When it comes to moving used equipment, Scott Hoober believes a collaborative approach is best.
The owner of Hoober Inc., a 9-store Case IH dealership based in Intercourse, Pa., knows it’s important to work with the team at his dealership, but he takes it a step further. Hoober relies heavily on his relationships with the OEMs to help sell used equipment.
“Sometimes it feels like the OEM has a different agenda than what the dealership does, and vice-versa,” he says. “It can be a tricky relationship at times. But it can be a very productive relationship if done right. If we build that relationship with our OEM — and make it stronger than what we have today — it can really help put programs together and get creative ideas on moving and selling used equipment.”
Communication is Key
Hoober has noticed that it is beneficial to his dealership to intentionally foster and develop a more personal relationship with the sales teams at each OEM the dealership works with, and he encourages other dealers to do the same. An important part of making that connection, he says, is regular communication.
“Don’t let it go months without communicating with your OEM salespeople or your capital people,” Hoober advises. “You should be communicating with them on a regular basis, whether you need them for something or not.”
According to Hoober, that communication can be as simple as a phone call to ask them how they’re doing, or it can be a more in-depth conversation about what they’re seeing in the marketplace.
“That continuous communication with them helps to build that relationship,” he says. “It should be a relationship of appreciation for each other.”
Hoober acknowledges that oftentimes dealers feel unappreciated. However, he says that shouldn’t stop anyone from showing appreciation for others.
“They’re working hard, too,” he says. “They’re trying to do their job to the best of their ability. So communicate with them, and build a relationship outside of just asking for something. If you do that, I think you’ll find that those individuals will be much more responsive in getting you information that you need from them.”
Build More Relationships
Hoober emphasizes that it’s not enough to communicate with and get to know the local representatives. Instead, he suggests that dealers work to get to know members of the regional team.
“Sometimes the regional people have insight into programs or a different way of doing things that your local people don’t always have access to,” he says. “So I wouldn’t just spend time with your local people. I would also spend time with your regional people.”
The benefit of that relationship-building goes beyond idea generation, according to Hoober. While dealership personnel often wear many hats, that’s not the case with the larger manufacturers.
“Individuals usually have a very specific role they have to fill,” Hoober says. “It may take two or three of them working together to pull a program together to help you move a specific product.”
By getting to know and showing appreciation for multiple people at the OEM, he says, dealers are increasing the likelihood that they’ll have a relationship with a person who may be able to help them down the road.
Hoober also stresses the importance visiting and getting to know OEM salespeople in their own space. “Don’t just expect that they’re going to come to you,” he says. “Don’t expect that you’re going to build a relationship over the telephone or a video conference. It’s important to take the time to visit them where they work, whether that’s their office or in their headquarters.”
Hoober says that strategy makes a great impression because it’s so unusual for a dealer to do such a thing.
“[The local and regional reps] are usually very welcoming because it doesn’t happen very often,” he says. “I can’t explain how much that means to them.”
While this is just one of many strategies to move used equipment, Hoober reiterates that it should be viewed as an important one.
“When you build that relationship with them, then you can really start to work in a collaborative way to come up with some interesting and effective ways to build programs and move equipment at your dealership,” he says.