If you or someone you know recently attended Work Truck Week and the NADA events, you probably already know where I’m going with this….

Vehicles.  Software.  Charging.  Service.  Finance.

The new tech-bundled, special-order, commercial and fleet sales model.  Custom orders, planned well in advance, and with the greatest of tailored specificity.  

Oh.  And Electric.  For many dealerships, this is a big deal, a big problem.

Staying in business means making the necessary changes for this transition – here are two things to look at.

Sales Model:  Push vs Pull

Push:  Entice, urge, convince a customer that your on-lot Stock# XYZ fits their stated needs both functionally and financially.  Once they accept your suggested unit as the best of what is immediately available, stack on the service package and financing.

Pull:  Educate the customer on the need for ordering ahead of time (supply chain, microchips, production, etc.).  Awaken them to the concept of telematics – it’s value for increasing up-time and decreasing wasteful spending on gas and overstaffing. Encourage them to utilize the new VIIZR tool to even further help to streamline their business and continue cutting costs.  Lead them into the benefits of electric vehicles and the host of existing charging solutions (70,000 public plugs through the BlueOvalTM Charge Network, plus all the necessary hardware, equipment, and know-how to install Charging Depots directly into their businesses).  And finally, seal with the peace of mind that the new tech equipment and services are just as secure as the rest of their fleet with your time-honored and now updated maintenance packages and financing options.  You’re there to remind them that they CAN do this, they’ll finally have a fleet of vehicles exactly as they want, and they will save money, time, headaches, and hairlines in the long-run.  Pull them in, magnetically.  

With the proper knowledge, understanding, and approach, the ‘Pull’ sales model yields a much higher volume of comprehensive sales for you (that is, Vehicles, Software, Charging, Service, and Financing), and much more engaged, satisfied, and financially active customers.

Expert Branding and Marketing:  Online Presence and Marketing Tools

As previously mentioned, some dealerships and individuals have already been preparing for something like this.… listening to the news and various podcasts, attending select educational workshops and events, watching videos and engaging in online webinars, reading articles on websites, following advertisements to opportunities, etc.  The same can be said for some of the business-owners – your customers.  Many have been educating themselves.  They are prepared with detailed knowledge of exactly what e-vehicles and telematics are, they’ve been re-working their budget planning to accommodate for a full transition to custom orders, and they’ve prepared themselves for the constricted limits of on-lot need-it-now available inventory.

Consider:  pre COVID, both e-vehicles and telematics existed.

  • When your customers had questions about these, where would they go to get the answers and guidance they needed?  
  • When COVID hit and inventory disappeared, who did they talk to about surviving, planning, and securing their business’s future?  
  • Tomorrow and moving forward, will they keep their accounts with you when once they’re ready to start buying? 

Google.  Duck Duck Go.  Yahoo.  Alexa.  Siri….  Search engines will point your buyers to the websites that seem to have the best answers to their questions.  Thinking about what is and isn’t on your current website, should search engines point to you when buyers are researching their transition to an e-fleet?  

When a buyer clicks a result as a potential answer to their question, the page they land on should be simultaneously:

  • simple to follow
  • topically reassuring (yes, this is what you’re looking for)
  • exciting enough to take the next action (click a link, fill out a form, call you, etc.) 

This is your online presence, be it one or multiple sites.

Then there’s your marketing at the rooftop and individual salesperson levels.  TV, radio, internet ads, mailers/flyers/leave-behinds, and email.

A strong CRM will help you organize your process for transitioning your customer-base.  Task-creation/management tools, labeling features, robust filtering, and email marketing tools that work seamlessly together with your inventory site.  In just moments, strategically target and reach dozens of businesses, showcasing your inventory, available services, and your expertise overall.  Then, funnel them into exciting and logical calls-to-action on your site or with you directly — you must have a CRM that can do all of these things.  

Reach out to your commercial inventory website provider — let them help brand you and your dealership as the experts in e-vehicles and telematics, and use their CRM and marketing tools to pull your new and existing customers into your capable and ready hands.