In opposition to conventional wisdom regarding free trade and the benefits of consumer choice, several lift truck manufacturers still prevent their distributors from representing competitive product lines. 5 of the top 10 lift truck manufacturers represented in North America disallow their dealers to carry competing brands. Although your friendly neighborhood lift truck sales rep may be presenting his product offering as the best solution to your material handling requirements……..he may not have a choice. For the 5 brands alluded to above, their dealer representatives don’t really care what your questions are as the end-user, the answer must be the name on their office building. Obviously, this does not foster objectivity when assessing a potential customer’s material handling equipment needs. In 2010, businesses should be demanding a choice of machine options from their supplier in order to ensure their needs are being addressed, and questions are being answered in a objective and unbiased manner. A truly consultative approach requires that there be a range of alternatives from which to choose when making a recommendation. The next time your company solicits a proposal for new lift trucks, demand that your sales rep be fair & balanced in his product offering, and not simply an advocate for the only option available to him.
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