On-site events at your rental business create a wide range of opportunities. Whether you’re showing appreciation for current customers, getting to know prospective customers or both, a get together can help you educate people on your offerings — while nurturing positive personal relationships that yield trust and sales.
For a successful event, plan activities and set goals centered around:
Defining and demonstrating your brand
If your branding focuses on always having the right equipment for the job, give tours of your yard (see fleet section below for more), show attendees how to search for equipment on your website, create signage and handouts that tout availability policies and so on. If your brand is built on responsive service, introduce your whole team so customers know backup contact people they can call if their regular salesperson is unavailable.
Consider all options for showing off your business in a great light. During a meal or presentation, for example, have a long-term customer stand up and sing the praises of how you’ve helped their business succeed — just ask them in advance; don’t surprise them on the spot with your request.
Generating peer interaction among your guests
Happy customers can be your best salespeople. Help start conversations between them and prospects. When they start “talking shop,” great pieces of equipment you rent and outstanding service you’ve provided can quickly become the topic of discussion.
Familiarizing attendees with your current fleet
Even a long-term customer may not be totally up to date on every piece of equipment you rent. Give walking or golf-cart tours of what’s on your lot, drawing special attention to what’s new. Equipment manufacturer representatives can be a tremendous help with presenting equipment benefits, running demonstrations and answering customers’ questions at your event.
Just like your offices, business signage, etc., make sure your equipment is cleaned up and looking its best.
Expanding your customer knowledge and contacts
Sure, you want to talk up your business during an event — and you should. But make sure you also ask customers and prospects plenty about their businesses and current challenges and opportunities. Very important, too: If six people from the same construction company attend your event, don’t just spend time with the manager you already know. Start forming relationships with equipment operators, office staff and anyone else. All can be influencers when equipment rental decisions are made.
No doubts about it, events require you to invest time and money. The potential return on investment is well worth it — from moving up from being a company’s second call to their first call when they need equipment to keeping the competition at arm’s length from your well-treated, appreciated customers.