How often do you find a forklift distributor turn dealer? That’s exactly what First Choice Material Handling did in 2019. How did they do it? Was it a good choice?
When First Choice Material Handling was a distributor, they sold a variety of well-known brands and support services. They provided dealers with their forklift brand and support, along with education of how to take it to market. Their business philosophy allowed the company healthy, long-term growth, but new management noticed an empty space…a gap in the market that wasn’t being tended to. It was significant enough to make them consider a change…a big one. The company became a dealer.
Now Prove It
First Choice Material Handling had to prove that their philosophy and methodology worked. Reaching out to the end user was going to be new to the team. How to get started? The responsibility to answer this question was on Chuck Langley, the General Sales Manager for First Choice. Chuck believes that to build a solid foundation, you start with what and who you know. The Company developed a straightforward two-fold strategy. One, reach out to current service customers and two, rely on the company’s stellar reputation for service and support to drive in new sales leads.
Winning New Customers
Reaching out to existing customers was easy. First Choice knew who they were and over time, developed a positive working relationship. However, moving from a distributor to a dealer, there are sales tools that First Choice Material Handling did not have. Sales needed some help getting the lead generation working…fast. They learned about SalesLeads Inc from previous communications. First Choice Material Handling decided to reach out as SalesLeads specializes in the industrial industry with in-depth experience working with forklift dealers across the United States.
39 leads generated $521,000 in potential business
8 new service customers later turned into equipment sales
Purpose of SalesLeads Inc.
Chuck Langley, the General Sales Manager was ready to get SalesLeads started. SalesLeads had a big task at hand: generate sales leads and appointments in a well-defined territory for two new sales executives. It was time to get to work with the proven methodology that is unique to the company.
Results started to come in within the first month which allowed First Choice Material Handling to get the fast start they were searching for. SalesLeads Inc generated quality appointments that fulfilled the criteria set by First Choice Material Handling.
The Key to Success
The key to the successful partnership was simple: communication. “SalesLeads communicates all opportunities with clarity and transparency,” said Mr. Langley. “All appointments are set up a week or two in advance, making it easy for me to manage my schedule.” An email on a specific letterhead is used to identify an appointment with a new prospect. Background information and conversation notes are included in order for First Choice to conduct meaningful conversations with the prospect.
To review each month’s successes, First Choice Material Handling and SalesLeads discuss outstanding leads, modifications and plan for what’s next.
New Customer Successes
Sometimes being new has its advantages. A targeted sales lead was located in the opposite direction from where most of the sales activity resides. However, it was still within the defined territory. First Choice had to decide: take a pass or venture into an under developed area. First Choice Material Handling decided to conduct the meeting in-person. After a thorough needs analysis, there were many products and services the company needed. Within the week, a credit application and an order were received.
Another sales appointment was set, this time for a mid-sized company. The opportunity was for preventative maintenance and potentially a rental. After discussing their business issues, rental was the greater need. Once they experienced First Choice’s dedication to service, additional business kept coming with over $10,000 in service projects and another $200,000 in equipment sales.
What’s Next for First Choice?
Now that SalesLeads is an extension to the sales team, the company’s strategy is to continue to expand and prove the quality of customer service and knowledge of the industry. “We want to be there when a prospect or a customer needs a service done…not just when we need business,” concluded Mr. Langley.