Keep it fresh

May 4, 2018
Five years in, Cornwell dealer Nick Hebert was looking reinvigorate business. He invested in a new truck with a custom wrap and the new customers followed.

Cornwell dealer Nick Hebert travels along the eastern and western banks of the Mississippi River in New Orleans. He stops at an audio shop, a shipyard, body shop and industrial businesses. He is the only Cornwell dealer in New Orleans metro. In his fifth year, Hebert felt the need to shake things up a bit. “I found myself … at a standstill,” he says. “People were used to seeing the same old truck, and it really wasn’t generating business. Another thing was, we were spending a lot of money each year maintaining the truck, and then there was the downtime. You’re riding in a pickup, but you’re not selling anything. Last year what we spent fixing and maintaining was a note on the new truck.”

Last year, Hebert took the plunge and ordered a new truck from Summit Body Works, a specialty vehicle upfitter. His new 2018 Freightliner M2 with a 20’ box has much more room to shop, and an eye-catching full custom vinyl wrap with custom graphics.

Hebert started out with an 18’ truck, and decided to size-up.

“Here in New Orleans, a lot of stops are close together; it’s hard to get a big truck in and out,” he says. “Summit offered a 20’ box in a wide body configuration. Two people can walk down the aisle, and I think it’s a bit higher as well.”

He says he parks out in the street at just a few shops, but the extra two feet of floor space is well worth it on the rare occasion where he needs to park outside of a lot.

“I went in knowing what I wanted and Chris McHan at Summit helped guide me in the right direction,” Hebert says. “He sent me three or four sets of plans. By the fourth set of plans I said, ‘Go ahead and do it.’”

Hebert decided on a custom Tom Prescott wrap. As the only Cornwell truck in town, Hebert is hard to miss.

“We did it as a statement truck -- so people know who the Cornwell truck is … and it definitely works,” he says.

Since the new truck, Hebert’s made more sales, more collections and upped his head count.

“There were stops [I had been calling on] for five years and the same guys never once came out,” he says. “I showed up with a new truck and they come out and start buying stuff.”

Hebert says the upgrade gives his business that “wow factor” he’s been looking for.

“I’m proud of the fact I’ve proved I’m not going anywhere; I’m here to stay,” he says. “Customers know I’m serious. I don’t think of selling tools as a job -- I think of it as a new adventure each day.”

About the Author

Sara Scullin | Editor | PTEN and Professional Distributor

Sara Scullin is the editor of PTEN and Professional Distributor magazines. These publications are part of the Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group, which includes Fleet Maintenance, Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN), Professional Distributor magazines and VehicleServicePros.com.

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