The Evolution of Forklift Dealerships and the need for a Product Support Chain

by Julie Clarke-Bush, on Apr 5, 2024 6:18:28 PM

The Good Old Days: A Focus on Forklifts

In the past, forklift dealerships had a clear focus: selling and servicing forklifts. This specialization allowed them to:

  • Develop deep expertise
  • Build strong customer relationships
  • Maintain a straightforward sales process

As long as they met their quotas and maintained a steady business, vendors were satisfied and dealerships could thrive.

The Pressure to Expand: Keeping Up with the Joneses

However, as competition in the industry grew, dealerships felt pressure to expand their offerings. If one dealership started selling pallet racking, others felt compelled to follow suit, even if they didn't have a clear strategy or customer demand for it. Over time, this "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality led to dealerships offering dozens of products, often without fully considering the implications.

The problem is that having a diluted product line doesn't necessarily serve customers better. Customers don't need a one-stop-shop as much as they need a trusted partner who can provide the right product at the right price, with excellent service. By spreading themselves too thin, dealerships risk losing their edge in their core competencies.

The Consequences of Unfocused Expansion

The consequences of this unfocused expansion are becoming clear:

  • Sales teams are overwhelmed trying to sell products they don't fully understand
  • Service quality is slipping
  • Customers are left confused about what your dealership really stands for

In the pursuit of being everything to everyone, you risk being nothing to no one.

The Solution: A Comprehensive Product Marketing Strategy

That's where developing a comprehensive product marketing strategy comes in. By creating a complete product support chain, you empower your team to sell your entire range of solutions effectively. This includes:

  • Printed flyers
  • Dedicated landing pages
  • 6-10 blog posts that answer questions and show how each product solves a problem

No longer will customers be unaware of all you have to offer; you'll be proactively showcasing your complete value proposition.

For your sales team, this means being armed with the tools and knowledge they need to cross-sell and upsell effectively. They'll be able to have more productive conversations with customers, leading to higher sales volumes and commissions. For your dealership, it represents a fundamental shift from being a forklift seller to being a trusted material handling partner.

From Surviving to Thriving: Becoming an Industry Leader

By taking ownership of your marketing and creating an intentional strategy for every product you sell, you're not just fixing a short-term problem; you're investing in your dealership's long-term success. In an industry where competition is fierce and customers are demanding, you can't afford to let sales slip away because customers don't know the full extent of what you offer.

It's time to stop wishing and start acting. By proactively educating your customers about your complete range of products and services, you're not just preventing lost sales but establishing your dealership as a true authority in the material handling space. Every flyer, every landing page, and every blog post is an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and show customers that you're not just a vendor but a valuable partner.

This shift in approach won't just help you survive in a crowded market; it will allow you to thrive. When customers think of material handling, they'll think of you first. They'll know that regardless of their need - whether it's a forklift, pallet racking, or loading dock equipment - you have the knowledge, the products, and the service to deliver the right solution.

This is how you differentiate yourself.

This is how you build lasting, profitable relationships with your customers. By aligning your marketing with your true value proposition, you position your dealership not just as another player in the industry, but as a leader. You become known as the go-to material handling solutions provider, with a reputation for excellence that sets you apart.

The path forward is clear. It's time to take control of your marketing, showcase the full breadth of your offerings, and claim your rightful place as an industry leader. With this strategy, your dealership won't just weather the challenges ahead; it will flourish, growing in both reputation and revenue. The future of material handling is yours for the taking.

Need a checklist to document every forklift dealership product? We got you. Download a free product support chaing marketing checklist here. This Google sheet lists common forklift dealership products with a check list for each marketing asset needed to support it. 

Forklift Marketing Product support chain checklist

Topics:Marketing Strategy

Material Handling Marketing 

Helping forklift dealerships with the heavy lift of digital marketing. 

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