Attention to detail makes Donze one of Freightliner’s best salesmen
“For me to sell 10 trucks at a time, that’s a big sale,” he says. “Mine are all one at a time, or two at a time. That takes a lot of creativity.”
Donze began his career 1969 with International Harvester before moving to GMC and eventually Freightliner in 1990. He says he focuses much of his sales efforts on vocational units because many of his peers don’t see the investment worth their time, preferring to focus on more expensive Class 8 units.
“I grew up with that stuff,” he says. “Being from a rural area, knowing how farm trucks are built, how dump trucks are built, being around that stuff,” he says of his preference for vocational trucks. “I worked on them when I was going to college…Worked in the parts department…I feel that was one of the best training sessions you can ever have is to just be a part of it.”
Regardless of the spec sheet and sticker price, Donze says a salesperson’s willingness to go the extra mile will dictate the kind of success they will enjoy. He says he’s been contacted by customers with a failure, only to grab a replacement component off the shelf, deliver it personally and, in some cases, help them install it.
“Some people appreciate things like that, some don’t,” he says, “but the majority of them don’t forget it.”
Donze says his favorite part of the sales process is spec’ing a truck, adding he appreciates the trust his customers have in him to spec exactly what they need.
“You can get that kind of recognition from your customers, that they trust you with this kind of stuff,” he says. “(My customers) know that 99.9 percent of the time, whatever I do will be correct. Do I make mistakes from time to time? Hell yes I make mistakes, but you learn and you go on.”
Above all, Donze says don’t forget the role you play in helping customers succeed in their businesses.
“People rely on you,” he says. “Just be sensible.”