Unless you are tied up in managing your ongoing backorder list with customers, it’s time to stop for a moment and think about your next best steps as an appliance dealer. And if you are managing your ongoing backorder list, stop and delegate it to someone else or just set it down. We’ve found ourselves in a unique moment in the home appliance industry, and pausing to consider your next steps could transform your future profits.
Like many dealers, you probably have too much inventory, you’re flush with cash, and you’re flooded with issues related to backorders. At Riley & You, we work with multiple appliance dealers across the US who sell to high-end homeowners and builders, and these issues are the same in every dealer we know. If your business is in a similar position, now is the time to consider making important moves to boost growth and sales. Here are three critical steps we recommend appliance dealers consider, along with both immediate and longer term ideas for implementing each step.
1. Change How You Communicate
Now is an ideal time to shift how you are managing client conversations. With the right communications strategy, clients will remember your business. Challenging times present a unique opportunity to build customer loyalty by tweaking the way you interact with your audience.
Do It Now—Follow up with every kitchen backorder customer on a regular basis. One of our clients is sending $5 gift cards for coffee to frustrated homeowners who are trying to complete a kitchen. The result has been love and loyalty from customers who are genuinely surprised to receive a gift card enclosed in a note expressing the dealer’s empathy for their situation.
Plan Your Future—Truly refine your sales process when customers are making a purchase. It’s time to stop accepting mediocrity from your sales team. Instead, rework every form they touch within the organization and the process they use to place orders. You’ll clean up the errors, appear more thoughtful and thorough to your customers, and find big net profits along the way.
2. Grow the Other Side of Your Business
Many dealers have a business model built on consumer sales. Right now, when business is booming, it’s easy to rely on those homeowners walking through your doors. But what happens when your consumer business slows down? Growing the builder side of your customer base will create more balance within your business model and help to prepare you for shifts in the economy.
Do It Now—Email still delivers one of the highest ROIs in the marketing world. It’s time to gather up all the trade professional emails from your sales team and give those emails to an agency that knows email marketing. Your list could include the names of over one-thousand past and future clients and you don’t even know it.
Plan Your Future—Secure writers and build a content marketing strategy to ensure that your trade professionals hear from you at least once per quarter. Dynamic, professionally written content that talks about design trends, innovation, and lifestyle will resonate with your professional audience and help to establish your brand as the voice of the pro in premium and luxury appliances.
3. Determine Your Next Innovation Move
It takes time and concentration to review new innovations, and the best time to plan is when you are not distracted by a lack of funds. So, if you are sitting on some cash, pause and put some thought into your company’s next commitment to innovation.
Do It Now—The biggest trade shows of the year just ended. Talk to your friends in the business and learn about the biggest trends that are making a difference when it comes to profits for dealers. Is it online chat? Is it new ways of marketing in digital? Is it a new method for handling delivery and installation schedules? What are the top innovations dealers are embracing that will impact their bottom line, and how can they help your business?
Plan Your Future—Pull together a team inside your company to explore the top three things that can reduce errors, improve the customer experience, and bring more money to the bottom line. Meet once a month with a meeting plan and decide as a group on the top three innovations that can improve your company.
Many appliance dealers have found themselves in an unprecedented position in which they have the time and opportunity to make significant changes to their marketing strategy. If you’re ready to see real growth, take advantage of this unique window of opportunity and consider implementing the three critical steps above for transforming your future profits.