For many of you, this is a very busy time of year. But you can never be too busy to consider new ideas for improving your rental business. Even if you are experiencing growth in your business now, if you really want to "rev-up" your rental business, who is on the front lines of making that happen? What catalyst is going to start to make it happen? And where is a good place to start?
A great place to start is to analyze the effectiveness of your counter staff. Be objective in your analysis. Are they just quoting rates, telling prospects if the rental items are available and generally "filling orders"? Are they using professional sales techniques? Are your counter employees order-taking clerks or salespeople?
A strong emphasis on selling skills coming from the top will help each of your rental businesses to become turbocharged. An investment in the correct training and a commitment to follow through to make the training "stick" will have a noticeable and very positive effect on your business.
Of course, selling skills are important in other positions besides counter personnel in your rental business. It's important to analyze the skills of outside sales people (and other personnel) as they are now and not assume that they are still operating at peak performance. Perhaps all they need is a tune-up. But maybe there is a need for a complete over-haul and installation of a turbocharger.
What would be the upside potential for more business if your company were more "sales oriented?" Well, it depends on a number of factors including what is being done presently. But, I don't believe you would have read this much of the column if you believed that salesmanship is a negative endeavor or that your staff is operating at peak performance. Even if your staff is operating "on all eight cylinders," the question is whether a much stronger emphasis on sales training will help your business to grow faster and to become more profitable. The answer is an unequivocal "yes"- it can turbocharge your rental business.
A final thought
Speaking of more speed, change is not slowing in our business lives - it's speeding up. Considering all of the challenges you face now and the likelihood of more competition and other changes in the near future, what is working for you now is likely not going to be good enough in the very near future. While riding in a client's vehicle recently, I saw a roadside sign that gives stronger meaning to a message that I have been preaching for years. It read, "If you don't grow, you decompose." How true, and how motivational for business people like you and me who thrive on growth.
Dick Detmer is a nationally recognized business consultant, lecturer and writer and has been involved in the equipment rental industry for over 30 years. He is the author of "The Guide to Great Customer Service" as well as "A Practical Guide to Working in an Equipment Rental Business." Copies are $12.95 and $19.95 U.S. respectively, plus $1.50 shipping and handling and 81 cents/$1.25 tax per book (IL residents). For consulting or seminar services, Dick can be contacted at (309) 781-3451.