2016 Precision Farming Dealer Summit — Roundtable #6

A Precision Farming Dealer Staff Report

The most important takeaway discussed by dealers for making the most of online sales was to distinguish your dealership from the competitors. More farmers than ever are using the Internet to both research and buy their equipment and dealers need to fulfill their customers’ expectations for them online.

“Making the most of online sales opportunities revolves around branding your dealership and getting your dealership’s presence out there,” says Kevin Depies of Ritchie Implement in Cobb, Wis., the moderator for this roundtable. “You may not make direct sales linked to your online branding, but you’re getting more clicks, meaning more people are visiting your website and recognizing who you are.”

To keep customers coming back, the dealership’s Website needs to be easy to use, which includes being able to easily find the product category a customer is looking for. “If a customer goes to your website looking for a lawnmower and the first thing he sees is a bulldozer, you may lose that opportunity because you haven’t properly positioned yourself online to make sure you’re clearly covering all of your markets. You don’t want to scare away a customer base before they ever really get to know your dealership,” Depies says.

Attendees at this roundtable related this to making dealer Websites more like Amazon. “Customers should easily be able to look up a part, order it and consistently know they’re getting the right product,” Depies says.

Another dealer said, “Farmers first test their buying experience on a small scale and if they have a good experience, they’ll come back and make larger purchases. Customer service and ease of ordering are a must for successful online sales.”

A dealership’s Website and overall web presence can speak to customers in a way the brick and mortar store can’t and should be used to promote the dealership’s brand. “Everyone knows how much information is out on the Internet,” says Depies. “The more you’re out there, the more presence you have with customers and the more name recognition the dealership gains.”

Read full coverage of the Precision Farming Dealer Summit presentations, from how to recruit and retain precision employees, to developing a standalone precision business, to managing customers’ data, in the March 2016 issue of Farm Equipment.

Roundtable Discussion Topics

1. Keeping Precision Employees Productive Year Round
2. Troubleshooting Technology: Conquering Compatibility Problems
3. Putting on a Successful Precision Ag Field Day
4. How to Structure Your Precision Internships
5. Strategies for Selling Used Precision Equipment
6. Making the Most of Online Sales Opportunities (currently viewing)
7. Spreading Precision Workflow Across Departments
8. UAVs: Practical Precision Tools or Toys?
9. Tech Support: Where Can Manufacturers Improve?
10. Marketing: Where Will I Get the Most Bang for My Buck?