Question: Answers (Leave your own thoughts in the comments section below):
“They’re more educated about the products they are looking for through a lot of research. They are more brand specific. Younger customers know very little about the industry but a lot about specific products. They are buying larger properties and have big plans for that land. We’re also seeing more credit turn-downs.”
— Mooresville, Ind.
“Yes; squeezing the dollar. Numbers are the same, but margins are lower.”
— Enfield, N.H.
“The Internet has made them more knowledgeable about the equipment they’re looking for. It’s also made it possible for them to look for equipment over a wider area.”
— Cobleskill, N.Y.
“It’s getting tougher to deal with these types of customers. Loyalty is a word few understand until they have a problem with their purchase.”
— Moncton, New Brunswick
“They’re putting more emphasis on the repair and maintenance of existing equipment. They’re not so likely to replace units as in past years.”
— Penn Run, Pa.
“Customers are more driven to use the computer and choose what they need or want. The problem we face is that when the customer comes to the store, they have their mind made up. When you start to explain why you think there is a better model for them, they put up a defensive stance because of all of there time they put in researching, and they had made their mind up.”
— Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
“More Internet research is being done before they come to the store. Customers are very aware of special offers and financing. They are also more educated than ever on positives and negatives of a specific piece (online forums).”
— Reading, Pa.
“1. Most customers have qualified their purchase with online information. 2. Quality once was number 1, now price and financing are equally important. 3. Customers are willing to drive long distances to get a better deal. 4. Wives have much more input in what’s purchased.”
— New Ulm, Minn.
“Low-end customers are dropping out (economy). Fewer new ones are entering the market, with small acreage farms diminishing. High-end customers are slowing down their buying (economy).”
— East Windsor, Conn.
“There’s more interest in small-scale, economical seeding, tillage and harvest equipment.”
— Duncan, British Columbia
“Customers are more informed when they enter the dealership. Due to Internet availability, people can research a particular piece of equipment before they enter the dealership.”
— Penn Run, Pa.
“Yes. A few years back they were looking for full-featured tractors with a lot of extras. Today, it is more back to the basics. They still want the tractor, but will skip the fancies.”
— Springville, N.Y.
“Quite a few of these customers have had to go back to work or taken second jobs. They now tend to shop with more emphasis on saving time.”
— Modesto, Ill.
“Most are paying with cash. Less financing or credit card purchases.”
— Herscher, Ill.
“Yes. 90% of the customers know what they want. You cannot lead them to a better decision, even if you know the unit the customer’s picked out is not right for the job they want to do!”
— Quincy, Ill.
“Yes, they are more deliberate and conservative in their spending due to the level of uncertainty in the economy.”
— Bayfield, Colo.
“I don’t think so, not as much as we’re changing to adjust to them.”
— Batavia, N.Y.
“No, but more are coming in because of the brands we carry.”
— St. Albert, Alberta
“Drought conditions have impacted our retail sales in this market.”
— Plainview, Texas
“Pricing is much more of an issue.”
— Fultonville, N.Y.
“They’re more careful about how their money is spent. Financing is a big part of each sale.”
— Dewitt, Mich.
“More thrifty — they’re buying more economy (cheaper) tractors.”
— Rocky Mount, N.C.
“More educated. They pretty much know what they want.”
— Taber, Alberta
“Much more research is being done on the Internet before they call or come into a dealership.”
— Sneedville, Tenn.
“Seem to be more focused on what they want. They have tried to do some homework before entering the dealership or asking for help.”
— Colusa, Calif.
“They want cheap.”
— Lake City, Mich.
“Less money to purchase products.”
— Aquasco, Md.
“More demanding — impatient — they want parts and equipment now.”
— Jersey Shore, Pa.
“The use of the Internet as a source for research increases everyday.”
— Rogersville, Mo.
“More are paying cash and not financing.”
— Neosho, Mo.
“Shoppers are much more aware of the dollars they have to spend, and more wives are involved in the decision to buy a tractor. Maybe not at first, but surely at the end.”
— Tifton, Ga.
“They seem to be price shopping more now.”
— Humbodt, Saskatchewan