Dealership Success: Work Truck Week

Setting Up For Success

“Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance,”  aka The 5 P’s of Success.  Seasoned business owners, salespeople and military vets have probably heard this more than a few dozen times; you may have even shared it with someone yourself.  It’s a powerful thought to always have top of mind.

In my personal life, I am a stickler for shopping with a complete, well-organized list.  Without a good list, I’m guaranteed to come home with bags and bags of things we didn’t need, while forgetting some – or most – of the things I was sent out for in the first place.  I will have wasted time, gas, and money – precious resources necessary for the continued wellness of the home, my primary business.

When I have a neatly organized list, I can review it, ask clarifying questions, and make any necessary edits or changes to my plan before I leave.  This ensures that I spend only the minimum required amount of time/gas/money to complete the task.

Coming up this March 8-12, the NTEA (National Truck Equipment Association) will be hosting a virtual version of their annual Work Truck Week – are you prepared? 

Work Truck Week, in their words, is “a reimagined way to connect the commercial vehicle community and provide the product news, market trends and operational insights you’ve come to expect from North America’s largest work truck event.”  If you’ve not attended in the past, you’ve been missing out.  Attendees are provided the latest info on work trucks and equipment, OEM updates on new tech releases and vehicle availability, analysis of relevant economic and market trends, and opportunities to connect with industry-leading manufacturers and suppliers.  (For more information, visit https://www.worktruckshow.com/attendees)

For those dealerships that are completely up-to-date on the efficacy of their operational tools and have a total understanding of what their buyers are wanting/needing, NTEA’s Work Truck Week is priceless.  These dealers are not just tacitly and vaguely aware, they keep meticulously maintained lists of what their staff and their buyers need and want.  Events like Work Truck Week allow them to confer with the experts, solidify plans of action, and begin immediate implementation.  Filling most or all the needs from just one event keeps the dealership running at peak efficiency. Additionally, their customers never have to wait to get their businesses updated on the newest cost-saving measures and technology.  Customers that consistently remain interested and informed become repeat and referring customers.

Dealerships that are disorganized are in a much tougher position.  Without a clear understanding of both the issues concerning operations/management of the dealership, and the needs/wants of their buyers, events like Work Truck Week can be costly.  Without a well thought-out plan, time that could have been spent selling more trucks is wasted as they meander aimlessly from one exhibit to another. Without a complete and organized list of needs, it’s difficult to know what exhibits should be priorities, and which might be a waste of resources this year.  Exhibits with tools, services and ideas that could bring immense value to the dealership get lost in a sea of choices, becoming invisible and valueless.  Furthermore, with no organized understanding of these needs, and no specific plan to address each (or any) of them, any resulting new purchases/contracts/etc. will then be based primarily on gut-feelings and incomplete/inaccurate information.  Such a false understanding of the needs of the dealership and its buyers often leads to extremely costly mistakes with desperately speedy cancellations, and nothing but more wasted time and money. Impulse buys, while sometimes fun, are rarely fruitful.

If you plan to attend the Work Truck Week, I urge and encourage you to make time to review the needs of your staff and your customers.  Hold a meeting with your senior management team specifically to uncover and define any gaps or issues with existing operational/managment tools (websites, feed providers, etc.).  Separately, book a meeting area in one of your best local restaurants and treat some of your high-profile customers to a nice lunch-and-learn; you provide the food, they provide the updates on their pain points and any new developments that may have their interest.  Based on the information you glean from your staff and your customers, you can then create a precise game plan for which exhibits you wish to engage with.  More importantly, you’ll be armed with the ability to ask the right questions – questions that speak directly to fulfilling each of your needs.  With all of your ducks in a row, you’ll be fully set up for a successful, beneficial, and thoroughly enjoyable Work Truck Week experience!