Through the Eyes Of the Bold, Part 26

Continuing on commercial truck promotions and partnering.

In yesterday's post, we did a nice promotion on service bodies. You can do the same kind of promotion on flatbeds.

Using flatbeds, I would order 25% price leaders again. This is our draw. Single rear wheel flatbeds are not popular pieces, so we will concentrate on dual rear 84" CA with gas engine like the Ford F36 with typical equipment options and just a plain 12' flatbed. That is our price leader. You might consider one option only--a hitch. It is somewhat harder to locally install a hitch on a flatbed than a service body, so I think I would order plain flatbeds with a class IV hitch as the only option.

To this, I would order 50% as upgrade models of the same kind of chassis with some body options. These may include, underbed boxes, tapered headboard, short contractor style gates, upper bed boxes, rack, dump hoist, full size gates, and so on. Feel free to have several combinations of those since they all make the flatbed more useful. You might have one or two diesels as you see fit, but not more than this. Make sure that you include a few 10' on 60" CA super cab, crew cab or regular cab. Man does not live on twelve footers alone.

The last 25% will be a mixture of other flatbed curiosities, like aluminum flatbed, gooseneck bodies, 14' on tilt cab or F450 type trucks, maybe a 16'. Just get creative. The goal is things the customer is unlikely to see on any lot they've been on. You might even put a small crane on one unit just to show that you are bold.

Run this promotion in a very similar way as the service body promo where the price leader is the draw, the next step up is the profit piece and that opens their eyes to the units with other options that they will find very useful. Again, as before, we want to work with a body company so we can get some free options so that we can make the first step up pieces a "no brainer" for the customer. It is typically easier on the body company, especially if they are also the manufacturer, to give free options than it is to give cash. Frankly, this works out better for you anyway because it makes the offer to the customer make more sense. Just like throwing in a $2,000 Factory Extended Warranty is so much better than discounting the vehicle $2,000. The value is the same for the end user in dollars, but the perceived value of the no worries warranty is the better tool and at the same time you are only giving away your cost on that. We'll call that a bonus-bonus, win-win.

Think about timing when you do these. I would do the flatbed promo at the very beginning of the typical dry season which is spring in some areas and early summer in others. In California, I would kick this off in April. In Minnesota, it might be early June. The service body promo can be done at any time of the year.

You can use these promotions to spike up the slower months. As a general rule, I have found January and February to be slower commercial months because of the typical spike of what I call "Tax Selling Season" in October through December with particular attention in November and December. Typically, December is usually an off month for retail, but the best month of the year for commercial. As a result, my promo for October through December is "Tax Selling Season" and I may not run a specific model campaign. Then immediately on January 2, I am in full swing for a January-February campaign to spike up the slower months to create better numbers. I would focus on 60 day promotions with maybe one or two 90 day. In addition, I would have them back to back, non-stop, forever with twists and turns to keep it fresh for me and my prospects.

More tomorrow.

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