Why Our Customers are the Heroes of the Ohio RV Supershow
‘Tis the Season for RV Community
Isn’t winter a quiet time for an RV shop in northern Ohio? Not at Jim’s Trailers! December and January are unusually active months for us. This is an inspiring time of year when our customers play a huge role in the life of our RV dealership. As many of you know, each winter the Great Lakes RV Association hosts a massive indoor event called the Ohio RV Supershow. The tradition of this indoor show is in its 42nd year now. We have participated for many years. Over time, the importance of this show to our dealership has grown. Last year we did almost a third of our annual sales in January, either at the show or directly resulting from the show.
The show is huge to us, and it’s just huge, period. Can you imagine a retail business where a third of your annual sales happen in five days? Needless to say, the volume of the Ohio RV Supershow is more than our regular staff can handle. For example, on four of the five days of the show, the sales floor opens around mid-day and doesn’t close until 9pm or later. It’s exhilarating, and intense!
Preparing for the show is no joke. It’s like taking an entire store—a store that specializes in very large items!—and moving it to another location for a week, and then moving it back. The coordination and training of manpower is significant. There are plenty of administrative details and logistics that require us to buckle down in December and January. We close the dealership for a few weeks leading up to the show. While some of that time includes end-of-year holidays, for the most part we’ve got our heads down and we’re working!
Our Customers are the Heroes of the Ohio RV Supershow
We’ve been fortunate and honored to have a group of customers who go to the show with us each year. They serve as an extension of our sales staff. This has been going on for a number of years, and it still amazes us. Who are these volunteers and why do they do what they do? Well, the makeup of the group changes a little each year, but they are all customers who love RVing and enjoy sharing their hobby with others. Over time they have become our friends and allies. Our motto at Jim’s Trailers is “treating customers like family,” and our partnership with these customers is the fruit of that motto.
Each year in December, we hold several training sessions. At these sessions, our volunteers learn the ins and outs of the different models we will be taking to the show. Of course, they are all experienced RVers themselves. The training helps equip them to answer questions that may be outside of their individual experience. Plus, we go over some basic procedures and protocols so that when we get to the show, we are ready to operate as a large team. This year we are taking around 40 units to the show. While all of our units are together in one area, it’s still a large area. That means we have to spread out and cover it as a team. All of the advanced planning helps our team communicate well and understand how to work together.
There are so many reasons why we love the process of partnering with our customers in this way. We love the opportunity to get to know them better through working together. It’s so satisfying to help someone discover the fun of RVing, and then see them help someone else do the same.
We just wouldn’t be able to pull off this show without the partnership of our customers. At the beginning of this post we talked about how important this show is to our dealership. The customers are the reason it works, and the service that they provide to Jim’s Trailers is invaluable.
The 2018 Ohio RV Supershow will be at the I-X Center in Cleveland from January 10-14.
We’ll be posting more details soon, but in the meantime you can check it out at the Ohio RV Show website.