When I speak with equipment dealers, I often ask them how being a dealer today is different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Two things always come up: 1) wholegoods margins are considerably tighter, and 2) the average consumer is a lot smarter—or in some cases, they just think they are smarter.
That's because of this beautiful thing Al Gore invented which is called the internet. Consumers can Google all day long and find things out about different equipment and products they are thinking about buying. Sometimes they can read what other users of the product have to say. This is a good thing and can definitely assist in the shopping process, especially when it comes to durable goods such as lawnmowers or other pieces of lawn equipment.
But there is so much information out there. How does the average consumer—especially a busy professional landscape contractor—have time to sift through it all. Keep in mind that with all of the good information out there, there is also bad information.
Many contractors continue to say their local equipment dealers are who they look to most for advice.
Is that true with you? Is your dealer(s) a valued member of your team, so to speak?
Here are some tips on measuring vendor performance if you're a landscape contractor.