Posted: September 02, 2013
Top Notch Service Can Earn You Some Fleet Sales
Fleet customers require additional service. So for truck accessory retailers, that's an inviation for successBy Kevin Page, VP, sales, marketing and business development, Truck Accessories Group.
As far as the truck accessory market is concerned, there are still areas of the economy that need improvement. But there’s a sense we’ve reached equilibrium and fleets are starting to buy product. Fleets put off purchasing for a long time, so it has created pent-up demand. As fleets are replenished, we’ve seen an increase in the commercial market.
When talking about fleets, it’s important they have the flexibility to build their products to fit their application. One size doesn’t fit all. You have to see what they need, what applications make sense, and then have solutions ready to go. It’s different from selling to consumers, where one size fits all in many applications. At TAG, we try to build in flexibility and solution-based selling for that very reason. For example, we came up with a gull-wing tonneau for a specific fleet. It allowed access to their trucks from either side and bed pro-tection when the wings were down. We then marketed it to the general population and found there was a need across the marketplace. So you have to be open-minded with fleets, look to their usage and applications, and have the flexibility to meet their needs and come up with solutions. We have a fleet department that’s focused on companies that are national in scope. We also work closely with TAG dealers to capitalize on regional fleet opportunities.
But fleet sales are more complex, and fleets require an additional amount of service. They need to know you’ll provide support before, during and after the sale — a true cradle-to-grave experience. As fleets crave that support, it’s a perfect opportunity for retailers to work with fleets in their locale and provide that extra level of support. Identify segments that have pickup trucks. Call on them aggressively. Have a dedicated commercial website or a segment on a website that’s dedicated to fleet with real solutions that could pique interest. Have professional salesmanship that knows how to work with fleets and understands how to meet their needs. It’s really solution based selling. Retailers who have the vision and commitment, and offer the service and support are the ones who will typically win the business in the long term.
Edited by Ellen McKoy