Equipment Trader

As part of my sales-consulting and dealership-training work, I often interview candidates for job positions in equipment sales and management. In fact, I interview over 50 candidates every year, and – just like the insurance commercial says – I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two. Almost every factor I’ve seen contribute to sales success can be placed into two categories: “Skill” and “Will” (a pair of terms I’ve adopted from “The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness” by Kevin F. Davis). Read More

I’m a big reader, averaging one book every two weeks. My topics are usually related to sales, customer service, leadership, or motivation. That may sound boring to some, but I consistently learn things that make me a better sales-consultant, dealer-trainer, and professional-coach. As the old saying goes, “when you’re through learning, you’re through.” In that spirit, I recently finished a great sales-management book titled, “The Sales Manager’s Guide to Greatness” by Kevin F. Davis. There are a lot of great ideas in the book which are relevant to equipment salespeople, but the topic that stood out most to me was the concept of “Skill and Will.” Read More

In the 1800s, the steam locomotive and the Transcontinental Railroad revolutionized transportation. In the 1900s, the automobile and the Interstate Highway System was another game-changer. Now that we’re in the 2000s, our roads are overcrowded, in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and increasingly dangerous. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) only gives the U.S. grades of C+ for bridges, D for roads, and D- for transit. Read More

Thankfully, gender equality in the workforce is continuing to improve. We still have a long way to go, but today, women make up 47% of the workforce¹ and you can find them in any number of roles. But there are still some professions – like construction, science, and technology – that have been, and still are, dominated by men. Looking at the construction field more narrowly, a new study has found that, while women make up a small minority of the construction workforce, recent increases in female employment has led to the highest share of women in construction in 20 years. Read More

Drones are quickly revolutionizing agriculture, effectively taking photographs, tracking field health and irrigation, and engaging in precision seed planting and crop spraying. If you don’t yet have an ag drone, there’s a good chance you might in the future. We’ve previously outlined why ag drones are becoming a major farming tool, as well as what to consider when buying an ag drone. But while it’s great to know the benefits and what to look for when making a purchase, none of that does you any good if you don’t know how to use and maintain the drone once you have one. So today we’re breaking down a few important tips and best practices for owning and operating an ag drone:  Read More

In a highly competitive market, the struggle for exposure can be difficult and expensive, and sometimes your own resources aren’t available for a costly campaign blitz. This is why commercial dealership success requires a nimble-minded ability to think outside the box and develop advertising solutions that don’t break the bank. In other words, commercial dealers need to learn how to be scrappy in marketing without spending a dime — or at least, spending very few dimes!

It’s important to keep in mind that being scrappy with resources doesn’t mean a dealership’s marketing strategies should suffer. Even on a tight budget, commercial dealers can maximize exposure, cultivate a sterling reputation, develop a leading voice, and become a powerhouse in sales. In Part 5B of our Scrappy Marketing on a Budget series, we’re discussing how that success can be achieved when dealers Plan Dynamic Emails!! Read More

The California Gold Rush may have ended over 160 years ago, but there is still gold to be found among your own customers. Every time I give a seminar or consult for a dealership, I’m asked, “What’s the fastest way to grow my business?” My answer is always the same: “Through your best clients.” Just like gold that has been wisely invested, our top customers maintain and increase in value over time, providing both retained business and prospect referrals. Read More

In a highly competitive market, the struggle for exposure can be difficult and expensive, and sometimes your own resources aren’t available for a costly campaign blitz. This is why commercial dealership success requires a nimble-minded ability to think outside the box and develop advertising solutions that don’t break the bank. In other words, commercial dealers need to learn how to be scrappy in marketing without spending a dime — or at least, spending very few dimes.

It’s important to keep in mind that being scrappy with resources doesn’t mean a dealership’s marketing strategies should suffer. Even on a tight budget, commercial dealers can maximize exposure, cultivate a sterling reputation, develop a leading voice, and become a powerhouse in sales. In Part 5A of our Scrappy Marketing on a Budget series, we’re discussing how that success can be achieved when dealers recognize the Benefits of Dynamic Emails. Read More

Here’s a fun fact: bottlenose dolphins and “false-killer whales” (which happen to look like orcas) are distinct species, but often form interspecies “super-pods” to coordinate hunting, with dolphins eating first and making way for the false-killers to prey upon smaller mackerel schools that hide among larger fish. In fact, dolphins and false-killers not only hunt together, but socialize, travel, rest, and even babysit in groups, forming lifelong bonds that occur over many years and great distances. At first glance, there’s no reason for these separate species to interact, but they’ve learned that together — in numbers which can reach into the hundreds — they can accomplish complementary goals. That diverse groups provide opportunities for mutual gain is a lesson commercial salespeople should learn as well. Read More

Construction workers can sometimes feel like Merle Haggard singing the Working Man Blues, “working as long as my two hands are fit to use.” But as committed as laborers and technicians are, even the hardest working employee can stumble into disaster if safety precautions are not being closely followed on the jobsite.

In some ways, danger is an inherent part of a job that requires working at great heights and operating powerful machinery. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five worker deaths in the U.S. is in construction. However, supervisors and businesses are responsible for keeping workers safe by lowering risk whenever possible. That’s why it’s so concerning that while safety best practices are widely known throughout the industry, few of those precautions are systematically adopted by the majority of contracting firms. Read More

I get phone-calls and emails almost weekly from new commercial equipment salespeople. Many of them are near the end of a three- or six-month draw against commission and are looking for answers on how to survive when their draw disappears and their income becomes based on commission. I typically ask the same questions — and receive the same answers:

Q: “What has been your main prospecting activity?

A: “I was told to knock on doors of local businesses.

Q: “Have you attended any trade associations or group functions?

A: “I only go to the Chamber of Commerce events.”

Q: “Doing those activities, have you had meetings with decision-makers?

A: “Very rarely. How do I get those appointments?

You get the idea. Only a small percentage of these new hires make it past the guaranteed draw period, much to the frustration of the commercial sales manager. What sets apart the dealerships that seem to consistently find success when building their team? In my view, the answer lies in developing and implementing quality hiring, training, and management practices. Here are 10 tips (3 tips on hiring, 5 on training, 2 on management) to help you build the best dealership team: Read More

In a highly competitive market, the struggle for exposure can be difficult and expensive, and sometimes your own resources aren’t available for a costly campaign blitz. This is why commercial dealership success requires a nimble-minded ability to think outside the box and develop advertising solutions that don’t break the bank. In other words, commercial dealers need to learn how to be scrappy in marketing without spending a dime — or at least, spending very few dimes!

It’s important to keep in mind that being scrappy with resources doesn’t mean a dealership’s marketing strategies should suffer. Even on a tight budget, commercial dealers can maximize exposure, cultivate a sterling reputation, develop a leading voice, and become a powerhouse in sales. In Part 4 of our Scrappy Marketing on a Budget series, we’re discussing how that success can be achieved when dealers Establish Local Partnerships!! Read More