There Are Opportunities At Every Turn!

In every problem, there is an opportunity. Of course there may very well be more than an opportunity--there may be several. In a downturn, there is opportunity. They are just everywhere when you open your eyes to see them. It is just amazing.

During the '91 downturn, I was working my first commercial operation in Santa Rosa and decided to take a 4-day trip to visit every commercial truck dealer I could find that I thought was doing what I was doing. I made a list and headed out. It was a fascinating and enlightening trip. It was the best thing to do and very fruitful.

One of the dealers I stopped at in the LA area was a large Chevy dealer and they also had the Isuzu franchise. I saw this Isuzu NRR out front with a flatbed dump on it. I stopped to look at it and found out that it was 2 years old, but brand new. The NRR is a cool rig because it had the 6 cyl engine in the small cab with low pro wheels and yet had a good GVWR, that I think was 19,000 lbs. So, I thought about the truck and how long they must have had it. They had a heck of a sale price on it, but it was still there.

I calculated that invoice had to be about $35,000 and change, then I decided to go find the General Manager or Owner and make them an offer. I offered them $25,000. They thought about it at length and finally said yes. I was thrilled. I called ahead and got a check coming, hired some drivers to come get it and went on my way.

When I returned and the truck arrived, I sent it out and had the flatbed dump taken off, and installed a van body and we sold it to a company and made a huge gross. In this case, I could sell it for invoice and make almost $10,000 profit. Rock on!

If I were at the dealership today, I would be looking for every one of these kind of opportunities I could find. Let me tell you this: right now there are tons of these opportunities. Some dealers are sitting on old pieces for a very long time and they are so anxious to unload them, that you can make some serious buys. All you need then is a marketing plan and make sure that you move them quickly.

I know there are a number of dealers who still have some new 2006 product on the ground. What an opportunity that is! Maybe all you have to do is buy it and show it. Maybe you have to change the body. Those are easy things. These are gross opportunities. You have to have confidence and a good plan, and then just go for it. Go find those gems. The Isuzu dealer thought he had an unsaleable piece. I saw a customer driving it and me counting the money. I had a plan and the plan worked wonderfully.

The Isuzu is not an isolated incident. I have done this many, many times and have taught others to do it as well. You have to let go of fear and know what you can do. There are opportunities at every turn. Go for it!

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