The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012 - (Page 13)

ASK YOUR EXPERT ADVICE BOARD Q A “At one time, distributors had control over product information, access and price. The Internet and other communication mediums have disrupted this structure such that end users now control much of that. In light of that environment, what tools and methods have you found successful in conveying and maintaining the value proposition that your company brings to the marketplace and your customers?” — Randy Farnum, Vice President at S.W. Betz Company, Inc., Baltimore, MD Buddy Smith, CEO Carolina Material Handling Services, Inc. Columbia, SC In response to your question, I see that there is more information available to the end user directly. This information primarily takes the form of product features and benefits as well as specifications through on-line mediums. We view this as a positive because our customers become much more educated, not only about their own applications but also about solutions that are available to them. It is easier for us to partner with well-informed customers. It is also important to note that the dealers themselves also benefit from the easier accessibility of information. We are able to quickly gather information and communicate it more concisely to our end user thereby providing more value. The tools we use include our own website that communicates information relevant to our customers needs and our manufacturer’s website where we can download product videos and other pertinent promotional material. fit your vision and provide either a low price/low service option, combination of moderate price/moderate service, or high price/high service option. Picking the right model and staying true to the vision is the key. Our company decided years ago that we would distance ourselves from our competition by providing customer service second to none. We have found that model highly successful. We a re bot h suppliers a nd consumers in the big scheme of things. As consumers we have varying requirements at different times. Sometimes we are only looking for the best price; other times the highest service level. Given that as a distributor of handling products the best tool that you have in your box is the knowledge and understanding of your mission and vision of who you are. Once you have that down you can design your system to A Al Boston, CEO AK Material Handling Systems, Maple Grove, MN Here at Fallsway Equipment Company our primary method is a consultative selling approach based upon fleet management principals. While we represent some truly world class lines of equipment with excellent product differentiation, we continually attempt to make our relationship about much more than explaining features and benefits of the equipment. We engage the customer about their total cost of ownership, educate them on fleet management principles and make recommendations related to their operations involving our equipment. Beyond this general approach, we continually look for best in class examples from other customers for application of ancillary equipment. There are so many opportunities today to bring value to customers such as making suggestions concerning systems applications, battery and charging technology, application of forklift attachments, etc. Also, keeping your eye out for methods used to solve problems that are not even related to your business can really endear customers to your company. One of our greatest strengths as material handling equipment suppliers is the simple fact that we engage all industries on a daily basis positioning us to pass along best practices if we just take the opportunity. The MHEDA Journal | Second Quar ter 2 012 A Doug Carson, VP Marketing/Sales Fallsway Equipment Company, Akron, OH 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012

President's Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Ask Your Board
Meet The MBOA
Mackinnon Equipment & Services
Member Profile
Bode Equipment Company's Office Supervisor Meredith Fowler is a jack of all trades
Customer Service Automation
Continued Growth Expected in 2012
The Off-Season
Convention Program - Re-Imagine Your Business
Convention Program
Exhibitor's Showcase Guide
Out of the Classroom, Into the Shop
The Link between Sales and Absorption: To sell more, service more!
Social Media and the C-Level: Objections Discussed
Sucession Planning and the Emerging Generations: Five Trends You Need to Know
Sucession Planning
Sucession Planning and the Emerging Generations: Five Trends You Need to Know
Work-Life Balance: It's All Up To You !
Controlling Your Workers Compensation Costs
Transactional vs. Consultative Selling
The Traits of Great Salespeople
Who's to Say What Is Sexy
Spotlight on MHEDA News
MHEDA University Calendar
New Members
MHEDA Milestones
New Products
Index of Advertisers by Product Category

The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2012