The shopkeeper versus the salesman: Part I

How to deal with the never-ending battle between shopkeeper and salesman to run a successful truck.


How to deal with the never-ending battle between shopkeeper and salesman to run a successful truck. Q - I’m a new dealer and I’m still getting my bearings on this business. My DM says I need to work on being a better salesman. But an old-timer who’s route borders mine says I need to be a store on wheels and focus on my stock and merchandising. I’m confused. Who’s right? A - Both...


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“What do you want your customer to see?” That’s the first question Charles Carstens, owner of Atlanta Commercial Display Vans asks when his company is designing a new tool truck.

Your truck layout and merchandising needs to lead your customer through your offerings the moment they walk through the door.

Often when dealers get a new truck, their sales get a boost, says Carstens. When he asks dealers why that is, many say that the excitement of having the new truck is contagious. But many dealers also attribute the bump in sales to a new layout.

“Typically, when [a customer] went on the guy’s old truck, they knew where everything was, so they weren’t looking at everything,” says Cartens,”Now they are seeing all this ‘new’ stuff that was always on the truck … and has been there for years.”’

You don’t have to buy a new truck to boost sales. You can just rotate inventory to achieve the same result. If things are a little different every time a customer is on your truck, it keeps them interested in looking around.

Creative hang tags and shelf talkers can direct a customer’s attention to new products, promotional packaging and sale items. Walk through any grocery store and notice all the techniques that are being used to draw your attention to items on the store shelves. Try to pick up some ideas that might work for you on the truck.

Bottomline: Think of your truck like a store. Keep it well stocked, organized and laid out.

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