Fletcher’s Sales & Service
Owners: Francis, Madeline and Frank Fletcher
Employees: 8 full time, 1 part time
Annual Sales: Over $3 million
Sales Mix: 74% wholegoods, 19% parts, 7% service
Customer Mix: 38% consumer, 51% commercial, 11% other
Shop Labor Rate: $65 per hour
Major Lines: Exmark, Stihl, Toro, Walker
You’ve probably heard the expression, “He’s so busy he lives at the office.” That’s the case with the Fletcher family, and not just figuratively speaking. For Francis and Madeline Fletcher, along with son Frank, 315 Fletcher Lane is where you’ll find their homes—right next door to the dealership they’ve had since 1985. It’s just as well. With the hours they put in, the two-minute commute home each night is a big plus.
“We work our tails off,” exclaims Frank, company vice president. “And I’m talking about everybody, not just me and my parents. Our entire staff works extremely hard to pull it off. Nobody’s ever standing around doing nothing. And we’re always looking for ways to be more efficient.”
With annual sales now topping $3 million, it’s hard to imagine that Fletcher’s Sales & Service in Greensburg, PA, employs only eight full-time people and one part-timer. To do that kind of volume with eight and a half people, you have to be efficient. And you have to sell a lot of iron.
Nearly 75% of the dealership’s revenue comes from wholegoods. The Fletchers utilize billboards, a website, and national advertising from Stihl and Toro as part of its marketing strategy. Several special events are also held, which include a spring open house and sale, a spring home show at a local mall, and a fall customer appreciation event at a local park.
Frank typically addresses customers at the fall event, and chuckles when he talks about it. “I was a really shy kid,” he tells. “I never thought I’d be able to get up in front of a crowd like I do now and give a speech.”
Francis, the company’s president, is much the same way. He prefers to stay behind the scenes working in the shop, though he jumps at every chance to peak his head out and chat it up with customers. Case in point: When contractor Shawn Iarussi pulled up to the landscaper-designated service area on the day Yard & Garden visited, Francis was out there to greet him before the truck was even in park.
As secretary, Madeline is often behind the scenes, too. But physically she’s front and center. Her desk is only 20 feet or so from the dealership’s main entrance. Her bright smile is the first thing customers see when they walk into the store.
This kind of personal touch is one of the many things that has helped Fletcher’s Sales & Service build up a loyal following and favorable reputation over the past 20-plus years.
So, too, have its credentials, which include:
• Toro Master Dealer of the Year for 2007
• Walker’s largest dealer in Pennsylvania
• Stihl Elite Dealer with two techs who’ve achieved Gold Level certification
• Briggs & Stratton Master Dealer
• Kohler Expert Dealer
• Tecumseh Premiere Dealer
Effective advertising and impressive credentials help draw customers. But once they’re in your store, Frank reminds, it’s up to you to close the sale.
To help do so, the Fletchers follow three main steps:
1. Talk to customers about your business and what you have to offer that other dealers and retailers may not
2. Sell them on the product, not just its price
3. Talk to them about how you’ll support them after the sale and actually live up to your promises to help facilitate this three-step sales process, the Fletchers have put together what they call the 13-point “Fletcher’s Advantage,” which is proudly displayed on signage throughout the store (see photo on page 18). They also offer a “commercial no downtime guarantee” and extended warranties. Again, Frank reiterates, customer retention requires living up to your promises.