Selling More Than Machines

Editor’s Note: Josh Flynn will be speaking at the OPE Business Dealer Forum on Business Transition and Succession Planning. Make sure to register for this event, held in Dallas this coming November.  

By Josh Flynn

When someone thinks of an outdoor power equipment dealership, they probably envision walls of chainsaws, trimmers, and blowers and a showroom floor filled with mowers and machines of all shapes and sizes. Coming from a background in commercial landscaping has provided me with a unique perspective on what a customer is looking for when walking through the door. At our three locations in New York, we’ve used this experience and customer feedback to provide other items that benefit both our customers in the field and the bottom line of our business. Here’s why you should consider expanding your inventory variety.  

Marketing ancillary products in store
You can make your store a one-stop shop for pro or residential customers.

The beauty of non-powered products, whether it be ladders, shovels, wheelbarrows, or trailer supplies, is their broad applicability. A landscaper might not always need a new mower, but they’ll often need other tools and aids for their day-to-day tasks. 

Higher Profit Margins

While the ticket size for these products might be smaller, the cumulative profit from their sales can be substantial. Selling high-dollar machines is always nice, but these products require lower overhead to manage and generate higher margins. 

One-Stop Shop

When a professional or DIY landscaper walks into our store, our diverse product range ensures they don’t have to go anywhere else. This is particularly important for the commercial landscaper whose primary interest is being on-site and generating billable hours. If you sell hedge trimmers, chances are your customers need something to reach new heights, as well as to collect the trimmings on the ground.  

Durable Goods

Selling ancillary products can be helpful to our customers but we maintain a focus on high-quality products that last. They may come with a higher price tag than the hardware store but probably won’t break, even after being tossed into the back of a truck or trailer. Their longevity ensures customer satisfaction, repeat business, and fewer post-sale issues. 

Rental Opportunities

Not everyone needs to own every piece of equipment, especially if they’re using it just once. By offering rental options for items ranging from power tools to orchard ladders, we cater to a broader audience and introduce them to products they might consider purchasing in the future. 

Well-Used Space

While power equipment occupies a considerable showroom space, smaller ancillary items are easier to display. They allow for a more organized, customer-friendly layout, ensuring clients can easily find what they’re looking for. They can also provide great curb appeal alongside your fleet or new mowers. 

Seasonality

Landscaping needs change with the seasons. While winter may demand snow equipment, spring might focus on planting and pruning tools. By stocking a wide array of ancillaries, we ensure we’re always in business, regardless of the season. 

Our dealership, like yours, will continue to supply our customers with the high-quality outdoor power equipment and service they have come to expect each season. As we continue to experiment and grow, we’ll be looking to add items of value to our showroom every season.  We’ve always carried trailer supplies and the usual oils and PPE, and this season we added tripod ladders and high-quality hand tools to the mix as well. It has proved to be a fruitful endeavor that has added meaningful profit to the bottom line and has been appreciated by our customers.  

I encourage you to walk your showroom and consider what tools, gear, and accessories you could add to your inventory. You’ll help your customers and bolster your bottom line at the same time. 

Josh Flynn is the CEO of Power Equipment Plus, a power-equipment dealers with locations in East Hampton, Southampton, and Mattituck, on New York’s Long Island. For more than 25 years, Power Equipment Plus has followed its mission to provide the tools landscape professionals need to grow their business and consistently deliver for their customers.  

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *