Have We Talked Ourselves Into A Slowdown?Written By: Ron Slee
Article Date: 02-01-2007
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
If it happens, let's make this an opportunity to get some things done.
By now everyone is getting ready for the coming slowdown - the one we've been talking ourselves into for the past year of so. If the cyclical market we've enjoyed slows, what are you going to do to continue to grow your business? Let me count the ways: Parts Department
Reinvigorate the telephone selling process. Assign 100 customers that are not covered by a product support salesman, to each in-store parts employee and create a program to sell specific parts families each month.
Follow up all backorders with a telephone call to ensure the customer got what they wanted.
Follow standard parts rules and make sure they get done:
Review the customers who have stopped ordering parts and find out why.
- Find every part every customer is looking for every day.
- Put away every stock order received today - today.
- Ship every part ordered today - today.
- Receive and ship every emergency order received today - today.
Have Parts Managers make personal calls in the field at least half a day every week.
Review the fast moving parts inventory to ensure you never run out.
Customers say they want availability of parts more than any other thing. Why not give it to them? Update your inventory control rules and establish expediting methods to satisfy this need.
Reinvigorate the telephone selling process. Assign 100 customers that are not covered by a product support salesman, to each service department employee - then sell maintenance and inspection programs.
Follow up all work done for customers with a telephone call to ensure the customer got their needs satisfied.
Follow standard service rules and make sure they get done:
Service Managers should make personal calls in the field at least half a day every week.
- Inspect each machine or component before starting work and provide a fixed price to the customer.
- Give a completion date to the customer before starting work.
- Close and invoice all work completed today - today.
Review the customers who have stopped giving you business and find out why.
Customers want a fair price and responsiveness from the service department. This
means a "flat rate" price and a guaranteed completion date.
Product Support Sales
Segment and stratify your customer base for parts and for service. Be sure each of the "A" and "B" customers in parts and service is covered by a product support sales rep and a sales goal is assigned to each customer.
Manage the relationship between salesmen and customers with a CRM program.
Update and maintain the customer machine ownership files.
It goes back to fundamentals. If the equipment business slows down, you'll have more man hours of mechanics available as a result of fewer preparations for delivery. You'll have increased capacity for customer work. You've been turning business away every day with the lack of sufficient manpower to satisfy the needs of your customers.
Something to remember: A mechanic generates about $400,000 in annual parts and service business. Most of your customers think it's more competitive to use their own labor rather than dealer labor to keep their equipment running. You have an opportunity to change that with the items listed above.
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