A Used Construction Equipment Story
The Used Construction Equipment Manager asked to meet with me shortly after I became the Regional Sales Manager with a CAT dealer I was working for in 1997.
I had 14 sales reps reporting to me and I was excited about my new job.
I Had A Lot To Learn
The manager of the used equipment department (I will call him Pat for purposes of this story) knew that I did not know very much about this part of the equipment business but he was willing to teach me the ropes.
Used Construction Equipment Had A Huge Impact On The Dealer
Pat started the meeting by explaining that nearly 25% of the machine sales for the dealership was generated by his department.
At the time the dealer was producing $300 million per year in total sales so this was an impressive $75 million+ business.
He went on to tell me that this part of our business generated over 21% gross margin .
He was very proud of his department but that is not the reason he was telling me all this.
The Method To Pat's Madness
What he was doing was asking for my help. I found this to be a strange request since I had just started in the job.
The method to his madness was very clever.
Pat had been in the equipment business for nearly 30 years and he was known throughout the industry as one of the very best.
So why was he asking for my help? It is quite simple and it's the point of this story.
What Was Pat's Strategy?
Pat operated under a well thought out strategy year after year. He had to have a clear-cut plan since this was such an important parts of the dealership's business.
When I asked him why he needed my help he simply said, "You and your sales reps are my eyes and ears in our market, I need the information that you and your staff has in order to operate my department effectively".
Pat's strategy was fairly simple (which is the reason it worked so well).