NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Sometimes it’s a Matter of Perspective

As summer winds down, it’s a time when students, from elementary to college age, are heading back to school. And while some might complain, in the end, most of those going back to classrooms see it as a positive. It’s a chance to see classmates they may not have seen in quite some time, connect with favorite teachers or professors, and begin learning new things based on the courses on their schedules. In other words, their world is full of new opportunities.
And if you look at the commercial vehicle business, the same is true – there are many opportunities, despite much of what you hear in the news every day (the “noise” as Joe says in his article). Certainly not all opportunities look the same, and for some, you might have to look pretty hard, but they are most definitely there.
Consider the long-time customer who needs a new work truck and you’re the one who gets to tell him or her that the timing will take longer (probably quite a bit longer) than expected. But, when viewed as an opportunity, it looks a little different. Perhaps you can help that customer find a pre-owned vehicle that will temporarily solve their immediate need, while you also assist them with getting an order placed for a new one. At this point, you’re the hero.
Or, maybe – and in reality, hopefully – you’ve been proactive in communicating to your customers, preparing them for the lengthy ordering process we’re all encountering, and you’ve worked with them to plan ahead. This means it’s not a surprise, and that pre-planning means they’ll be getting their new work van exactly when they need it because you got them into the queue early. Again, this was an opportunity for you to do what you do best – help your customers.
And finally, what about the new customers you’ve been talking to? These are the ones coming from another dealership where they weren’t well taken care of, and they’re looking to you for help. This is an opportunity to build a new relationship and a customer for life.
Sometimes it’s a matter of perspective. When we take a moment to step back and look at where the world was two years ago, right now seems pretty good. And, if we stay focused on fulfilling the needs of our customers, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to go around. Still not convinced? Check out the end-user stories in this issue and you should start to think otherwise.