Beyond A House: The Biggest Purchase We Make


You’re considering one of the biggest purchases of your life and you get – wait for it – an email.

But it’s just like the hundreds of emails you get for everything from drug stores to dental appointment reminders.

If you’re asking someone to make the second biggest purchase of their life (behind housing), shouldn’t you at least take the time to make it personal?


Letters and handwritten cards have greater importance now more than ever. These days, our email boxes can feel flooded with junk mail every day, and missives from companies are sometimes automatically filtered out, if not thrown in the junk mail folder immediately. On the other hand, hard-copy letters are fewer and further between now, and each one gets a little more attention than before.

Everyone gets mail. It’s not just seniors, either, as more and more young people are opting out of the web and focusing on life away from screens, phones, and computers. Using traditional mail is still the best way to contact everyone. Forty-four percent of millennials pick up mail at least six days a week, compared to 60 percent of Gen Xers and 73 percent of Baby Boomers.

Finally, according to the USPS Office of Inspector General, the decline in mail volume may be more nuanced than some realize.

“Take the drop in First-Class Mail (FCM), for instance. FCM decline varies widely by location… For example, in Dallas, the percent of First Class Mail (FCM) volume lost was greater than in Charleston, WV – where it was close to zero. Moreover, the rate of decline is slowing or has even stopped in many of the areas that have lost the most mail volume. Declines in U.S. Postal Service mail volume vary widely across the United States.”

Mail providers and the U.S. Post Office ensure that your letter gets to the mailbox of the person written on the envelope. On the other hand, digital documents can easily bounce back for a number of reasons, from misspelled addresses to full inboxes or out-of-office situations to spam folders.

When you come right down to it, paper mail just means more. The key is feelings. Seventy-five percent of the inspector general’s survey respondents said receiving personal mail “made them feel special.”

Doesn’t it make sense that if you’re asking a person to make the first or second biggest purchase decision of their lives, you should at least take the time to put it in writing?

Get Trained In Essential Oil Therapy With This AromaTouch Event

Essential oil lavender and orange dry on a wooden table, top view


Aromatherapy is a key component to many people’s wellness routine. Used correctly, the right essential oils claim a whole host of benefits, from boosting relaxation and easing stress to conditioning skin and soothing aches and pains. If you’ve already discovered the power and potency behind these little bottles of wellness, you’ll want to sign up for the AromaTouch Technique Certification Training on Saturday, July 27.

Invest in Aromatherapy

Think of this training as an investment in your own wellness and that of your family. Focusing on the fundamentals of essential oil application, the class is led by essential oil educator and Certified AromaTouch Technique instructor Susan Jaeger. She will guide you through the principles of aromatherapy and teach you everything you need to know to become your own AromaTouch expert. You’ll leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation of aromatherapy as well as the healing, calming, and enriching properties of essential oils at large.

What’s Included?

For a $149 class fee, you’ll gain access to six hours of expertise as you and up to eight other students observe, receive, and give AromaTouch. The price includes a set of oils and training materials. The class is held at The Essential Oil Learning Center, 231 13th Avenue Place NW, Suite B, Hickory, NC 28601. Class begins at 10 a.m., with a one-hour break for lunch on your own at 12:30, and then regroups from 1:30 to 5 p.m.

To secure your spot in this unique course, mail check payments to Susan Jaeger, P.O. Box 463, Newton, NC 28658.

Related reading: Shop Local at the Hickory Farmers Market

Learn More About Prospect Vision

If aromatherapy could draw customers to your automotive dealership, it would be worth a shot. Still, there are some tried-and-true methods and techniques that will boost your success in your community and beyond. We at Prospect Vision are dedicated to helping your dealership thrive through our full-spectrum marketing approach. Implementing focused direct mail marketing, email marketing, digital marketing, and other campaigns, Prospect Vision will effectively drive people to your store, traffic to your website, and increase your overall impact.

You owe it to yourself and your business to put marketing magic to work in your favor. Prospect Vision is ready to help you do that. We will be happy to speak with you about ways we can increase your reach and maximize your visibility today! All you need to do is contact us or stop by for a face-to-face meeting. We’re conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102. We look forward to helping you make your dealership shine!

Don’t Miss Catawba County Farm to Fork Feast

Woman taking some of her boyfriend's salad on lunch at a restaurant.


The Catawba County Cooperative Extension invites you to come out and “eat, drink, and be local” this July. At the Catawba County Farm to Fork Feast, you can dine on some of the finest provisions available in our community, with a wide array of locally-sourced food and drink.

When and Where

The dinner will be held at the Main Cellar City Club on Saturday, July 20. It will run from 5:30 to 9:30 that evening. General admission starts at $30 per person. You can also reserve a table for 10 guests. The venue is located at 332 1st. Avenue South West, Hickory, North Carolina 28602.

The Feast

The night’s offerings will be prepared by Chef John Duke (Duke’s and Cuban Cantina) and Chef Ben Sullivan (Highland Avenue). All their ingredients will be provided by regional farmers, so you can expect the very best of the summer’s bounty to be handled with care and expertise. Live music will come courtesy of Ulysses Long and the bluegrass outfit, The Neighbors. From the sound of Americana in the air to the homegrown food on your plate, you can enjoy a unique sense of place and character from the first bite to the last.

Eat, Drink, and Be Local

This feast is actually the culminating event of a weeklong food festival that begins on July 13. Each day that week, restaurants will serve special dishes comprised of locally-derived ingredients. Starting that Saturday, the Downtown Hickory Farmers Market will host a cooking demo. Other highlights include a visit to the Blue Goat Dairy Farm that Monday, a tour at Honey Tree Farm on Thursday, and a beer making workshop at Catawba Farms that Friday.

You might also like: Shop Local at the Hickory Farmers Market

Learn More About Prospect Vision

Since 2001, it has been our mission to help automotive dealerships boost their reach, improve their sales, and retain their satisfied customers. We support these businesses through insightful equity marketing and thorough customer data mining, and we’ve developed proven approaches to direct mail marketing, digital marketing, and email marketing. If you’d like to see how we can customize our services for your needs, feel free to contact us today.

Upcoming Concert: Kip Winger, Live and Unplugged

Rear view of large group of people enjoying a concert performance of unrecognizable music band on the stage. There are silhouettes of people with arms raised.


You may have heard him in the Alan Parsons Project, or maybe with Alice Cooper. Then again, you might have noticed his musical contributions on albums by Bob Dylan, Blue Yonder, Fiona, or even Twisted Sister. Rock musician Kip Winger has appeared on some prestigious stages, and this month, you’ll have the opportunity to see him perform up close here in Hickory.

When and Where

The show will go on at the Main Cellar City Club on Friday, July 12. The music will start at 7 p.m., and the event will last until 11:30 p.m. Tickets range from the $28 general admission to the $78 VIP Meet & Greet package. If you opt for the VIP treatment, you will enjoy early entry to the venue, seats in the first two rows in front of the stage, a commemorative poster, and a chance to meet and get a photo with the artist. The club is located at 332 1st Avenue Southwest, Hickory, North Carolina 28602.

Live and Unplugged

Winger’s versatile musicianship has opened the doors to recording studios with the likes of Bob Dylan and The Who’s Roger Daltrey. When he returns to the Main Cellar City Club, he’ll bring his talents to a decidedly intimate space for a special acoustic performance. While he’s demonstrated his prowess with everything from electric bass to synthesizers, this unplugged engagement will strip his music down to the essentials, highlighting the songwriting that let his career take flight.

A Part of Rock History

Kip Winger’s career has involved some exciting twists and turns, from his first big hit with Kix’s Midnite Dynamite to his raucous stint with Alice Cooper. In fact, when Winger set out on his own to start a new band with Reb Beach, Rod Morgenstein, and Paul Taylor, they had originally decided to call their outfit Sahara. It was Cooper that recommended that they rebrand themselves Winger, and the name took off.

The band recorded three albums together before Winger chose to embark on a solo venture. During that time, he released several records, including the heartfelt This Conversation Seems Like a Dream. Since then, he has even experimented with classical music, composing the symphonic “Ghosts,” which made its live debut with the San Francisco Ballet in 2010.

You might also like:  Check out the Selection at Olde Hickory Tap Room

Get to Know Prospect Vision

If you want to enhance the reach and customer retention of your dealership, we can support your goals with proven expertise and customized marketing approaches. Give us a call today to see what we can do for your business.

Shop Local at the Hickory Farmers Market

Man working at farmer's market taking cash from customer


On Wednesday and Saturday mornings from April until the end of November, the Hickory Farmers Market brings the city together for the freshest and finest goods our North Carolina purveyors have to offer.

From the fresh regional produce to the imaginative creations of local artists, the farmers market puts the unique character of our community on vibrant display. The gathering at Union Square in downtown Hickory has become a great opportunity to mingle with friends, neighbors, and the people that provide the food we all enjoy.

The Market

The Hickory Farmers Market presents a wide variety of local goods that change with the season. Farmers, chefs, and other purveyors will bring their best offerings to the market, and the stands will feature a colorful assortment of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, cheeses, honey, flowers, preserves, meats, seafood, and more. Arts and crafts tables will also display the handiwork of our local artisans. The market brings in an average of 45 unique vendors, and there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Eating in Season

Since the season dictates what’s available, the vendors’ offerings may very well be different each time you visit. Regular patrons can find watermelon, green peppers, and sweet blueberries in the summer, and can expect pumpkins to appear as the heat gives way to an autumn chill. Of course, peanuts and sweet potatoes are perennial mainstays. Some items like field peas, pecans, and white potatoes have a very brief harvest, so be sure to pick them up whenever you see them!

Make Your Plans

The market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays through the summer and fall. In November, the market is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keep in mind that the market will be closed on October 12 for Oktoberfest.

You might also like:  Visit Some of Hickory’s Best Breweries This Spring

Learn More About Prospect Vision

Our mission is to assist car dealerships through our expertise in E-mail marketing, digital marketing, direct mail marketing, and more. Our honed marketing strategies can open up multiple avenues for new business to follow directly to your automotive dealership. We offer a dynamic range of services to help you draw traffic to your website, and all our campaigns are proficiently designed and executed to drive prospective customers to your door.

If you would like to hear more about what Prospect Vision can do for your business, come by our office to speak with one of our friendly team members today. We’re conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we’re standing by to help you achieve your goals!

Don’t Miss The Downtown Hickory Art Crawl This May

Flowers and photographs


If you like to admire art, shop for artwork, talk to artists, or just enjoy a good time out and about in the community with your friends and neighbors, then you won’t want to miss the Downtown Hickory Art Crawl. This year’s festival takes place Wednesday, May 15, and will bring some of the best local art to an easily walkable 4-block area of downtown Hickory.

A Sidewalk Gallery

Make plenty of time to stroll among the exhibits and take in the varied works from more than 60 different artists, all set to a backdrop of music to fuel your artistic appreciation. Browse masterpieces of pottery, paintings, woodwork, and other art media and chat with the artists on hand about their process and inspiration.

The artwork isn’t just to admire; it’s also for sale. Support our local artists and select some lovely original pieces with which to infuse your home interiors at the same time.

Art Crawl Details

Join the Art Crawl kickoff parties at 5 p.m. at Full Circle Arts (42-B Third Street NW) and Trade Alley Arts (25 Second Street NW). Make sure to grab a map of the Art Crawl and check out the participating artists so you can plan your evening. Also, don’t miss out on your chance to win a $25 gift certificate by having your Art Crawl map stamped at these four locations:

  • Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse (29 Second Street NW)
  • C&C Trading Company (221 1st Avenue NW #108)
  • Splendique Fashion Boutique (246D Union Square)
  • Craft Beer Cellar (109 Government Avenue SW).

Downtown Hickory Art Crawls are sponsored by the Hickory Downtown Development Association, Boyd & Hassell Industrial Commercial Real Estate, United Arts Council of Catawba County, Jackson Creative, and Focus Newspaper.

Related: Visit Some of Hickory’s Best Breweries This Spring

Learn More About Prospect Vision

Your automotive dealership deserves the best possible marketing to achieve the best possible results. That’s what we strive for at Prospect Vision, where we take a tried-and-true, effective approach to full-service marketing that’s geared to increase your overall impact in the industry and drive traffic to your website.

Our approach implements focused Direct Mail Marketing, E-Mail Marketing, Direct Marketing, and other campaigns thoughtfully designed and implemented to get your business the attention it deserves.

Ready to learn what Prospect Vision can do for you? Simply contact us or stop by our Hickory location at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, for a friendly face-to-face consultation with our knowledgeable team members. We look forward to working with you!

Timing is Everything When Getting Customers to Upgrade a Vehicle

Flowing hourglass on wooden table; Twilight blue


In July of 2018, CARMAX published a loyalty report from customers who traded in cars. Using their data, CARMAX explored which cars people own at trade-in and what they purchase as their next car. Did they stay with the same brand or not? Are people loyal to the same type of car they used to drive (i.e., do SUV owners keep buying SUVs or do they switch to sedans)? This was a great test case because, given choices of dozens of brands in close proximity, what percentage would stay with the brand they were driving. New car retention hovers around 52 percent, but given freedom of choice, what would consumers pick?

The highest ranked vehicles traded in for the same vehicle was only 30 percent. That means three out of 10 repurchased the same brand, at best. The average was closer to 20 percent. In this new era of digital-based competition and customer control, people are increasingly buying because of a brand’s relevance to their needs in the moment.

The truth of the matter is that loyalty is waning. And you don’t want to take the chance of your customer picking something else. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Increasing customer retention by 5 percent can increase profits 25–95 percent. The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60–70 percent, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5–20 percent.

Timing is Everything

A new vehicle purchase is still an impulse buy. A friend of mine in the car business always used to say, “Rarely does anybody really have to have a new vehicle. Somewhere in their brains, they have justified a new vehicle.” The service lane is the optimum location for capitalizing on relevance and timing. The customer is thinking about their vehicle, they may be questioning if it is time for a new vehicle, or a new model may have caught their eye on the way to the service lane. This is the perfect time to insert yourself into a conversation.

Having a dedicated person or team is a great way to help ensure that you’re in the conversation. This way, their main focus is on transitioning service customers to new or used vehicle sales. Having a person that becomes used to dealing with these transitioning prospects is an important asset. Having someone that has learned the nuances of nudging a prospect along increases the chance of the sale.


You have to find the right customer who is in the perfect equity position to upgrade to a new vehicle. Once the service appointment is set, look at the customer’s history and their equity and see if the time is right to draw them toward a new car. Providing them with a loaner while their car is getting serviced is a great way to help transition them from the service drive into sales. Prepare some offers for the customer, and once the car is returned and they say they love it, provide them with the offers to purchase the vehicle with no money out of pocket. Thanks to your data, you already knew the customer’s situation before they arrived and were able to draft offers that fit their particular situation.

Don’t Fall Prey to the Status Quo

To succeed in the non-loyalty era, dealers must be continuously willing to abandon old practices. As new technologies shift customer journeys and expectations, they can (and should) also enhance companies’ abilities to engage with customers in more relevant ways. Often, the greatest roadblock is a dealer’s lack of willingness to transform their processes, organizations, and mindset into something new.

Visit Some of Hickory’s Best Breweries This Spring

Bartender pouring beer


There’s no shortage of great breweries in and around Hickory. With such a tremendous variety of style and atmosphere, there’s something for everybody. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed patio setting with friends and a pale ale, or a cozy interior with a soothing stout, you’re bound to find a taproom that suits your tastes. Get to know a few local institutions below:

Granite Falls Brewing Company

Built into a 116-year-old former soda pop site, Granite Falls has become a go-to Hickory hangout.  When you visit, you may hear music on the dog-friendly patio or explore the history of the old Granite Bottling Works. On draft, the year-round offerings include the bold Hoppalachia, and springtime arrivals include the light but tart Blueberry Falls.

Fonta Flora Brewery

For a decidedly rustic vibe, check out the agriculturally-inspired Fonta Flora. The master brewers combine English and Belgian brewing sensibility with true Appalachian resources. You can taste the storied region’s unique terroir in the sweet honey of the Ticky Ticky Buzz, or the Appalachian heritage red corn in the Bloody Butcher grisette.

Appalachian Mountain Brewery

Enjoy a good brew for a good cause at Appalachian Mountain Brewery, who donate a portion of their taproom sales to local nonprofits and charities. Perineal offerings include the award-winning Boone Creek Blond Ale, chocolate and coffee Porter, and a variety of ciders. The drinks lighten up for springtime, with seasonal brews like the crisp Belay on Saison V11, the fruity yet bitter Dry County Pale Ale, and the Hoppy Snazzy Fresh, whose name tells you everything you need to know.

Blowing Rock Brewing

In addition to a selection of fine craft brews, Blowing Rock Brewing also features its own inn, complete with flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, and spa-inspired toiletries. Downstairs, brews range from the floral and citrus High Country Ale to the rich Big Chocolate Porter. In the springtime, don’t miss the refreshing Mountain Spring Juicy Hopped Blonde Ale.

You might also like: Check Out the Selection at Olde Hickory Tap Room

Learn More About Prospect Vision

See the best possible results from our proficient marketing approach for your automotive dealership. We offer a variety of services to help you drive traffic to your website, with E-mail Marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, Digital Marketing, and other campaigns expertly designed and executed to lead prospective buyers to your dealership.

If you would like to learn more about what Prospect Vision can do for you, come by and speak with one of our insightful team members today. We’re conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we’re standing by to help you succeed!

Hickory’s Spring Fling Craft Show

Jewelry on display at street festival

Spring has sprung here in Hickory, and there’s no better way to welcome the season than with the Spring Fling Craft Show.

On April 13, more than 80 artisans and purveyors will stock their booths with all kinds of unique gifts and treasures. There’s no telling what you may find when you browse the tables across the Hickory Metro Convention center. You might come home with a charming necklace, a boutique fashion statement, or an elegant still life painting for your dining room.

When and Where

The event starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 13. It will be held at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. It lasts until 4 p.m., and admission is free to the public.

What to Expect

With over 80 arts and crafts vendors at this year’s event, you can expect a little bit of everything. In the past, we’ve seen handmade wreaths, colorful jewelry, vibrant tie-dye, beautiful paintings, fragrances, apparel, and more. It all comes courtesy of regional artists and small businesses. Judges will survey the offerings at each table and declare the best-in-show by the day’s end.

Learn More About Prospect Vision

With our proficient marketing approach, you can expect tangible results for your automotive dealership. We offer a diverse range of services to help drive traffic to your website, with Digital Marketing, E-mail Marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, and other campaigns specifically designed and executed to lead potential buyers to your lot.

If you’d like to learn more about what Prospect Vision can do for you, we invite you to come visit us and speak with one of our team members today. We are conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we’re ready to help your business succeed!

Attend the Catawba Valley Pottery Antiques Festival This March

Blue pottery works in okinawa

Surround yourself with North Carolina’s ongoing craft traditions this Saturday at the 22nd Annual Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival! The event brings in artisans from across the state to exhibit their beautiful stoneware, textiles furniture, baskets, and more. The non-profit event benefits the Catawba County Historical Association and the North Carolina Pottery Center.

When and Where

The main event begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 23 and lasts until 5 p.m. It will be held at the Hickory Metro Convention Center, located at 1960 13th Av. Drive SE, Hickory, NC 28602. Admission is $6 for adults and $2 for children 12 years old and under. The Friday Night Preview Party requires tickets to be purchased online in advance for $45.

What to Expect

On Saturday, over 100 vendors will offer their handmade wares, demonstrating the continuation of a deep-rooted North Carolina craft. While technique and style vary from artist to artist, you’ll see the pottery made just as it has been for generations. From wheel to kiln, the glazed earthenware on display represents a genuine folk tradition that has survived through the Industrial Revolution and modern convenience. You’ll find elegant vases, colorful accent pieces, jovial jugs faces, contemporary coffee mugs, and more.

Don’t miss the preview party on Friday night, where you may enjoy live music, classic Southern food, a cash bar with two complimentary drinks, an early buying opportunity, and even a chance at winning a $200 shopping spree for the next day.

Learn More About Prospect Vision

We can custom-craft our marketing approach to support your automotive dealership. We deliver a dynamic range of of services to drive traffic to your website, with Direct Mail Marketing, Digital Marketing, E-mail Marketing, and other campaigns specially designed and implemented to lead potential buyers to your showroom.

If you’re interested in learning more about what Prospect Vision can do for your business, we encourage you to come by to speak with our team today. We are conveniently located at 920 Tate Boulevard SE, Suite 102, in Hickory, and we’re prepared to help your dealership succeed!