The End Justifies the Means

In the commercial operations of which I was a part, along with those I’ve consulted with, my focus is always on two things. The first is protecting the dealer. I call that person the goose that lays the golden egg. Every decision we make means we are looking after improving the dealer’s bottom line and keeping them from harm. The second is focusing on the end user by serving that person and company in every way possible. From the inventory I choose to the way we talk to customers in the service department and the finance department, everything is focused on having that customers experience being the reason that they come back year after year.

One of the ways I do this is by stocking unique items and units with options to help solve problems and create more customers. Back in the earliest days of the service or utility body, it was a pickup truck with fenders on the outside and tool boxes were added on either side of the fender. They weren’t very deep or useful compared to today’s trucks, but they were such a step out into the future back then. A lot of prospects don’t know about some of the simplest options for a service body such as roll-out drawers. What a great way to carry a lot of smaller items and have access so clean and easy, and being able to show it to them in real life makes all the difference. Or, add a cargo bed enclosure with a roll-top section to keep larger items secure and out of the weather. Another would be a master locking system, which is about the easiest option in the world to sell, or an electric locking system.

I remember back in 1972 when I started selling cars, we had to actually sell tilt steering wheel—I mean make a sales pitch and try to convince people to buy it. It’s laughable today, but there were a lot of things like that then. Today, it is so common to have units all over the lot with options galore, yet so often we might want to be so much more conservative with the commercial trucks; however, in my experience, there are plenty of buyers for loaded commercial trucks and the profits are better as well.

Work has changed hasn’t it? I used to have customers who wanted nothing but sweaty sticky vinyl and wouldn’t buy air conditioning for fear of their employees never wanting to get out of the cab and actually work. Now, cloth seats, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, AMFM Stereo, and even cruise control are among the most common options or standards on the basic commercial trucks, and more business owners are looking to enhance their own employee’s job experience to retain them.

It’s all about the end user experience and the many ways in which we can make that experience turn prospects into customers and customers into loyal friends. --Terry Minion, Commercial Truck Success

This piece is the selection from the Terry's Blog section of the upcoming FordPros Magazine. Find more about FordPros Magazine at the National Ford Truck Club website: http://www.nationalfordtruckclub.com/. Commercial Truck Success is pleased to be associated with this fine organization for the last several years.

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