Increase Your Parts & Service Potential with Proactive, Data-Driven Marketing
Parts and service are typically among the most profitable departments in a dealership. However, when it comes to sales and marketing, they are often treated like the neglected stepchildren of new machine sales. With little marketing to support parts and service, many customers are unaware of the service and support dealers offer. Factory trained technicians as well as reliable new and refurbished parts, are usually the strong points of a dealer.
Dealers striving for growth need to reap the potential of their parts and service departments. Data-driven insights, combined with traditional and digital marketing, may be all that’s needed to grow your parts and service business. Here’s how to do it.
Better parts inventory management means more sales
Profitable parts inventory is about being in the right place at the right time—with the right part. With a slew of aftermarket parts suppliers, competition is fierce. Accurate EDA machine population data for construction and ag can provide insight to stock your inventory according to local demand. You’ll have the parts your customers’ need, without spending too much on overstock.
Look beyond your existing customer base
Most dealers focus primarily on selling parts and service to existing customers. While there is nothing wrong with this strategy, it limits their potential. There’s a whole other world of potential customers out there for your new and refurbished parts and service. Consider targeting customers of weak competitors or new customers in the market. Even the most brand loyal of customers may be open to purchasing a competitively priced part or want to take advantage of a service special. Parts and service promotions can also lead to other sales. Customers who think they need to replace an engine, may be better off with a used machine purchase. Identify those buyers who are the most likely to be in need, what they will need, and when they will need it – and market directly to them.
A strong online presence can help you reach both local and worldwide parts buyers when they are searching for solutions. Where does your company rank in search engines when someone searches for OEM parts or hydraulic hoses? Do you make it easy to buy online? Paid search ads targeting effective keywords can deliver fresh hot leads to your site. Focus on converting those leads to sales with easy navigation, product details and strong sales support.
Lean customers may be ready to explore more service options from dealers
Dealership consultant Ron Slee believes OEM-authorized construction equipment dealers capture less than 35% of the parts business and only 15% of all service labor. The same may be true among ag dealers. The potential for growth is there. Customers may be more receptive to dealership repairs and maintenance if it means they can avoid adding staff or investing in expensive diagnostic equipment. Impress them with a plan based on your knowledge of the machines they own and recommended service intervals. Use sales calls to demonstrate how your dealership can take away one of their biggest headaches.
Get the timing and message right
Knowing when a buyer purchases and what he purchases are key pieces of information to use in your marketing efforts. Well-timed and targeted maintenance promotions can boost your parts and service revenue, as can sales personnel who are focused solely on selling service and parts. Product support sales representatives are beginning to make an impact within some construction equipment dealerships. Stop waiting for the service center or parts counter phone to ring. Become a proactive marketer. Use the latest tools and best information to take your parts and service sales to new heights.