Convenience should become the RV dealer body’s new focus as it seeks to convince more Baby Boomers to become RV owners, according to Tom Faludy, president of aftermarket products supplier firm Carefree of Colorado.
Faludy expressed his opinion during a panel discussion Sunday (Sept. 23) on the industry’s future.
“Research bears out that, as an industry, (new product) quality is getting better, not that we’ve achieved it,” Faludy said during the panel discussion at the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s annual Convention/Expo in Las Vegas. “But quality is not going to be the thing that makes us special. It’s the lack of it will make us stand out.”
To turn all Go RVing ad campaign leads into customers, Faludy, chairman of the Go RVing Coalition, recommends that dealers emphasize convenience to “take the hassle out of RV ownership” in the following ways:
1.) Shifting the focus in the selling of RVs from price discounting to serving as a travel agent. This will help first-time buyers figure out where they can use their RV based upon family size and availability of free time.
2.) Change dealership hours so they are more convenient for customers who are employed full-time.
3.) Offer repair, maintenance and installation services where the customer’s RV is located, which could be at their home, in a storage facility or at a campground.
4.) Deliver the RV to the customer after it has been purchased, repaired or serviced.
5.) Go beyond advertising discounts and retail show promotions to partner with retailers such as Home Depot or Wal Mart in order to reach “unsuspecting folks who never thought they’d buy an RV.” This strategy might even lead to “impulse purchases,” Faludy said.