Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Seasonality: How to Guard Yourself in the Winter Months

While in some ways we’re lucky in the RV industry because there are plenty of people who choose to RV all year long, you can’t deny there are less people heading outdoors in the dead of winter than there are in the warmer months. And since we all can’t head south for the winter, these tips will help you capitalize on these colder - and often slower - months of the year so you’re better prepared for the busy selling season that’s just around the corner (thank goodness).

Don’t stop your advertising campaigns

Just because the weather turns cold doesn’t mean that RVers stop dreaming about their next great adventure. If they can’t get outside - they are definitely thinking about when and where they’re headed next - and what unit is going to take them there. They are spending the long, cold months inside trying to decide what unit will best fit their lifestyle and budget come spring.

And here’s the cold hard truth - if you stop advertising during the winter months, you risk not being seen by them at all. Dealerships that choose to advertise all year long have continuous momentum - they continue to have their inventory online, continue to be found in searches, continue to connect with buyers, and continue to nurture sales. And it may seem as easy as turning your inventory back on to get back in the game - but in the interim, these buyers may have decided to work with another dealership, simply because you weren’t present during their online search.

Engage your current community

The off-season is a great time to build brand awareness and engagement within your current community. You know they won’t be distracted by an amazing trip they just can’t wait to take - so help build their passion for the industry and your dealership while you know you can capture their full attention.

Think about hosting an event with helpful tips and tricks any RVer could do on the road or have first time buyers come by the dealership for some advice on getting started in the RV community. This is a really powerful community for you to engage because they chose to buy from you - instead of someone else - making them more likely to become true brand advocates for your dealership. Spend the winter months showing them how much you appreciate their business and how you will continue to serve them post-purchase.

Plan for busier months

Once warmer months roll back around - your dealership will be busy and it gets harder and harder to continue with your engagement and marketing plans because you are focusing on sales. We get it - that’s what keeps your dealership afloat. Take advantage of the quieter season to build out as many plans as you can - so when the busy season rolls around, you can just “pop them open”, so to speak, and they’re ready to go.

Think about creating evergreen content that you can easily use when the time is right. You could write a number of generic unit descriptions for popular makes and models you carry so that they can be adjusted slightly for a specific piece of inventory - taking some of the work out of putting up listings during the busy season. Or work on developing a content repository for your social media efforts so you have some of your posts already scheduled.

You can also take this time to evaluate the pictures you’re using on your inventory. If most of your imagery is stock photography - take the time to update those with actual pictures of your units. Then as you receive new inventory you can photograph those on the fly. By doing this work ahead of time - it will alleviate some of the stress come high season - so you can focus on implementation and selling.

By viewing seasonality as a time to build and refine - you’ll see that these quieter months can actually be some of the most beneficial for your dealership. It’s your time to distinguish your dealership against the competition and get ready for the inevitably busy season to come. If you back off during the colder months you’ll lose momentum - and it can create a gap between your and your competitors who chose to capitalize on seasonality. And as we all know, it’s hard to catch up once you’re behind - so, don’t risk it.
Trader Online Web Developer