I have been working for this company for around 9 years now. However, at their Grand Ledge location I have only been working for three years. Bader & Sons Co. is one of the states largest John Deere dealerships with nine locations. They sell many other brands than Deere too. The Grand Ledge location is a little different than the other eight stores too. Grand Ledge is the only strictly lawn and garden store. The biggest equipment we sell is 100 horse power tractors. Most of our business consists of residential mowers and commercial mowers in second. The last two years of have been in the set-up department. This means when someone buys a piece of equipment I would put any attachments they wanted to go with it on. This could include mulch kits, Curtis Cabs, backhoes, material collection systems, ect. This year is a little different though. This year I am starting to become much more involved in the sales department. I sell Stihl equipment, Deere generators and power washers, and parts and attachments.
To start off the summer I was up front selling lawn mower parts and Stihl equipment. Stihl equipment plays a large role in the parts department. This is because the vast majority of commercial lawn care companies use Stihl equipment. However, over the past few years residential customers have started learning about Stihl’s reputation and are starting to buy more of the equipment. It is very important to know your customer and know your product. Last week and customer came in that was just starting up his lawn care business and wanted a Stihl weed whipper. I talked to him about his company and determined his did not need the higher end commercial grade weed whips because he did not have that many contracts yet. I knew he would benefit with a straight shaft over a curved because of the solid steel one piece drive shaft in them. I gave him two options of the FS56 or the FS70. I told him the main difference between the two was the anti vibration technology in them and the FS70 was a more powerful. He ended up not buying one because he could not justify buying a weed whipper for the same price as his lawn mower( the FS70 retails at $249.99). I tried to convince him buy telling him about Stihl’s promotion of doubling the warranty when you buy a 6 pack of their synthetic oil but it did not help. While selling Stihl equipment later that week I also ran into a problem with an MS170 chainsaw. We fuel them up and make sure the run before we send them out. However, this one stalled out every time I got into the throttle. Their was clearly something wrong with the carburetor on it. I told the customer about the problem and offered him a solution of transferring one from our St. Louis location and having it to my location the next business day (the one we had was the last one in stock). The customer was very happy that he had this option and told me to go ahead and do so. The next business day the saw came in and worked perfectly. The customer was very happy.
On top of selling Stihl equipment and lawn mower parts I have also been getting my feet wet in the sales department buy delivering sold equipment. I am in charge of figuring out the logistics of getting all of the equipment where it needs to be in the best order within the scheduled time for delivery. This is a very important job because I am the last employee the customer associated with the mower. After I drop it off I go over the equipment with the customer and make sure they are comfortable operating it. First time buyers (especially those that buy zero turn mowers) usually have a lot of questions about the mowers. This is why it is so important I know the product we are selling. If they send me out to deliver something and I do not know the answer to the customers questions it makes the company and myself look bad.