What is keeping you from being great?

Blogs Jason Cannon February 15, 2014

There are thousands of heavy-duty aftermarket suppliers in North America.

Thousands.

Yet when Truck Parts & Service sought nominations for its Distributor of the Year award, upwards of only 40 businesses were nominated.

I don’t have the space here to detail those 40, so for the sake of a little business exercise, let’s assume your business wasn’t one of them.

What could you do to crack the Top 40 this year?

And what could the industry as a whole do to turn the Top 40 into the Top 400?

In a customer service driven business like aftermarket sales, the litmus test is customer service.

Ed Neeley and his team at Truck Supply of South Carolina were awarded the 2014 Distributor of the Year award late last month, and they were selected from an elite field business.

Attendees of the awards presentation were given a printed program where Neeley and his team were profiled in-depth.

One of Neeley’s quotes in the handout struck a chord; “If a customer calls and asks for a cheeseburger, we’ll ask what he wants on it. Then we’re going to get it for him exactly as he ordered it. It may cost him more than going to a McDonalds, but when [a customer] comes to us he knows he’s going to get exactly what he asked for.”

Part of me wonders if he would really go get a cheeseburger for a customer. But another part of me recognizes that when they did, they’d have a customer for life.

Back in the 70s and 80s, the band Van Halen had a concert rider that was full of absurd demands, one of which required concert organizers to provide a bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed.

While that sounds like rock stars gone amuck, it served a practical purpose. If the concert organizer could meet such a small and seemingly unimportant request, the important technical aspects of the show were likely to be spot-on.

Jason Cannon is Online Managing Editor for Truck Parts & Service.

You can follow me on twitter at @By_Jason_Cannon

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