National Oil & Lube News

February 2017

Digital issues of National Oil & Lube News, the trade magazine for the preventive maintenance industry

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Page 32 of 67

February 2017 | NOLN 33 One way to add value for construction clients in particular is to offer to service some of their ancillary equipment, as well. If you have the facilities and manpower, changing the oil, spark plugs, fil- ters, etc. in generators and other gasoline-powered equipment can make you a very attractive partner for a construction company. Something else you may want to offer construction companies is a sys- tem for their employees to bring in their work vehicles and receive mainte- nance receipts. is will allow supervisors to ensure their vehicles are being serviced when they should be. Most clients prefer to receive a monthly bill showing all vehicles serviced rather than paying for each one as they go in, but operators should do what they feel is in the best interest of their busi- ness. In addition to the extra cash flow, one of the most attractive aspects of fleet accounts is they can allow oil and lube businesses the ability to sched- ule these regular clients during slower times. is ensures service centers are operating at peak efficiency. To aid in scheduling fleet account service at the optimal times, some oil and lube operators offer fleet clients pick up and delivery service for their vehicles. Keeping Costs Down Having a steady stream of business you know is coming in has benefits beyond the obvious. Once you have a rough idea how much fleet business you're going to have during the course of the year, buy your oil, filters and anything else you'll need in bulk at a lower price from your suppliers. Of course, it almost goes without saying that there's no need to splurge on higher-end oil or other parts for fleet vehicles, the basic stuff will do just fine. Again, this is something you can work out ahead of time with your local supplier. Landing the Contract Let's be honest, most oil and lube shop owners and managers aren't nec- essarily sales people. e idea of making cold calls, appointments and sales pitches can be daunting, or even down right frightening, to men and wom- en who are used to working on cars for a living. ankfully, you likely have a connection to a sales person who would be more than willing to help — that's right, your supplier. It's almost certain one or more of your suppliers has a professional sales person who would be up for giving you some tips or even come along for the call. After all, if you land a fleet contract, they'll be getting more business. Once you've put together your list of potential customers, do a little background research on their businesses and try to anticipate what their needs might be. Put together a simple, clear and well-written proposal. As mentioned before, don't decrease your price, but instead increase what you offer. e more you can provide, the more attractive your offer will be. Most business owners and managers don't care as much about saving a few extra bucks as they do about simplifying and streamlining their workflow. To that end, make sure you make it clear in the sales pitch that your fleet clients will have priority and won't just be pushed to the back of the line. Likewise, be sure to mention any other services, like vehicle pick up and delivery, you plan on brining to the table. It may be the little things that make your offer just a little bit sweeter than the last one they received. Once you've done your homework, it's time to start making some calls and paying some visits. When the contracts are signed and the steady fleet business starts to buoy your bottom line, you just might find yourself ask- ing why you didn't go after the big fish sooner. S by David Burbach

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