Hostetler Blog

Truck Dealers – Here’s How We Can Help You Sell More Trucks

Jul 2, 2018 8:51:06 AM / by Brian Ketchem

K-Drop Side Dump Body GM (70)I have talked with many commercial truck salespeople over the years, and I can tell you (no surprise!) that the most important thing for them is simply to sell trucks.

To do that, they must understand and communicate the value of that vehicle to the prospect. Some truck components have widely-understood (if limited) value. The tires will help get you where you’re going, and perhaps improve the quality of your ride. The windshield wipers will improve visibility in inclement weather. The brakes will help ensure you can stop when you need to.

But answer this question for me: What is the one component that adds significant value, curb appeal, and practicality by helping the individual customer match his/her specific vocational needs to the truck that’s required to get to the job site?

It’s the truck body.

We Can Help 5 Ways

What an upfitter like Hostetler Truck Bodies and Trailers can do to help commercial salespeople sell more trucks is:

  • Offer Expertise
  • Provide a faster turnaround time
  • Improve economy in delivery
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Deliver a quality product

Expertise: It’s hard enough for a dealer to keep up on the product specifications for every new truck model. Truck bodies add a whole new level of complexity to a sale, so why not “outsource” your product knowledge need to an experienced provider? We’ve been specializing in truck bodies for more than 60 years. We’ll work with you, and your customer to ensure that you both are delighted with the sales process and the end result.

Faster turnaround time: Hostetler is your one-stop-shop for all truck-body-related questions and details. Hostetler Truck Bodies and Trailers is an approved truck upfitter for Ford, GMC/Chevrolet and Dodge, an approved direct ship-to point for truck manufacturers, and a long-time subcontractor for PennDOT. We’ve got the experience and the inventory to facilitate your truck body acquisition process. Hostetler also supplies truck bodies and trailers to Pennsylvania municipalities through the COSTARS program. So we can help you with the quote and approval process for government sales.

Economy in delivery: This is simple math. It’s often cheaper for us to send one person one way than it is for a dealer to send two on a round trip. And it keeps you doing what you do best – selling more trucks!

Customer satisfaction: Hostetler uses a proactive approach to ensure that the truck body selection and acquisition process is clear to the customer, the product meets all required specifications, and the delivery timetable is reasonable and adhered to. We also serve as a buffer between dealers and their valued customers by providing a front line for troubleshooting issues if and when they do arise.

Quality: Finally, Hostetler Truck Bodies and Trailers offers a consistent quality we’ve proved over decades that can help set your truck dealership apart from the rest. Upselling a truck body through Hostetler’s can enhance your margin, your reputation, and help your dealership sell more trucks.

Truck Bodies are NOT a Commodity

Webster’s Dictionary defines a “commodity” as “a mass-produced unspecialized product.” When people buy a commodity, they just want the cheapest because the perception is that all of the products are equal in every way.

But truck bodies are not a commodity. They are a unique and customizable product that can fulfill latent and non-latent needs, unlocking that perception of real value that is so vital for a successful sale.

When dealers (and dealerships) fully grasp the concept that truck bodies are not a commodity, two wonderful things will happen:

  • the end user will be better served
  • the dealer will sell more trucks

Dealers who understand the value-added component of a truck body in a truck sale will be better positioned to gain market share as their customers become aware of the “not-a-commodity” view of the truck/truckbody integration.

I have been to several dealerships where I have seen truck bodies assembled with the least amount of care:

  • Upfitters use generic cheap parts
  • Undercoating is insufficient and/or incomplete
  • Customer satisfaction is low on the priority list

Sure, “you get what you pay for.” But when someone is buying a $60- $70K truck with a dump body on it, why would they want the component most directly related to their real needs to fail, wear out prematurely, or underperform just so they could save a few dollars? Price vs quality is always a balancing act, but trust me – when someone is already buying a 60K-70K truck, quality will always out.

And that customer will choose your dealership over a competitor who treats a truck body like a commodity.


Brian Ketchem

Written by Brian Ketchem

Brian Ketchem is General Manager of Hostetler Truck Bodies and Trailers in Milroy, Pennsylvania. He grew up in and around the truck body business, and enjoys sharing what he has learned along the way.

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