Industry News

Posted: November 09, 2013

Know Your Customer To Improve Sales

Dan Epting, president of Perrycraft, discusses how knowing your customer is key to improving sales in your store.

By Dan Epting

Business has definitely improved. We have seen some growth in the outdoor enthusiast market, especially the younger generation, 25- to 40-year olds who are into the outdoor lifestyle. In general, we’ve experienced growth since 2011, and again this year, on the rack side of the aftermarket. On the retail side, there are a lot of potential sales opportunities and a market out there that some retailers don’t always take advantage of when they already have a customer’s vehicle in their shop. While that customer is sitting in the waiting room, engage them in conversation. Ask questions. Find out what the customer does for hobbies. In order to sell something, you’ve got know about that person and how they intend to use their truck. Ask if they ever thought of putting accent rails on the cab of their truck to dress it up a little bit. Show the customer what it would look like. Put a 38-inch or 40-inch-long sample on the cab of a crew cab. If they plan to carry something, our Gripper Load Bars, which have a 220 lb. load rating — one of the highest load ratings for a noncommercial-type setup — can be added to the rails.
Everybody’s got limited wall and floor space in their shop’s showroom and can’t necessarily display everything. All of our brands are available in smaller P.O.P. display sizes that we mount to 20-by- 30-inch styrene sheet stock. Since our DynaSport racks are available in powder coat black or Brite anodized finishes, we typically build those P.O.P.s with one side rail Brite anodized, the other black, and one crossbar is black and one is Brite. We encourage jobbers to use them in their showrooms to help educate the customer.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in, when you boil it down, the only thing you have to sell is customer service. If your customer service is poor, your business will suffer in the long run. But by getting to know your customer’s needs and future plans, it opens the door for additional sales down the road. Maybe you won’t sell a roof rack or bed rails that day, but it plants a seed. That’s what a lot of selling is all about. And it all ties back in to customer service. The customer might never come back if they didn’t feel they were appreciated, treated courteously, or educated in some manner. The key is to figure out what your customer’s end goal is and help educate them as to how best to get there. Some people think selling is about talking. Selling is about listening. Listen. Ask questions that require input from the customer, not just a yes or no, and listen for that answer. A lot of times, that’s all it takes to make a sale.
Edited by Ellen McKoy.

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