Luxury Coach & Transportation

November 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 24 of 75

LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION NOVEMBER 2018 23 I do. It's a matter of answering the phone before work, after work, and on the weekends. I tell my customers, "If you're not successful, then we're not successful either." It's more of a team-based thing. Although I don't own the company I work for, I feel like I do sometimes because I'm trusted to make decisions and do the right thing for customers trying to buy cars from us. Acton/SoCal Penske Professional Vehicles cares about the industry. ey invest hundreds of thousands of dollars at these show and events. It shows the people who work for them they actually care about the customers they are selling to. It's not just about the sales. I wouldn't be here for 23 years if it was just a job. I'd get bored pretty quickly. e one thing that's never said on the fleet side is, "It's not my job." It is my job, no matter what. Even if I'm not qualified to do a certain thing, it needs to happen somehow and I need to understand that. It's like answering the phone during the weekend or when I'm not actually here. My wife will say to me, "Did you sell any cars today at work?" And I'll say, "No, but I sold three of them on the way to work." I answer my phone because I'm invested in the company. LCT: How can vendors and salespeople make sure a long- term business relationship does not fade out? Moody: Many of my customers I consider friends. It's a matter of staying in touch on social media. When a customer of mine posts something, I will comment on it. I'll say, "at's awesome. You did a good job." When I come across or talk to them on the phone, I say, "Oh, yeah, I saw what you posted on Facebook. at was really cool. Did you have a good time on vacation?" "Congratulations on being a grandfather or a father." It's about having actual conversations, not just every time I talk to you it's about, "Do you want to buy a car?" It's about, "Hey, how's your life?" Many people appreciate when I send them a personal email just to let them know about pricing structure and incentives. Often, I don't hear anything for a month or two and then I'll get an email back. So the effort's always worth it. LCT: How do you handle being available all the time for your customers? What makes such sacrifice worth it? Moody: I don't answer the phone every time it rings. If I'm doing something that needs my attention, I'm not answer- ing the phone. But if, say, I'm walking around, I'm going to call them right back. If they call and nobody answers or calls back soon, they might call the next guy and I've lost a sale. ese customers just need to talk to somebody for a minute. ey don't care if I can't really produce anything right away. But if I tell them they can have the car and I'll get paperwork to them Monday, then they can be done with this thought process: "I have to get a car. I have to get that out of the way. I'll call Bob." at's a sale. — LCT: What's the cost benefit to an operator who's had a long-time stable business relationship with you? Moody: For any customer in this industry, time is money. When he needs the vehicle, he can call me up, and with little effort, he will get the maximum results. I'll be at my house and I'll get a call, "Bob, I need two MKTs or two XTSs. Can you get it done?" And he knows because he has a relationship with me I will give him the best price. By the time I get to work on Monday, I have the purchase order and the paper- work to him, and he has to do very little work. He didn't have to shop around at many dealerships. A lot of times I'll know incentives will be changing on a certain manufacturer's product in a week or two. If a customer calls me, I'll tell him upfront to wait because the price will be cheaper by $1,000 in a few weeks. ey know I will do that so they don't have to worry about it. LCT: What are the most common cli- ent problems you're dealing with? Moody: e delivery warranties on some vehicles for some reason don't get turned on (and registered) at the manu- facturer's level during the purchase process. It'll just shut off. A customer will go into a service department thinking they have the 4-year, 150,000-mile (livery) warranty, and they have a big repair in front of them. e service rep will say they don't have the warranty. at is very annoying. It's nothing we did at the dealership level. So he'll call us and say he thought he had the warranty, and I'll tell him I can get it turned on, but it may take 24 hours to a few days. Of course they don't want to hear that, and I wouldn't either. We have to react to those problems and get the warranties turned on. If it will take more than a couple of days, then I'll have someone from the (OEM) service department call the dealership and say there's a warranty, it will be turned on, and do the repair. LCT: What are some misconceptions operators might have of dealers and sales professionals you have to address? Moody: A lot of customers think we make, like, $10,000 on every vehicle we sell. With livery cars, it's just not that way. If you buy a retail car, they have dealer holdback, floor plan assistance, and volume bonus. With fleet vehicles, we just don't have that kind of profit margin. Sometimes it's hard to overcome that. ey always think there's more money off and there just isn't. With our pricing structures, whether you buy one car or 30, it's the same price. You're not going to get rich off of selling a couple of cars. You have to get established in the business, develop a constant client base, and pump out a lot of these vehicles every month. LCT: How does a sales enterprise get salespeople who will be loyal to the company and land loyal clients? Moody: To me, a job is basically parking my car in front of the same building every day, working my 40 hours, collecting a paycheck, taking all my sick days and vacation time, and not really caring about the company or the people I work with. But Acton/SoCal Penske's actually given me a career. I'm in- vested emotionally in the job and company. I like doing what Moody sums up his sales and customer care approach like this: "Even if I'm not qualified to do a certain thing, it needs to happen somehow and I need to understand that."

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