Dealerships tend to be adept at selling — whether it’s machinery, parts or service. But talking with precision farming managers, one area that is often an afterthought in their department is the need to sell themselves.
With an increasingly competitive precision market, savvy dealers are effectively marketing the performance of their precision team to positively impact the bottom line of the business.
Establishing a reputable and reliable brand for a precision business starts by defining the objectives of the department, says Kevin Depies, part of the sales and management team at Ritchie Implement, based in Cobb, Wis.
Before establishing a marketing strategy, he says it’s worth answering a few pointed questions, including, “What do we want to represent ourselves as?” “Where is that going to take us?” “What is the need of our marketplace?” and then “Can we make money, is it profitable?”
For Ritchie, it was a matter of communicating a comprehensive marketing message, vs. taking too narrow of an approach.
“We looked in the mirror. Who do we want to be? Can we put this as a standalone business? No. We just couldn’t. It didn’t work with what we were. We sell Ritchie Implement. We don’t sell wholegoods. We don’t sell service. We don’t sell parts. We sell the whole dealership. So in order to put this together, we really wanted to sell our package — our team, our parts guys, our service guys, our sales guys as a whole to provide the best, first-pass quality.”
Depies adds that the overriding motivation of a branding initiative should be revenue. As he says, “A dealership can have the best marketing strategy in the world, but if it’s not making money, it doesn’t make sense.”