Dealer Spotlight: O’Connor Bus Sales

Dealer Spotlight: O’Connor Bus Sales

Interviewee: Cliff Chase

Title: Sales Manager

O'Connor Bus Sales Dealer SpotlightQ. Why do you push alternative fuels?

A. The total cost of ownership for our customers is so great! It’s a no-brainer when you can show the customer how much they’re going to save over the lifetime of the vehicle. When you show a potential customer the long-term savings, they can clearly see it’s the best option.

Q. In addition to crunching the numbers, what other sales tactics do you use?

A. In addition to TCO, we find that tours have been very valuable. I began bringing in customers last year, and have another group coming in next month. I like tours because after the initial visit, most customers are sold on propane. One customer had such a great reaction, they pretty much committed to buy propane during the trip. So, I thought if it’s that easy, I’m going to do more tours!

Q. Do you have any other tips?

A. I utilize the customer success and after-sale support we have with ROUSH CleanTech. Recently, David Fink, Derek Whaley and I visited a customer who was having some downtime issues. We met with them to discuss the issues and outlined our service program where they can perform their own maintenance work. And, Derek set them up with web-based training. The hands-on approach and showing the customer the capability to diagnose their own problems is a big win, especially with the strong partnership between us and ROUSH.

Q. How do you handle the issue of cost with districts?

A. Many districts need help with the upfront costs, so I have connected with a few different lending partners who work specifically with school districts. They’ll help cover the incremental cost of going to propane so that the district can make the switch. This eliminates the “they’re too expensive” argument. So, I’m able to help provide funding options for the districts to buy the buses through different channels.

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