we’re going to cover these rules and strategies, and how they make you more effective at selling equipment, parts, and service, all while developing more loyal customers. 

Be positive with customers and say YES! 

When talking with customers, you should always be finding a way to solve their problem. For example, if one branch doesn’t have the part they need in stock, find the part at another location, and tell the customer when they will receive it. You don’t want to tell a customer that you can’t do something, you want to tell them how you can. If you start with a positive reply of what you can do, there’s a 70% chance of closing compared to a 50% chance if you start with a no. If you’re the dealer that can effectively solve their problem, then you will continue to be their source for equipment, parts, and service for them. 

How to respond when a customer needs a product or service from you. 

Being positive and solving the problem shows the customer that you understand their needs and care about their problems. Here is an example of the hierarchy of responding to customers: 

  1. Tell them you have exactly what they need and when you can get it to them. 
  2. If you don’t have it at a particular branch, check other locations and give them options for delivery or pickup. 
  3. If you need to order a part, figure out how long it will take for delivery, and provide options for delivery. 
  4. If the timeline of receiving the product or service doesn’t work for them, suggest other options that could work for them. 
  5. Always tell the customer the next step and provide details of how you can solve their problem.

Stay on top of communication. 

It’s your job to keep customers informed of service updates and order status proactively. If they must call and ask about something to get an update, it’s too late. One of the most important dealer strategies is to anticipate their questions and stay ahead of them. You also need to understand which forms of communication they prefer, and when is the best time to contact them. Communicating with customers on their own terms will make it easier to reach them and shows that you respect their time.

Answer the phone every time. 

Answering the phone is critical for effective customer communication. Your team should be picking up on the third ring or sooner. The reason is that the call drops off rate is 20% per ring after three rings, and customer frustration is exponential for each additional ring and every missed call. Because only 2% to 4% of callers will leave a voicemail, answering the phone is an important first step in understanding what their needs and problems are. If you’re consistently not answering the phone or a customer has several bad phone experiences, they will start to look for another company they can work with for their equipment needs. 

Managing expectations. 

Managing expectations at every point of contact with your customers opens the opportunity to create a raving fan or to lose the customer. One of the most important equipment dealer strategies we can share with you is to always undersell and over deliver. Customers will eventually leave you for the competition if you are consistently falling short of your promised timelines. In fact, the number one reason for losing customers is mismanaged expectations. Be honest with them about when they will receive equipment and parts, when service will be completed, and your rental availability. Honesty and managed expectations will develop trust and strengthen relationships.

Our partner, Zintoro, can help. 

By consistently providing value and outstanding service, you can build long-lasting relationships with your customers and increase their loyalty to your brand. Zintoro provides you with the monthly analyses of your invoices that show your customer retention rate, which customers you’re in danger of losing, customer purchase behavior that will help you anticipate their needs, and much more. They give you the tools and data you need to keep customers, improve communication, and increase your sales. 

Schedule a Zintoro demo to find out how to boost your customer retention, track and accurately forecast business performance, and better communicate with customers. 

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