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Be informed about what you sell

Lucas Deal October 9, 2013

Knowledge is power.

Your sales team needs it because your customers demand it. Your service department needs it because, again, your customers demand it.

Being a successful dealer isn’t just about selling trucks, it’s about being someone a customer can consistently rely on. It’s about doubling as a FAQ hotline.

When customers have questions, they expect you to be able to provide answers.

Heavy-duty suppliers provide excellent literature about the products they sell, but not every customer can be appeased by a product brochure or manufacturer white paper. Sometimes they need more.

This is especially true with customers considering spec changes to their vehicles to improve performance and/or fuel economy. If they are going to alter their trucks, customers want to be sure what you’re selling to them works.

To sell the product, you have to prove its performance.

Fortunately for you, there is currently an organization in our industry working to do just that.

Formed in 2009, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) was created to work with truck OEs, vendors, fleets and government agencies to provide research, testing and education on vehicle efficiency technology available in the commercial vehicle marketplace.

The group has now partnered with the Carbon War Room to create Trucking Efficiency, a coalition that hopes to “double the freight efficiency of North American goods movement by 2016 through the elimination of market barriers to information, demand and supply.”

The new organization held its first summit event in Chicago earlier this week and I was fortunate enough to attend. I’ll tell you, if you don’t know about NACFE you need to do some research.

The organization recently released its first Confidence Report on efficient technology in August with a 90-page report on Tire Pressuring Monitoring devices. The extensive report featured data from years of testing that showed the real-world expectations and results associated with tire monitoring equipment.

NACFE hopes to release a second report this month on 6×2 axles, and will produce its third paper in early 2014 on anti-idling devices. It also hopes to begin research on other efficiency products in 2014.

Having seen some of the test results from these reports, this is data you can use. This is data that will sell products and customers.

Lucas Deal is the editor of Truck Parts & Service and Successful Dealer. He can be reached at lucasdeal@randallreilly.com.

You can follow me on twitter at @lddeal85

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