RR 481: David Saline – Start or Grow Your Fleet Business

David Saline is a proven industry leader in the automotive and truck repair business. With over 30 years of experience, Mr. Saline has been ranked as one of the Top 30 Truck Technicians in the nation by the American Trucking Association.

 Certifications include:

  • ASE Master Certified in Automotive, Medium-Heavy Truck, School Buses, Service Writer and Parts.
  • Over 40 different OEM certifications.
  • Master and Master Elite of Shop Management Awards by DRIVE.

With his background in owning successful shops in New Mexico that applied the DRIVE systems, Mr. Saline is now serving as Vice President of Sales for DRIVE in California. In this senior leadership position, he mentors and helps shop owners improve their business while having a better and more productive life. 

Key Talking Points

  • How much more work can you handle in your shop? Are you prepared for fleet work?
  • Opportunity for small, medium and large fleets. However, START SMALL
  • You can use ‘Fleet Seek’ to find fleets in your area that includes vehicle types and their fleet manager
  • Businesses in the 5 to 20 vehicle range do not have the means to properly maintain their fleet to keep them reliable and safe. They only make money when the fleet runs
  • Become their business consultant on vehicle maintenance, safety, and cost
  • Do a cold call on the potential new fleet customer. 
    • A phone call to find out who to talk to
    • Set an appointment
    • Send information in the mail with your capabilities
    • You can offer a form to their drivers to use every day to keep an eye on the vehicle
    • Ask questions:
      • Do you know the cost per mile to operate the vehicle?  
      • Never promise you can reduce it until you research
  • The first meeting, walk-in with food. Cookies, Donuts. No one wants to pass up food
    • Put your sticker or label on the box
    • Stay away from flyers, they get tossed
    • Create a press book to leave
      • The cover should be a professional picture of your shop with your logo
      • A professional showcase of your shop
        • Do you specialize
      • Spiral-bound
      • Tell the story of your company, your team, the services you provide
      • Showcase your community involvement
      • Customer reviews
      • Showcase other fleets you are doing business with
      • National supplier affiliations
      • Warranties
      • ASE certifications  
      • Special tooling, the latest equipment
    • Do not go in on the first visit with discounts to try to land the fleet. That comes later once you do your due-diligence
    • Be observant. Listen. Discover their vision and culture. Keep it light without talking about you and your company or your services
    • Ask three important questions:
      • Where do you get your fleet work done now?
      • What do you like most about them?
      • If there is one thing you can change about them what would it be?
    • Discounts will not necessarily drive a new relationship. Don’t lead with it.
  • Follow up
    • Take great notes, if not immediately after the call
    • You’ll need some promo pieces to deal with what the fleet would like from a fleet provider.
      • Example a flyer on being ‘on-time’
    • Always schedule
    • Consider bringing food again
      • Keep in mind to the time of day
  • If fleet sales is not right for the owner, hire someone with an incentive plan
    • An internal candidate may just be your secret weapon
  • Instead of discounts offer a fleet a strong maintenance program to help the fleet to last long and to reduce cost per mile

Resources:

  • Thanks to David Saline for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.
  • Love what we do, buy a cup of coffee HERE.

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Since 1989 TRACS has been the industry’s leading shop management system. And in the last 30 years, it’s gotten better and better. Today TRACS Enterprise offers even more of the features AutoCare Center owners want—things like a powerful interactive scheduling calendar, faster and streamlined workflow, plus streamlined parts ordering and purchasing options. And there’s more—Punch-out to Mitchell ProDemand, mobile VIN capture, and multi-shop capabilities. That means you can count on TRACS Enterprise to help drive your success today and well into the future.

Learn more about TRACS Enterprise and the hundreds of other benefits the NAPA family has to offer. Talk to your servicing NAPA store or visit www.NAPAAutoCare.com.

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.