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Winter Checklist for Increasing Heavy Equipment Sales

Posted by Joe Gargiulo | Wed, Jan 20, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

The current warm, dry weather in many parts of the country strikes a stark contrast to the record cold and snow of the 2014–15 winter, giving heavy equipment operators in those areas extra time to finish projects before the inevitable. Here in Sonoma County, however, the predicted precipitation from El Niño has parked big machinery until spring. Whether one is a heavy equipment dealer in an area that is presently undergoing wet or dry conditions, now is the time to prepare for next year’s busy season.

CrossCheck has compiled a winter checklist for dealers to contemplate before they hit the ground running next spring.

heavy equipment sales


Start by considering who will be selling your stock. If adding salespeople is part of the plan, then look for individuals who are familiar with the equipment, inside and out. For example, a former operator would know the idiosyncrasies of many vehicles, including ease of operation and reliability. That background info would be invaluable should you purchase used equipment at auction to fortify a fleet of new models. Such a salesperson would also be able to overcome objections as potential buyers contemplate a purchase.

Insure that all required licensing is up to date, including state documentation for resellers and salespeople as well as municipal business licenses.

It’s also a great time to evaluate potential buyers. Will the dealership rely on existing connections, or will it be making a concerted effort to add new channels? Either way, spend time reviewing the successes and failures experienced during the current calendar year and consider ways to make improvements. If a new channel is part of the mix, then a thorough study of the various industries using heavy equipment is in order.

For example the four-year California drought has caused many farmers to consider how and what they farm. Will they need new or different equipment to rip up old plantings, or will they be retooling with different equipment before converting to different crops?

Know the Markets

The depth of background information available online about heavy equipment (new/used, maintenance, buying/selling, pricing, supply/demand and more) is overwhelming.

Start by evaluating the pros and cons of the models to be released in 2016 and how your line measures up to the competition. Does the competition offer better fuel consumption? Are load capacities larger? Are the attachments for their dozers more versatile? Record all of the features, benefits and advantages, and determine the best way to overcome potential objections.

CrossCheck assists heavy equipment salesStudy the supply and demand of your niche market, and consider new avenues such as online resources. Will local contractors need to fortify their fleets because of a residential housing boom? Is agriculture taking an about face? Has your state, county or local government appropriated more funding for road restoration or replacement?

Also analyze pricing trends and data on the local, state, national and international levels depending on the scope of the dealership’s market.

Preparing Used Equipment

Shopping for used equipment should be a pleasant surprise to potential buyers rather than a disappointment. Now is the time to insure that the service department readies any leftover used stock from the current calendar year as well as any equipment purchased at auction. Deal killers include dirt and grime, leaky hydraulic lines, no-start engines, broken windshields, coolant in the motor oil, bad brakes, torn seating and excessive welds. In addition, detailed inspection reports, gap-free maintenance records, and histories of ownership may help convince unsure buyers.

It also helps to have detailed vehicle descriptions and pristine photos for online channels, whether the sales are handled by the dealership or a listing service. Consider purchasing a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera to do the job or hire a photographer because cutting corners while marketing items worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is ill-advised.

Trade Show Strategy

improving heavy equipment salesTrade shows are another area requiring enormous preparation. In fact, preparing a plan for them should be addressed as soon as the market strategy is determined and used equipment is readied because the winter tradeshow season is fast approaching in most parts of the World.

If possible, the most knowledgeable and gregarious people on the team should be behind the table to talk up the new and used equipment.

If the dealership has presented at tradeshows in the past, consider all of the successes and failures. Were the multimedia presentations effective or needed? Were there enough warm bodies in the booth? Were the white papers/point-of-sale materials picked up by attendees or were they passed over for being too drab? Did the dealership attract more visitors than the competition, or was it the other way around? What were the reasons?

Is there a way for potential buyers to opt-in to mailing lists or request additional information or follow-up calls? Has advanced publicity plugged the booth location to existing and future customers?

Dealership Financing

Dealership financing should be analyzed and researched, especially if the market research suggests an inventory expansion of new and/or used equipment.

Dealers may need on-the-spot capital or available credit for opportunistic acquisitions. For example, such purchasing power could be advantageous if a construction company wants to liquidate a large fleet that could be resold by a dealership to address the burgeoning markets addressed above.

On the other side of the coin, dealers should be prepared to offer favorable payment solutions to buyers. This creates a positive reputation among buyers and eases the burden on the accounts receivable department.

CrossCheck’s Multiple Check service is a simple and economical way to increase revenue. Two-to-four checks are written by the consumer to the dealership. You both agree on a schedule of deposit for all checks over the next 30 days. There's no credit check; it is not financing; the checks are also guaranteed by us and the customer walks away with the product that day. Click below to learn more.

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Topics: Heavy Equipment, Increase Sales

Written by Joe Gargiulo

Mkt and Communications Mgr Joe Gargiulo has 25 years in copy writing, public relations and marketing. He enjoys connecting story leads to all aspects of the human experience.