Claiming Or Blaming? The Proof Is In The Results, Pt 3

We'll finish up this week with more ideas on moving old commercial truck inventory and expand on a few already presented. Head 'em up, move 'em out!
  • Change your commission schedule on the old unit. Offer a somewhat higher commission rate to motivate a hungry sales person.
  • Offer a flat commission like $250, $500, etc. This motivates some because now price is not an issue. If the house accepts the deal regardless of the gross or lack of it, the sales person gets a flat $500 commission. I know several this has motivated in my past.
  • Other internal incentives could be a big screen TV, home theatre system, or other such gift for moving the truck at or above a selected price. The options are endless here.
  • Transfer the body from one truck to another. One way to sell an old truck might be to dramatically lower the cost without lowering the value at all. You would do this if, let's say, the truck has an 11' service body and you swap it out with a standard flatbed. Now you can drop the price probably at least $5,000 because the flatbed is so cheap in comparison. I've used this and many others have with great success.
  • If you have a service body or similar truck left and you really need to move it, send it through detail and spit polish it to perfection. Make it look like brand new. Go to your favorite hardware outlet and buy a pile of tools and fill the service body compartments up. If you have a showroom area and your commercial trucks are normally way outside, bring it up and put it right in front. If you have an inside showroom, put it in there. During the day, leave the compartments open showing all the tools. The person who buys it gets the tools. $1,500 will buy a serious stash of tools and it will be a bargain for you and a bonus for the buyer! Don't want to spend the cash? Work a deal with the vendor! Put their name prominently on display and make it a win-win-win!
  • Give away gas cards.
  • Throw in free maintenance for three years, or an extended service contract, or other services that are of value to the buyers.
  • Here's a fun one: Take a single rear wheel service body and have the truck lowered and put some radical wheels and low pro tires on it. A slammed commercial truck will get some serious attention. You can always restore it.
  • Take a contractor body and put some nice 10 gallon or larger palms or other trees on the bed along with many bags of compost mix, buckets, wheelbarrow and miscellaneous similar items to make a great display. I've seen a lot of landscapers use contractor bodies. Get it near the showroom area or out front on the pad.
  • You Ford dealers, try to get an autographed Toby Keith guitar or similar kind of item to give away with a sale, along with concert ticket to his next event and a fuel card to get there and back.
  • Hold a charity event in which donations from each sale are made to benefit the charity.
  • Contact the local radio station and trade the truck as a give away for 2-3 times ad value and then promote the deal together.
  • Take a truck you want to move to a construction site when the food coach is about to arrive. When it does, buy for all the workers and show off your truck while they are there. Fair trade. They get to see a great truck, you get their attention. Better yet, work a deal with the food coach in advance and follow them to each job site doing this at each site!
  • Make the first 3-6 months of payments for the customer. This can be powerful for some.
  • Start a rental department and buy some old units for your first rental fleet.
  • Buy two commercial trucks and get a small starter car free. This is great for someone who has a son or daughter about to turn 16. The trucks are written off in the business, the car is a total bonus and makes heroes of the parents.
  • Register one to the dealership as a long term demonstrator that you can loan once in a while.
  • Have an old van body? Donate it to a local church or homeless shelter or other worthy cause. They are always looking for help in this way. Do a good deed, get a super write-off (not that you need any more) and get some free publicity in the interim.
  • Hold an auction at the dealership. Advertise it heavily, get an auctioneer and have some fun. They do this with condo's, why not trucks?
  • Have a commercial truck day once in a while where all the retail vehicles go out where the commercial trucks were and the commercial trucks come up front for the day! It could happen.
  • Put something really strange on the back of a long flatbed. Here's an idea: Helicopter! Here's another: Let's say the truck has a capacity of 5,000 lbs. Get some plywood and 2x4's for a frame and have a box made that is large. Make it look like a big steel weight, paint it black and in white letters, paint 5,000 lbs. Any other attention getter can be helpful.
  • Get one of the contractor organizations you are members of to hold a meeting at your dealership. If they help sell your truck, give 10% or so to the organization or the charity of their choice.
  • Network with your current clients. They don't need a truck right now, but they might know or run into someone who does. Give them a flyer or DVD.
  • I discussed this idea on Wednesday: Make a DVD. This is a very powerful idea and it is fairly easy to do. Get a video camera and make a presentation on the truck while someone films it. You can get someone who has some experience to help and the do the editing. Have fun with it. Keep it short, but interesting. Sell the truck. Get the video out. Open a YouTube account and upload it to YouTube. Send emails out with a link to the video. Burn some DVDs and get them out to people you think are good prospects for the truck. Do this with every old truck you have. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Get the local college involved where people are studying how to do video well. They may help for free just to get the experience. Let them have a copy so they can show what they accomplished. Put the video in your bi-monthly newsletter. Post it on your commercial truck website. Pretty soon it will be everywhere. You could be the next Cal Worthington! Better yet, you can move your trucks.
  • Websites. I look at lots of them. I see a lot of dealer websites and I ask, where is the commercial truck website? If there was ever a real need for a website at the dealership, it is the commercial truck department. Why? It is a regional market. If you could have everyone come into the dealership, great, but many will not go that distance unless they are already sold. My commercial truck operations were in Northern California, and we regularly sold units into Southern California, Nevada and other locations. I am sure we would have sold many more of them with a good website. If you are advertising in a publication like the Truck Trader, you will get calls from 500 or more miles away. How powerful is it to have your photograph on your website, so they can see who they are talking with? Photos of the truck from different angles and they can click on it and enlarge the photo to see it better? A film clip of a presentation on the truck? Other information about the dealership, services, testimonials, directions, length of time in business, other businesses, etc.? You can talk a thousand words and your website will say more in one minute than you can in an hour (assuming they give you that). I recommend a separate website that can be updated in a few minutes with links to the main dealership website. We can help with this: Upward Trend. There's a commercial. We have the commercial truck experience to know what you need. All you need do is reallocate your current advertising budget slightly and it is done without any additional expense. Whether it is us or someone else, this is the most powerful tool you will have.

Keep brainstorming more ideas. They are endless. Challenges like this current market can be a great catalyst for growth and improvement. Accept it as a challenge and the proof will be in the results!

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