Sell your dealership, not just your brand.
Oftentimes, the strength of the forklift dealership fails to play a prominent role in the selling process. Historically, a dealership’s value proposition has primarily focused on the strength and benefits of the particular brands they represent.
It is this value proposition that has always allowed the market leaders to differentiate themselves from the competition. Premier brands always commanded a premium. This differentiation essentially created a two tier market. One tier supplying a ‘premium’ forklift and a second tier supplying a ‘price’ oriented forklift. While the differentiation remains, second tier suppliers have gained ground by skewing the definition of ‘value’ from performance to price. This is extremely dangerous for both customers and dealers as the operational demands on a forklift are strenuous and require a robust product and quality dealer support to be effective in the long run.
It is important to keep in mind that the quality of the dealerships within a manufacturer’s network can vary tremendously by territory. The same brand may have a different reputation in two different parts of the country based on the quality of that particular dealer.
Leveraging your strengths can set you apart from your competition and create value the customer can see. This can be a huge advantage in diffusing price as the primary decision point. Response time, number of technicians, first call completion rate, breadth of product offering and parts availability are all things that are at your disposal to gain an advantage over your competition.
Use every advantage you can. Your dealership has value. Use it.