That broader customer base includes a homeowner segment that continues to grow. Moen Machinery’s location allows it to draw hobby farmers on the outskirts of town, and everyday homeowners who reside inside the city. Zero-turns, tractors, walk mowers and handheld are the big movers here.
On the commercial side, which represents about 40% of the dealership’s customer base, Moen Machinery continues to cater to a variety of segments. There are many similarities between them, such as the need for outside sales and prompt equipment service. Each segment also has unique needs, sometimes requiring a slightly different sales approach.
Building loyalties one segment at a time
For Moen Machinery, just like with the equipment it sells and sells against, it’s really all about knowing each customer inside and out.
Nurseries. Moen Machinery has actually been working with this customer group since its founding in 1947, at that time providing Bolens tractors for traveling in between the rows of nursery stock. Since nursery stock is now the largest agricultural crop in Oregon, this segment has become Moen Machinery’s biggest on the commercial side. The dealership still provides tractors for traveling in between rows, along with general field work and loading/shipping tasks. Articulated wheel loaders have also become popular for handling palletized stock.
SALES TIP: Moen Machinery stays involved with the state-wide Oregon Association of Nurseries by participating in chapter meetings and exhibiting at the Farwest Nursery Show. Moen says outside sales are also required to establish relationships with the individual nurseries and determine their equipment needs. Each of Moen Machinery’s four sales reps has his own truck. A dedicated delivery person is also on the payroll.
Light industrial. This is the dealership’s fastest-growing market segment, thanks to the increasingly popular compact excavator. It’s helped Moen Machinery earn business from building contractors, municipalities, utility companies and even landscapers.
SALES TIP: Outside sales and product demonstrations are extremely important. “You need to be able to show how versatile the compact excavator is for a broad range of jobs,” Moen says. Industrial customers also require your sales reps to have a higher level of product knowledge, and are often more sensitive to pricing concerns.
Landscapers. While not as large a market as nurseries, the landscape segment has been integral and continues to grow. Zero-turns, walk-behinds and handheld are the big movers.
SALES TIP: Many landscape customers also require outside sales to establish relationships and demo product. To help ensure fast turnaround on repairs, Moen Machinery gives landscapers priority in the shop. Loaner equipment is available for emergency situations.
In addition to product knowledge, Dirksen says giving commercial customers priority in the shop is why Moen Machinery has had success with so many pro segments. Sometimes it can be a challenge, since the dealership serves so many professionals from so many different industries. No one pro customer is more important than the other, so precise planning and organization in the shop is essential.
Each of Moen’s experienced technicians is assigned to a specific area of the business, including diesel, lawn and garden, handheld and commercial landscape (zero-turns). This kind of “division of labor” helps ensure prompt service turnaround for everyone, including homeowners.
In the midst of all the fuss over landscapers, building contractors, nurseries and governmental accounts, Moen says it’s important to not lose sight of the valuable residential segment. After all, it represents 60% of Moen Machinery’s customer base and continues to grow. That’s why Moen Machinery also offers loaners to homeowners when needed. And it’s why the dealership has juggled some things around in the showroom to create a more pleasing shopping environment for consumers.
Stihl Concept Store displays have been in place for 10 years. Moen recently ordered a similar package for the opposite side of the showroom to display Honda generators, pumps and trimmers. The dealership put in a series of shelves to merchandise what Dirksen likes to call “grab and go” items such as oil, gas cans, work gloves, etc. right up front. The shelves have boosted parts and accessories sales dramatically.