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Today’s “Ask the Expert” features CJ Steen, the Marketing Director with On The Move, Inc.

Q: What factors need to be considered before investing in a rental truck to communicate my commitment to providing exceptional service to clients?

A: You embrace a relentless pursuit toward providing your clients with exceptional service. Your challenge is to effectively communicate that commitment to others who are in the market to sell or buy a home.

A great vehicle to meet this goal is to invest in and leverage the use of a rental truck as part of your service offering. Not only will you be able to deploy a tangible example of your service offerings, you can customize your rental truck for your business through the use of professional custom graphics.

Integrating a rental truck offering into your portfolio of services is a powerful way to grow your business and to provide a necessary, and often critically needed, service to your clients.

There are three things that you should consider when exploring the idea of offering rental trucks: advertising, profitability and maintenance.

1. Advertising
Your truck is a moving billboard! Use your truck to run local errands and participate in local parades, festivals and charitable events. The more your truck is seen within the community, the more calls you’ll receive.

Make sure to mention your truck on all of your marketing materials, such as your website, Facebook, flyers, business cards and advertisements. Your truck is a value-added service, so promote it whenever and wherever you can.

Post flyers at local businesses advertising your truck and business. Make sure local businesses know that your truck is also available for commercial use. Commercial users tend to deal with the general public and are always reliable to promote you through word of mouth.

Participate in the design of the graphics for your truck to achieve a great marketing message and project a positive image of your business. This is your largest advertisement. You want to make sure it’s eye-catching and sends a timely and compelling message.

If your business doesn’t have a great location to advertise your truck, consider trading limited, free use of the truck with a nearby business that offers better visibility.

2. Profitability
Sell your back door space to local businesses. You can break up the back door into 1-foot x 2-foot sections and charge a monthly rate. This will not only reduce your monthly costs, but also provides a great way to get referrals for your business.

3. Maintenance
It’s imperative to keep your truck in perfect working condition. If there’s any doubt regarding the safe operation of the vehicle, do not rent it and get the truck repaired quickly. Most vehicles do not come with a spare tire or jack. The last thing you want is a customer trying to change a truck tire on the side of the road.

While a strong maintenance program will minimize breakdowns while the truck is in use, sometimes a breakdown does occur. Have a plan in place to assist the customer quickly and with minimal stress.

In conclusion, there are many ways adding a rental truck to your portfolio can enhance your customer service offerings, provide exceptional marketing and advertising opportunities, and serve as a vehicle for community outreach. As with any marketing or advertising vehicle, careful planning will maximize your opportunity for tremendous success.

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