September 6, 2019
FIND NEW TRUCK CUSTOMERS WITH THESE PROSPECTING TIPS
Prospecting has always been a hot topic with auto sales professionals. Everyone has their own opinions and methods to which they follow. Geography, market size, industries and customer demographics can all play a role as it relates to success with prospecting methods for commercial truck sales. Regardless if you are new in commercial vehicle sales or a seasoned veteran, these prospecting ideas can help you excel in your career.
1. INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS
By joining local chapters of trade associations, you will have direct access to prospect’s contact information and networking opportunities in your area. Depending upon the size of your market area and local industry, there may be several well known and popular trade associations right in your backyard. A few examples of these would be local chapters of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association and National Association of Homebuilders. To discover if there are local chapters in your area, visit the trade associations national website and utilize the local chapter lookup function. If you would like to prospect for trade specific customers in construction, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, agriculture and more, trade associations are a great place to start.
2. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Your local Chamber of Commerce may unlock a wealth of business opportunities for you. The ability to interface directly with business owners and influencers in your local area at Chamber networking events can generate prospects you may have never discovered on your own. Most Chamber of Commerce associations have detailed business directory listings as well that are categorized by business type. Become a member and scour the directory for prospects at the next Chamber networking event.
3. TRADE EVENTS
Chances are, if your town is large enough to have a hardware store or supply yard (think plumbing or electrical supply store), they already host events focused on their customer base which can be your customer base as well. If there is an opportunity to participate with your own display at the events, do so. This can put you face to face with busy tradesmen and tradeswomen in your area that utilize commercial trucks for their job. This is a perfect opportunity to take along a commercial truck or two in your inventory and display it at the event to help initiate conversation.
Most would consider this method an “old-school” way however, it can be highly effective for discovering prospects that may be entering a purchase cycle soon. Drive-bys can be achieved a few different ways. The first step is either gathering business addresses of potential prospects in the area (contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc) or taking note of active jobsites in the area (large scale home or commercial construction sites with many sub-contractors are ideal). If you choose to visit business addresses, do it off hours. Yes, we mean non-business hours. Chances are the entire fleet of commercial trucks will be parked at the business during off-hours and you can pay special attention to not only the type of vehicles and upfits they have, but also the condition. With jobsites, try visiting during break times, giving you the opportunity to converse with the prospects but not interrupt their productivity. You should also take note of the condition of the commercial vehicles on the jobsite as some may be approaching replacement.
With over 80% of vehicle purchases beginning online (according to a study by CDK Global), your website can become a 24/7 prospect generating machine. As it relates to creating and generating prospects, keep a few things in mind. Showing your commercial truck inventory is important to commercial truck customers, make sure the inventory is always up to date. Also, give your commercial truck prospects multiple methods to get in touch with you by listing your phone and email and by placing a simple contact form on your website.
6. SOCIAL MEDIA
Paid ads on social media networks like Linkedin and Facebook can work in your favor for finding prospects. Utilizing targeting features, you can specify who you want your ad to be served to. Social media targeting features for ads you should explore include industry (ie “construction”), job title (ie “owner”) and geographic parameters that define your market area.
Test some, or all, of these prospecting methods to determine what works best for you and your customer base. Consumer behavior continues to evolve and no one method will capture all available prospects. For the best approach, utilize both “old-school” traditional methods and “new age” digital technology.