Overstreet General Repair Inc., Bedford, Va.
Hilltop Sales & Service, Inc., Bangor, Pa.
Moon’s Farm-Yard Center, Inc., Ulysses, Pa.Question: What are your top merchandising tips?
Take it outside. If weather is good, set up display merchandising outside. Identify everything. Have prices and specs available. Good lighting. Change display often, so customer doesn’t get bored. Use color. Color catches the eyes.
— Shelby Overstreet, sales/parts
Overstreet General Repair Inc.
I have had my best results advertising a product, let’s say a zero-turn mower, at a price just a few dollars over cost. The mower is displayed, with a very visible price, in a high traffic area, but also in an area with other, more expensive mowers.
The salesman does an honest sales presentation on the price-leader mower and makes no attempt to up-sell the customer.
However, almost every time, the customer will ask about the more expensive models, providing an opportunity for the salesperson to point out their additional features, as well as justify the cost for each.
Sometimes, the customer still purchases the low-cost leader, and that’s OK; a sale is a sale. But more often than not, they leave with a more expensive model.
This is a sales method that leads the customer to consider value as a factor of price, in a sales environment where the customer feels in control.
The key is to seriously try to sell the low-priced leader. It’s natural for customers to resist being steered to a specific item, even at a very attractive price point. So it’s automatic to look at other options, in this case, the more expensive machines.
— Roger Zerkle, owner
Zerkle Diversified Ent. LLC
Flat Rock, Ill.
Having attractive displays has always been very important to me. I did a great deal of them myself in the last 30-plus years, sometimes redoing them until they looked good to me. My father started with John Deere snowmobiles the first year. I chuckle some when I think of what he used to say, “You should have worked for Hess Bros. dept stores.” I think it was a compliment, but I’m not 100-percent sure. I truly do believe it shows a reflection of how you run your business.
Displays need to be organized, grouped, clean and priced. That’s basically all there is to it.
— Daniel N. Falcone, owner/president
Hilltop Sales & Service, Inc.
My top merchandising tip would be: Help the customer decide. Maybe they want quality, cheap, name brand or aftermarket. I need to be there to establish a relationship to help them make that decision, and to keep them coming back.
— Jim Martin, owner
We send out postcards to all customers from the last seven years of doing sales and service work. I have been in the same place for 38 years and in business for 42 years. We have repeat customers for 30 years coming back.
— John M. Taylor, owner
JMT Lawn Equipment
Well-lit, clean, organized, everything priced with promo price and monthly payment on equipment displayed, and all new equipment kept inside not outside in the weather. I get a lot of customers that do not want to buy from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Tractor Supply or other stores that keep their equipment outside in the weather.
— Herb Beck, GM
Wm. Beck & Sons Inc.
1. Look over your store. Remove old signage, literature, etc.
2. Re-arrange your showroom every 30 days, even if it is just minor changes.
3. Fix your lights and displays — mow yard and spruce up your yard.
4. Clean. Clean. Clean.
Show some pride in your store.
— John Moon, owner
Moon’s Farm-Yard Center, Inc.