A Bit Of Advice To Make More Sales - Part 3

Based on the response to the first article on this subject, I've decided to offer some other insights as I observe body reps calling on me in our capacity as managing consultants at a dealership commercial truck department. The first article was in two parts and the first part dealt with body company reps showing up without an appointment or a phone call. The second part dealt with a few things but mainly stated there was no selling being done, but in and out quickly. Even if you're not a body rep, you may find these insights valuable.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and wrote down this phrase: "Tell me how to use it, how it will benefit the end user, how I can sell it and how it will benefit me." I'll tell you how that came to me so it makes more sense.

A body company has some 2008 van bodies already mounted on cutaway units they want to move. I got a printout of what they are and some of the specs. I see that they are odd sizes. The height very low on several and they are FRP bodies. They are 10' and 12' models on dual rear wheel cutaway chassis. With all my experience (I have a lot, but know that I can learn so much more), I am struggling trying to figure out how I might benefit from buying these. I get no help from the rep. No suggestions. Only this: they are negotiable.

Okay, so if I could buy them for a really good price, what then? What would I do with them? Who would I market them to? What would the end user use them for? What are the benefits of this combination of specs? Who else buys these and why? What options are available that might enhance this offering? Price is insignificant in comparison to these questions.

One would get the assumption that the reps are so used to just taking orders when times were good, that they have forgotten selling skills. I am certainly not hearing them. I did choose only one of the several of these units that are available and made a low offer. Frankly, I don't care if they turn it down, but if they take it, I will find a way to market that one piece. In the meantime, the clock is ticking on the other units.

I wish them well, of course. Yet, what would help more than anything is a different strategy that involves selling the benefits and features and value. This would allow them to help a dealer see an opportunity and know what to do with it and at the same time, the body company would move the unit much faster saving flooring costs and sell it for a better price since they would have something to sell besides price.

I also know of other body companies who have left over items, cancelled sale items, etc. that they want to move. A list of what they are and what the special price is will not do the job unless I have a customer in front of me asking for that item. The odds are not in their favor, nor mine. One better approach would be a separate flyer or email for a specific item with photos, features, benefits, people who use them and how they like it and so on. Price doesn't draw much. It is a secondary issue after interest in the item. Focus on the interest on the item and the price will be less of an issue.

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