For many dealerships, the commercial accounts that you service lack a dedicated and effective process. Your commercial accounts may include a golf course, a landscaper, a larger farmer, or a local government or municipality. Regardless of who it is that you are servicing or what your commercial accounts look like, there are three keys we see in dealerships who demonstrate on-going success when handling these accounts.
1. Commit to 8 touches a day
The very first thing you need to do is assign someone as the main point of contact for these accounts. While this may seem like common knowledge, it typically takes a different set of sales skills to handle commercial accounts with multiple decision makers and often complex bidding and approval processes. After you have identified this person, our goal is to have them touch eight commercial accounts per day. This could be a phone call, email, text message, or visiting them in person. When we have this person touching eight accounts per day, it keeps their sales pipeline full and proposals going out the door. For most dealerships, eight commercial touches a day would only take part of a salesperson’s job. You can find more information on keeping the pipeline full on the sales tab in the BCI Dealer Toolbox.
2. Be there when your competitors aren’t
My guess is that your competitors are in front of your customers at Christmas with a calendar that will promptly go into the trash. You should be in front of your commercial accounts when your competitors aren’t. This may mean spending your marketing money on these accounts during off season holidays, such as Saint Patrick’s Day, Groundhog Day, or even National Ice Cream Month.
I also encourage the person who oversees these accounts to make sure they do what we call “Turf Visits” at least once a year per account. During a “Turf Visit”, the salesperson meets with each commercial contact “on their turf” which could be at a local diner or restaurant or another favorite place close by, and connect with them there. Not only does this build the rapport you need, but typically walls come down when you eat with people on their turf and you can get to know the players better.
3. Always ask the question, “How can I make their life easier?”
One thing you should always be asking about each of your commercial accounts is: “How can I make this person or organization’s life easier?” The people you are working with are often running their business and have a list of things to do that can be incredibly overwhelming. When you begin working with a commercial account, you should work to connect them to other people who will be able to help them in areas you can’t. Find ways to connect them and help them succeed in their business. The better business is for your customers, the better business will be for you as well.