Product Support Sales: The Job - Aftermarket
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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Product Support Sales: The Job

Written By Ron Slee

Article Date: 09-01-2004
Copyright (C) 2004 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.


It’s time to expect more from these talented people.

Are you satisfied with your share of the parts and labor business compared to your potential opportunity? Is 25 percent of the parts opportunity or 10 percent of the labor opportunity acceptable? Many of you will disagree with me on the percentages. However, in research for AED’s Product Support Opportunities Handbook, we found 44 percent of customers had used labor from a source other than the OEM dealer during the previous five years. Our performance on the maintenance side of the labor business is even more distressing. So think carefully when you consider your satisfaction at the level of the parts and service business you are realizing in your trading area. If you think you can do better, even during this good machine market, you must reexamine the position of the product support sales rep (PSSR). It’s no longer good enough, if it ever was, for the PSSR to be a disciplined, well meaning, conscientious individual that follows a “milk run” market coverage approach. It’s time to expect more from these talented people. It’s time to start expecting them to sell. This starts with assigning territories they can actually cover. The territory should be limited to the number of customers and machines a salesman can look after properly. Then determine the potential business of each customer in the PSSR’s territory. This requires a complete and accurate machine population. Next, set goals for each customer – how much you expect the salesman to generate. Three simple steps: But many of you have yet to complete them. It’s time to establish the product support sales force as equal in significance to the prime product sales force. Here’s why:
  • The market opportunity is greater.
  • The profit opportunity is greater.
  • Customer satisfaction with their equipment will be increased, which means more repeat equipment sales
I’ve been talking about the significance of the parts and service departments to the overall health of the dealership for years. Some dealerships have made an incredible amount of progress. Yet there is still much to do. There are many people who make good livings on the parts and service business generated by the equipment we work so hard to sell to our customers. While I don’t mean to hurt other people working in this industry, I’ll be darned if I’ll give up the parts and service business without a fight. I want to look after my customers. I want to ensure the customer’s machine works to its maximum potential. I want to prove we deserve the business. We should be the most responsive group of people with the customer’s best interests at heart. We should be the best trained, the best equipped, and have the best parts supply. We need skilled, knowledgeable, and aggressive PSSRs covering the market both for the health of their dealerships and the health of their customers’ businesses. The marketplace will accept no less. To subscribe, CLICK HERE.
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