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Posted: August 24, 2013

We Don’t Operate In A One Size Fits All Market

The best way to grow commercial business is to know your customer’s business.

By Mark Krook, National Sales Manager, Vanguard

Growth in the fleet and contractor markets, along with tax incentives from the federal government, encourage contractors to invest in accessories for their vehicles. Items such as boxes, racks and everything else make their vehicles more usable. From a retail standpoint, it’s important to be cognizant of what a contractor does for work and play. We’re not a one-size-fits all industry. And contractors are not onesize-fits-all businesses.

A lot of installers and retailers keep a certain model rack on the floor thinking it will fit the roofer, plumber or painter. That’s not so. There are many rack options that will benefit one contractor over another, and that can also be used for carrying weekend toys.
This is why at Vanguard, we have a light-duty grade rack for canoes,kayaks and maybe a ladder. We also offer a heavyduty, 1,000 pound-rated truck rack that’s for commercial users, but that could be used for other lifestyle activities. Our sales show that more people are going for the heavy-duty rack, because they need to use their truck for both applications. We’ve also noticed more people are buying their vehicles instead of leasing. The payments are lower, and they can accessorize the vehicles however they want. They’re looking at it as a tool and an investment.

The best way to grow commercial business is to know your customer’s business and what he needs. Counter people are incredible assets for this, because they’re a contractor’s first point of contact. But it’s important for a counter person to be well informed, ask questions, and point out which rack is best suited for a specific purpose. It’s an educational process, which gets back to knowing how the customer uses his vehicle.

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