“No one thought the pandemic would help the 12 volt industry, but it did and it continues to do so,” said Rockford CEO Bill Jackson in a new video address aimed primarily at Rockford dealers.
Regarding the recent sales upsurge, Jackson said, the industry has been “damn lucky, period.” “No one predicted it. No one had a plan for it.” But the strategy now should be to take steps to benefit from the sales boom after the pandemic ends.
Jackson said, “How many of you saw customers that couldn’t get work done at the big box stores come back to your store?…I bet you saw some old faces that you thought had been out of the market. We as an industry have to capitalize on the momentum right now. We must all focus on how to maintain it and maintain it for as long as possible.”
Also on the video presentation Zach Luke, Rockford National Sales Manager and VP Sales & Marketing Theresa Anthony suggested the following in order to get repeat customers from the surge in store traffic:
- Resist the urge to clerk and throw in the ‘deck and four’ that a customer may ask for. Continue top down selling, even when you are busy.
- Never, never stop marketing. Keep those YouTube videos and Instagram posts coming.
- Make sure you are getting all the info you can on every customer– email, phone number—so you can market to them after the pandemic.
- Make sure your employees are not worn out. Keep up training.
- If you haven’t done so already, make sure your website home page says that you are open, and outlines your safety protocols.
- Send out email blasts to your customer list.
- Take the time to know your inventory and keep aggressively ordering to maintain a 30-day supply of key products.
The problem is there are only so many hours in a day. “I know that you have a lot of people coming in your doors right now and that you are extremely busy. But you have to keep in mind that we’re planting the seeds for the future as well as capitalizing on today,” said Anthony.
Or as Jackson said, the time is now to work your butt off to be able to benefit from the pandemic in the future.
“Those quick videos, the cool installation shots and pictures of happy customers that you put out there [on social media] give people something to like, to share with their friends, to comment on, and even better, they feel more comfortable stopping by your store because they know you, because you connected with them on Facebook or because they follow you on Instagram,” said Anthony.
Once again, “Take the time to collect all the customer’s information.” Fill in the fields for email and phone number and make notes about the sale. “All this info is… what’s going to feed your future marketing…it’s your pot of gold when the pandemic ends,” she added.
Jackson gave his views on the cause of the 12 volt boom, which included, people forced to stay home; some still have money and looking for things to do with the family outside. The PPP kept many people working at full salaries. And people aren’t spending money on airlines, cruises and sporting events. Also, big box competitors were closed for weeks.
He said of the extra cash in consumer wallets, “They elected to spend it in our industry with specialty dealers… What did it result in? An explosion in business. Everything [12 volt] seems to be selling. Sometimes success is being at the right place in the right time.” But Jackson cautioned, “Understand the impact that other categories have on your customers’ wallets. It’s substantial. How many of you saw customers that couldn’t get work done at the Best Buy stores come back to your stores?…. Last takeaway, its never as good or as bad as you think it is. It’s always some place in the middle. The situation that we’re in is going to change either for the better or for the worse. So we have to plan and be prepared and make our own luck.”
You can watch the full video here.