Sunday, June 3, 2012

Choosing Bailment Pool and Body Company Partners

Some commercial operations like to spread their business around widely taking advantage of specials when they exist and generally focusing on price. I choose partners. Price is way down the list. This strategy has been extremely effective for me and for those I have taught this strategy.

When I first began in the commercial market, I found an excellent body company. This was a small company, but aggressive, and this was before the bailment system was widespread. Though they didn’t have a bailment pool, I sent them so much business that they became almost exclusive with me. We were like partners. They helped me in so many ways and by virtue of that assistance, they got my business.

It worked really well for a time. Then, the two brothers who owned it decided to not do that business any more, and within a few weeks were gone.

I had to start all over.

This time, I went in search of a few key partners. I went to their operations and interviewed them, told them what I was doing, what I wanted in the way of a body company partner, and so on. From that point on, I have used this system with the best results.

Here are a few reasons to choose a partner rather than just buy on price from whoever is having the deal of the week.

When you choose a partner that you give a good deal of business to, by virtue of that commitment to them, you can make requests for service and pricing that they would not normally be interested in doing. By you helping them, helping you is a given. The more business is given, the more important the partnership.

Nobody gets more than 50%. Under no circumstances will I give more than 50% of my business to one company. I learned that lesson really well. However, I am going to choose three or four companies to give most of my business.

As a result of this partnering approach, the bailment pool company will be more open to stocking units the way you want them, and to giving you preferential treatment in production. This can be a huge benefit for certain customers. They will also be willing and encouraged to stock more of the kind of bodies that you normally order so you can get units very quickly in comparison with the norm.

Depending on the volume you give these body companies, they will be interested when encouraged to assist you in marketing, stocking incentives, low cost body swaps, and much more.

Because of the volume of business that you have with a few, there is much more interest in you as a dealer. This means more attention is paid to your account, you hear about new things quicker, special offers are a natural event, and much more.

You could try to play one against the other, but that wouldn’t be beneficial in my mind. Keep all dealings straightforward and above board and it will work out very, very well.

In other words, they really are a partner in your success. Treating them in that manner and giving them a good portion of your business demonstrates that you are also that partner to them. It is mutually beneficial, as it should be. In fact, it has been my experience to use this method across the board in life. I partner with people instead of trying to have an advantage on them and we all win.
--An excerpt from Commercial Truck Success Book, Building or Rebuilding an Effective, Successful, and Profitable Commercial Truck Operation Within a Retail Auto Dealership.

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