Sales tip: Focus more on collections

In the two years he worked as a Cornwell district manager, Shane Sutton had a chance to see a lot of dealers in action. Something the successful dealers did that Sutton himself didn't do was be assertive about getting paid. Sutton saw that a dealer can improve his collections by diplomatically reminding customers to pay their bills. He recognized this was an area that he himself was most deficient in as a dealer.

He now displays a large poster near the front of his truck stating, "What If," in big letters, followed by "On pay day your boss said he was short this week and could not pay you?" and further notes "It's the same for the Cornwell dealer."

He does not negotiate much on price. Sutton claims his products are competitively priced compared to other brands of similar quality. Hence, he says there is no reason to accept a lower profit margin.

To facilitate payments, he has added a credit card reader with a laser jet printer for processing payments in the truck. Most customers still pay using cash or checks.

And there is always a contest that rewards customers for paying their balances faster.

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