The Dealer Success Academy Delivers What You Need


98% of those who attended Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s first-ever virtual conference would recommend the event to others.

Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s Dealer Success Academy — an online, on-demand event held on March 7-8 — drew more than 750 registrants from across North America.

The interactive virtual format featured top experts offering strategies to help dealers meet the challenges of today. Attendees are now putting to work revenue-boosting strategies for their sales, parts, service and rental departments as well as their digital and video marketing programs. They’re also implementing better employee management skills and retail store practices and cost-cutting measures.

“There have been a lot of great things brought to my attention and I am hoping that I can implement some of the things I have learned. It’s always great to have a new perspective or to just be reminded about something,” says Dawn Hooper who is the marketing director at Surry Equipment of Surry, Va.

Another dealer commented: “The wide array of guest speakers was second to none. It’s very hard to get away from the dealership to shows and meetings. It was great to have all these speakers in one place that was easy to access.”

This issue of Rural Lifestyle Dealer highlights several of the presentations and upcoming issues will highlight others.

All of the Dealer Success Academy presentations can now be viewed online at Watch them when you want, where you want. Perhaps you may want to make them part of your employee training programs.

Here are a few highlights from the presentations featured in this issue. Steve Shankin, president of Seizmik, a manufacturer of UTV accessories, says, “Recent data from CDK Lightspeed, an analysis of 172,000 new unit invoices, shows that the average spent on UTV accessories at the time of the vehicle’s purchase is up to $1,716 from $1,098 just 2 years ago. That’s a 56% increase in dollars spent on accessories.”

Bob Clements, president of Bob Clements Intl., says, “To find good A-level technicians, you need to be willing to pay $25-30 an hour, plus bonuses. Rural equipment dealers should be charging $120-$130 an hour and OPE dealers should be in the $85-$95 range.”

Paige Wittman, co-owner of Miller Wittman Retail Design Group, says, “Regardless of your budget or where you are in your retail space, a good retail design will increase your sales and increase your profit margins. When we’ve done major remodels or major expansions with dealers, we’ve seen wholegoods sales increase by 40% when you track sales for a year after the remodel. We’ve seen parts and accessories sales go up in excess of 50%.”

Patrick Richardson, Sherwood Tractor’s IT manager and digital marketing specialist, says, “Your website can help you reach customers earlier in their buying journeys, even before traditional advertising reaches them. This idea of ‘multi-channel’ retail is the new normal.”

Read on to learn more and earn more. Here’s a quick-start guide to the Dealer Success Academy coverage that follows:•

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