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For dealers, many cultures mean more sales

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An article I wrote for Mack Trucks' Bulldog magazine on the benefits of multi-cultural marketing.

An article I wrote for Mack Trucks' Bulldog magazine on the benefits of multi-cultural marketing.

Published in: Business

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  • 1. “ ” DEALER FOCUS DEALER FOCUS “We are hiring more sales people who do speak Spanish,” Olea says. “That will It’s all about the an expression or tone even if you can’t fully understand the language.” grow the market share for Mack here.” relationship between Prohaska is even sensitive about the meeting place, especially with prospective Value the Relationship the customer and customers from the Punjab. “We meet As one of two major ports of entry them at different places and at different into Canada, Toronto has become the melting pot of the country. In the years our service counter hours. It’s not like being called by a construction company that wants you after World War II Germans, Ukrainians – John Rosinski to come to their office. They may sales rep at Performance Equipment Ltd. and Poles emigrated from Europe to what want to meet at a Tim Hortons [a is now a growing city with more than Canadian casual restaurant known for 5 million people in the Greater Toronto its coffee and doughnuts]. That’s where Area. Later Italians and Portuguese Try a Little Tenderness they’re comfortable.” arrived. The 1980s saw an influx of In the rough-and-tumble world of Indians from the Punjab region. the trucking industry you don’t often Investing in the Future As with the dealerships in California, hear about sensitivity as a sales tool. Back at La Mirada Claudia Olea Claudia Olea of TEC La Mirada points out features of the Mack ® Pinnacle ™ to But Graham Prohaska, a sales rep with dealers here find the key to success is conducting an orientation for Mack Western Region VP John Thomas during a recent sales competition. Durham Truck & Equipment of Ajax, lies in building relationships, and they owner-operators about replacing older hire accordingly. Ontario, says cultural awareness is often diesel engines with new power plantsFor Dealers, Many Cultures Mean More Sales “My grandparents came after the more valuable than linguistic skills. that meet emissions requirements. All First World War,” says John Rosinski, “We’re sensitive to their needs,” he of the owners speak Spanish. “I have six a sales rep at Performance Equipment Ltd. says of the Asians, Indians, Hispanics guys who think they’re going to repower in Mississauga, Ontario, part of the and Eastern Europeans who populate their units so their trucks won’t be banned Claudia Olea is visiting a small LTL 25 miles from TEC La Mirada. Some However the majority of his drivers speak Slotegraaf Group of companies. “I went to the greater Toronto area. “We try to be by the Port of Los Angeles. I have to selloutfit in the sprawling suburbs of Los Angeles. 96 percent of the truck drivers there Spanish and usually they bring the truck Poland to explore my roots after university sensitive to their culture. With Asians we them on the idea that they’re not goingShe tells the prospect about her dealership, are Latino, a survey by research firm in for service or parts.” and studied Polish at Jagiellonian University never use the number four. We stock a to have any long-term issues if they buyTEC La Mirada, and her product, the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner shows. To reach this audience TEC La Mirada in Krakow. I started working for Mack wider color spectrum that appeals to many a new truck. I tell them once you drive aMack Pinnacle. She shares a testimonial Olea, who started leasing trucks and its sister dealership in nearby Fontana in 1979. After the rise of the Solidarity cultures. It’s difficult for many of them to Mack you’ll never go back. You’re goingabout another trucking firm in the at TEC La Mirada in 2000 and have hired nearly a dozen sales reps who movement many Poles immigrated to speak on the phone so I try to meet with to keep it forever.”community that has purchased several graduated to new-truck sales, can verify speak a number of languages. One rep Canada and started driving trucks. I could everyone in person. You can show them That’s something people of anyMack models and provides the company’s those figures. Half of the dealership’s hires a translator when dealing with his translate into their own language all of the things, write things down. You can read culture can understand.phone number. customers are Hispanic, 80 percent for Korean customers. Visitors to the websites ins and outs of buying a truck.” All in a day’s work for any sales rep her customer base. of all TEC Equipment dealerships can Performance Equipment has awith a Mack dealership. Only in this case “If a fleet bought 55 Macks, the view the sites in Spanish with the click multi-lingual workforce. Two speak PolishOlea speaks to the prospect in her native owner would speak English and Spanish. of a button. and one speaks Urdu, the national languageSpanish. She’s also using her deep knowledge of Pakistan that is used in parts of India.of Latino culture to forge bonds and build The sales manager is attempting to hire arelationships with her prospects. rep who speaks Punjabi. “If I have a fleet that buys Macks Mack Trucks Canada runs ads inI put them in the truck and do the several ethnic magazines, such as thewalk-around in Spanish,” says the daughter bilingual Polish publication Truck ‘n’of immigrants from Mexico. “They feel Roll and the Indian monthly Road Today.that instant connection with Mack. With Rosinski and other sales reps sponsorthe Hispanic community, trust is a huge Indian truck shows and “spend Saturdaysales pitch. If a customer trusts you he’ll and Sunday kicking tires.”refer other customers to you.” The real work comes after the sale. It’s a scene that’s repeated across “It’s all about the relationship betweenNorth America in dozens of languages every the customer and our service counter,”day. It’s also a new way of doing business Rosinski says. “We introduce them tothat reaches customers not traditionally the key staff they’ll be dealing with. Ifserved by the trucking industry. they’re on their way back to Toronto That’s a large and growing audience. we encourage them to call ahead for aThe U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics says booking. In some cases they’ll call meof the more than 3 million drivers and and ask if I’ll make an appointmentrelated workers in 2010, 17.5 percent were John Rosinski, left, of Performance Equipment Ltd. describes the for them. It shows that we value theirHispanic and 1.5 percent were Asian. The benefits of the Mack SCR system to Joe Melo of Rumble Foundations, business and want to help them to makepercentages are even greater at the ports who emigrated from Portugal to Canada. money in trucking.”of Los Angeles and Long Beach, about12 | 2011 V4 | BULLDOG BULLDOG | 2011 V4 | 13