The following article is based on roundtable discussion at the 2019 Dealership Minds Summit. To watch the roundtable recap, click here.

A specialized product line or business segment that has paid off in the past can help weigh in on a decision to add another line or segment in the future. In a room full of dealer from different locations, backgrounds and colors, examples of a past, present and future specialized product lines were discussed during the Dealership Minds Summit.

Many dealers agreed that, in the past, they had at least tried out a specialized product line in the construction or compact market. By diversifying their offerings, most dealers were able to service current customers in areas that had previously been neglected. In addition, the specialized product line brought in new customers that they hadn’t previously been able to serve. 

“Production farmers made up our entire customer base until we added a construction line. That opened the door for us to sell to ranchers, light construction companies and some other customer segments,” one dealer noted. 

With the ever-evolving precision ag market in mind, the dealers unanimously agreed that the precision department of their business was something of a specialized segment that they may have added years ago but was still a bit of a work in progress. Whether that segment consisted of a team of in-house precision specialists or an individual contract agronomist, having some sort of precision capability had appeared to pay off, although the value of that payoff may not be maximized yet. What may have been viewed as a specialized segment years ago is now seemingly the norm. 

Inevitably, the conversation about specialized product lines steered toward the popular topic of hemp. Although the dealers in the room had not yet made any moves to add hemp-related equipment to their business, they all had it on their radar. “We know there’s some value in hemp, but how much and for how long — we don’t know,” one dealer commented. 

Seeing the value that specialized product lines have added in the past means dealers need to be on the lookout for new opportunities to expand their business and add to the bottom line.

More Dealership Minds Summit coverage 

No More Order Takers: Strategies for Motivating & Improving Your Sales Team

8 Factors for Cultivating & Promoting a Professional Culture of Excellence

Compensation Plans: A Tale of Two Dealerships

Van Wall Equipment’s Formula for Clear Sales Strategy

No Sales Left Behind: Using Tech to Boost Your Sales Team

Ritchie: Create a Team of Solution Sellers

Feed Your Sales Team — A Presentation From Shawn Skaggs

The On-Farm Visit: How to Get the Most from Client Face Time

Redefining Your Sales Mindset

Adding Specialized Product Lines Can Expand Your Customer Base

Getting the Salesforce Out of the Dealership & In Front of the Customer

Purchase Projections: Look Beyond the Sale

3 Ways to Get Your Aftermarket Team to Adopt a Sales Mentality

Is a Call Center Right for Your Dealership?