The Little Things Aren't Little, Part 1

This will be a series of articles on a number of little things that aren't so little. They don't seem important until the time comes when you need it to perform, then it is so big, it can make or break a sale, an event, whatever.

Since I deal a lot with the commercial truck dealer, I will start with one of my pet peeves: Keeping the trucks clean--the whole truck clean.

Most dealers have people come and wash the vehicles on their lot once or twice a week. They use a pressure washer and usually chamois them off as well. This can very easily cost the dealer well over a thousand dollars a month just to wash the inventory. My pet peeve is that I see the commercial trucks get washed at the dealer and they only wash the cab. They don't wash the body and some of them a just a mess. Since this is the part that you are really selling, it is very important to make sure the body is cleaned every time the truck is cleaned--even the top of the flatbed and the floor of the service body and the floor of the landscape dump. Most of the time, I see the dirt that is months thick, leaves and other debris in the back of the body and who knows what else.

Perhaps the cleaning company charges more to wash the body, but they wash the whole car, so that shouldn't be an issue. If it cost a few cents more per truck, it is worth the money. Just try to imagine what the prospect that looks at this truck may be thinking. Selling anything means to raise the value of the product to equal the selling price. That can be difficult when it is looking like it has been on the lot for a year. This is a simple fix. Just one of those little things that when taken charge of makes a big difference. Now think about the prospect walking up to the truck and the truck is clean and looks like it just arrived yesterday. What a difference. An easier sale too.

Part of keeping the vehicles clean is making sure the windows are clean. Vinyl sweat from the plastic parts in the cab with the windows rolled up in the sun can mount up quickly. A little window cleaner once every two weeks will do wonders with this little issue.

Keeping the outside of the body clean is very important, but so is the inside. I will be at a dealer and open a service body door and it looks like the compartments have had water in them at some point and it dried up and left stains and dirt accumulated on them making them stand out even more. That will kill a sale in a quick New York minute--especially in a service body. Every two weeks, or once a month minimum, each vehicle needs to be examined and all these little things need to be addressed as a matter of routine so that it continues to get done.

People who buy commercial trucks like to see them clean and they want them to be perfect at least the day they drive it off the lot--just like any other vehicle buyer. Sure, they are going out and going to work and they may never be clean again, but they sure want to see it clean when it is on the lot and they are contemplating buying it. Wouldn't you?

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