Building a solid network of contacts doesn’t start and end with attending mixers and local business meetings, though these can be a helpful part of the process. Different types of networking groups allow you to meet a wide variety of contacts who can help you expand your business. Learn to look beyond the obvious when trying to expand your market.
Meeting Local Mechanics
As a representative for an RV dealership, you don’t just want to work with locals. You want to develop relationships with every business that has an ancillary connection to your own. Mechanics handle the maintenance and repair of vehicles after they are sold. Local hiring fairs and grand openings make a great place to network for business partnerships. If you can find a garage or two to work with, you can set up a steady stream of referral business.
Travel Agency Workshops
RV sales often tie into vacation planning. The clear connection makes travel agents an exceptional source for building a network of potential clients. Don’t wait for a meet and greet to start networking with the agents in your area. Do a few cold calls and start tracking them down via social media. Making a few contacts in the travel industry can give your monthly sales numbers a big boost.
Event Planning Profitability
Another great use for RVs is in the event space. Tailgaters routinely create mobile palaces for outdoor events. Setting up a street fair or block party is more fun with access to a kitchen setup and clean restroom. Adding an RV to an outdoor event can really spruce things up, so be sure to add event planning agencies to your list of networking contacts.
Keep in Touch with Other Dealerships
Dealership-to-dealership networking is another important part of the recipe for networking success. There will be customers looking for inventory you can’t supply. When that happens, referring them out to another dealership that can is a win. You’ll get the reputation boost for providing excellent customer service, and the dealership you refer out to will be more likely to return the favor. Industry events are a great place to meet other local dealers and discuss your target verticals. It’s always best to find potential partners that aren’t in direct competition.
Always Be Networking
Your business card and smartphone are your best friends as you work to establish a wider network to improve your business reach. A quick Facebook friend’s request or business card giveaway can generate sales down the road. Working with local businesses to create a massive referral network is one ingredient for success, but so is the constant pursuit of new contacts.