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UK Forklift market
  • Snapman
  • Liecester, United Kingdom
I have never seen the UK market so bad. In 2007 you could ring up and get a job in the same week as an engineer not so now. So how long will it take for the market pick up in the UK any ideas, and sales are still driveing around in the merc and not selling trucks. Perhaps engineers should stop fixing FLTs lets see how long they keep there job for. Sales men are just parasites.
  • Posted 16 May 2010 05:23 AM
Total replies: 28. Showing items 1 - 20 of 28 results.
unfortunately sales people are an essential part of our business. and even more unfortunately the more ruthless, greedy, power hungry type A personality they have...... the better they are (morality is optional). i dont know much about the UK economy but i do know that until the governments of all civilized countries back off and let free enterprise do its thing there will be problems. the closer we get to socialism here the worse the economy gets and the proof of that is all over europe. God bless you guys.

technology: (no user serviceable parts inside)
  • Posted 16 May 2010 08:38 AM
When you look at the basic elements of any business there are only two essentional elements to them - someone to produce the product or service and someone to sell the product or service and if someone didn't sell the product or service you really don't need someone to produce them. All other functions fit into the area of what you call "parasites"

"Have An Exceptional Day!"
  • Posted 16 May 2010 09:36 PM
bullseye johnr j. and parasites is the perfect term.
just for the record i am in "service" NOT in sales.

technology: (no user serviceable parts inside)
  • Posted 16 May 2010 11:35 PM
Thanks, rick c,
It does take a full team effort to be sucessful in business, each function doing their job professionally & to the best of their abililities within teh guidelines set out.. No one function is more important than the other. Often people become critical of others but they need to remember the adage "Just walk a mile in their shoes first" or something to that effect.

What part of Texas you from? Used to live in Katy & Waco, when I worked for MCFA & KD Manitou (now Manitou, North America) respectfully.
  • Posted 17 May 2010 04:17 AM
Snapman, [url removed] market is just as bad or worse. Not just techs but parts, sales, CSR's and management. Service departments that had 25 techs at the beginning of 2007 are now only carrying 7 or 8. Only one parts person where there used to be 4. Dealerships with only a branch managers and no parts, service, rental or sales managers. I personally have been out of work since January 2009, I worked for about two months this year and was laid off again and that was as a service writer in the automotive field, not enough work volume to support the additional position.

I'm thankful my wife has a good job and my mortgage company has been very understanding.
  • Posted 17 May 2010 07:31 AM
  • DAVE160
  • yorkshire, United Kingdom
I wonder if the internet will start to play a bigger part in sales with the rising cost of fuel and cost of reps will companies now look to the internet for a more efficient way to rent or sell equipment. A sales rep might add up to
$ 3500 per truck sale with wages and running cost taken into account
  • Posted 17 May 2010 05:31 PM
  • Snapman
  • Liecester, United Kingdom
The way I see it salesmen should be on commission only. You dont sell then you dont get paid. In the current climate they are not selling flts. They need to get off there back sides and start selling. They are scum allways got there hand in the cash tin for there share when they have not ernt a bean for the firm in the last 3 years.
  • Posted 17 May 2010 11:04 PM
i DEFINATELY agree with that. ALL of our sales staff are on straight commission and they dont get paid untill the equipment is paid for, either by leaing companies, banks or "cash or charge" MC VISA AMEX (etc)

easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.
  • Posted 18 May 2010 10:26 AM
As a salesman I can tell you that earning a living selling is as tough as any job out there. Imagine how a tech would like to be paid a percentage of the profits, after the repair job was paid for by the customer. I will give you an example of how long it takes to get paid commission. Lets say I visit a customer in May first to sell a new forklift. The customer wants a visit to make sure the spec is right. So now you drive to the site and spec out the truck. He wants an evaluation on his trade-in as well. He is not sure if he wants new or used and wants two quotes. One for new and one for used. You prepare a quote for new and scour around for a good used unit. Now the customer wants to try out the truck so you get a unit delivered and you demonstrate it. The customer then wants you to sharpen your pencil and he wants a price with and without a cab so back to the office for more quoting. You deliver the quote and you see the competition's unit on demo. It is a Chineese unit. Now the customer wants your unit at the Chineese price so back to the manufacturer for more assistance and another quote. Now a couple of weeks go by. Still no order and no money in my bank account. A call to the customer and you finally get hold of the person making the decision. They are ready to place an order. How long before we get our truck is the first thing they say. 12 weeks!!! Ok you have an order as long as you give us a free loaner because the cometition has promised the same thing. Ok back to the office and lets see if the boss will give away a free loaner for 3 months. Ok a loaner is delivered and the truck is ordered. Gross Profit 4%. Out of the 4% comes my commission but wait,,, I dont get paid until the end of the following month truck is delivered and paid for. The truck sold for $25,000.00. The GP at 4% is $1,000.00. My commission is 20% or $200.00. From the first call to the customer until I get my $200.00 is now almost 6 months.
As I said it is tough to survive as a salesman.
Howard Gifford.
  • Posted 28 May 2010 12:37 AM
Well stated, Howard G, by the way how many hours would you allocate to this example, to determine how much per hour invested you made in commission.
  • Posted 28 May 2010 03:11 AM
I probably spend on the average 10 to 20 hours of work on a new truck sale. And another 10-20 hours of fretting. I average around 50% success rate after a quote is delivered. New truck sales can be lucrative if there is a lot of sales activity. In a good year I can sell 40-60 new units at 6-8%GP. Lately though I feel like a hyena fighting over a bare bones carcass!!!
  • Posted 28 May 2010 04:35 AM
  • • Modified 28 May 2010 04:36 AM by poster
howard g its a jungle out there
  • Posted 30 May 2010 10:59 AM
  • DAVE160
  • yorkshire, United Kingdom
Howard don't you think this is ware the internet is going to take over. The cost to your company on this will be quite high , so to make 120 quotes to sell 60 will take about 2400 hours thats about 50 hours per week plus travel time and some rep's get a basic some might not , The point i'm trying to make is that some companies just want the lowest price possible so when you take the internet in to account you might be able to save quite a bit of money for the customer. Now some will say that you need to visit the site and then you have to meet face to face but this can be done when demo truck arrives on site a quick demo and then a quick chat with the boss and your of. The cost of the free truck will be put into the price of the truck it self and other cost will be added so on small numbers the internet will be a better option.
  • Posted 30 May 2010 09:07 PM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
Howard needs to re-recognize that one of the things any sales person needs to do is to be able to "qualify" the customers and decision makers and learn not to spend so much time "spinning his wheels" with non productive dealings, rather than complaining (?whining?) about how "earning a living selling is as tough as any job out there".


When you have been a shop and field service tech for about 8 years, come back and tell me that again.
Also, Howard, you may find that showing appreciation to the hard working service techs may be one of the best investments of time possible, since the service tech will have a reputation as a "straight shooter" with his customers that a salesperson would not have, and the service tech will also be the person whose opinion of "time to get rid of this one" will be almost as important as the opinion of the customer's accounting department, in helping make that sale.

I am sorry, and I offer an up front apology if it sounds as if I am calling you (Howard, personally) as being disingenuous, but I have yet to met any salesperson that took the job because of the physical or any other sort of challenge it offered. If you can not make enough money as a sales person, try twisting the wrench (and not just for a day or week). I have done most every job in the forklift industry (to the point of being considered expert by those I recognize as my peers) and I promise you that it is far more tough, and you fall in bed far more tired at night, in being the best (or just average) service person your company has than be, as opposed to being the very best sales person. Tell us again that you took the job as salesperson because it was tough and you thought you would be the best person for that job, that you would not want to make someone else work that hard so you took it upon your self to be the one doing the difficult work, and not that you took that job because it was so much more attractive to stay clean. (and that "you" is a generic you aimed at anyone that thinks the job of sales is as demanding a job as being the new guy in the service department, not just Howard.
Now on to Dave'160s comment.
I am firmly of the opinion that internet sales of capital goods are still being fought down (tooth and nail) by the "brick and mortar" entrenched "powers that be" as they try to protect their turf, and it will take the success of sites willing to make the effort and put in the time the way forkliftaction has, before the Internet makes any differences to the new truck sales.
There is no free magic bullet* that the brick and mortar set can tap into to change their ways and move into the 21 century without a learning curve, and for those who think they already know it all, learning and change can often be an experience that includes a great deal of pain before the need to learn is appreciated.
I hear that some dealers think twitter is a magic bullet. I think they may be surprised if they ever account for their time as well as Howard did, at the effort that it takes to fire that particular magic bullet.

I would also like to make the point to John_J that sales persons are not needed. Demand for the product is needed, and a salesperson's only true function is to clarify the need in the customer's mind, for the product they represent. There are thousands of products sold daily without any sort of sales call. The salesman does not "make the sale", the demand for the product makes the sale. So John, your statement of; "When you look at the basic elements of any business there are only two essential elements to them - someone to produce the product or service and someone to sell the product or service and if someone didn't sell the product or service you really don't need someone to produce them", would be far more truthful and accurate (in my not so humble opinion) as; "When you look at the basic elements of any business there are only two essential elements to them - the product or service and demand for the product or service, and if someone didn't need the product or service you really don't need someone to produce them.

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 30 May 2010 10:14 PM
  • • Modified 30 May 2010 10:54 PM by poster
  • DAVE160
  • yorkshire, United Kingdom
Edward i think you are right the best sales guy for any company is the service guy , He is the one who meets and deals with the customer all the time. A good service tec is your best sales rep as many companies look to him when they need a problem solving. As for the internet most managers are sales people who have come up though the company so they don't want to see there way of doing things change but look at Apple first with the ipod this has changed the way most customers buy there music now they just download it at a lower cost, then the iphone again most people use it for many different things.So for the companies who say the best way is to go and see the customer then spend all that time losing money trying to get a sale good look but you wont be trading in 10 years time or if you are you would have lost your share holders all there money. Barlow have proven that. Another point is that most managers are now younger so dealing on the internet is more natural they understand that they can just search for a product
and it is there on screen in a couple of seconds no one calling taking up there time in the office no one ringing them to find out whether they want there machine. none of the hassle that comes with dealing with certain people. What the forward thinking companies will do is see an opportunity to be able to make sales and increase profits and be able to pay good wages to good people because with out this they wont survive. Another point is that people are talking gross profit what is important is the net profit which might be a loss say of $1,000 so its just cost the company $1,000 to sell a truck. Then if there is a truck to come back that is on lease with a balloon payment and the value is $1,500 and the final payment is $2.500 then you can add another $1,000 on to the loses so now you have just lost $2,000 do this 20 times
and thats a $40,000 loss on this rep.
  • Posted 31 May 2010 12:52 AM
  • • Modified 31 May 2010 03:11 AM by poster
Love your idea on commission! I work and have worked on commission in an industry where "being welcomed" back is critical. I think that engineers should also be on commission, if they don't design or produce something of value, they don't eat. Everyone can be directly tied to the health and welfare of the organization, [url removed] commission. Tie it to production of what ever their part of the process is from recptionist to shipping clerk. Yes, the unions will love the idea of pay for procution! Just like the "salesman's union" [url removed] isn't one :-)
Commissioned sales people are often the target of jealous perspectives as they often earn more than the seekers of a secure paycheck who do just enough not to get fired. As far as salespeople, they are a reflection of the organization, if they are cheats and liars, they are not the only ones. Great idea, no work, no productivity no pay.
Now, how about you, are you willing to earn based on what you produce?

Uwe B.
  • Posted 1 Jun 2010 05:41 AM
  • joe_d
  • Texas, United States
I wholeheartedly agree that without the service tech there would be no point to salesmen. No matter how good the salesman, if the service side falls on it's face that customer will never buy another lift from that company. On the other hand a good tech will help push for sales. I've never been a salesman, per se but in 11 years working for my previous employer I've pulled in many forklift sales and service contracts for our salesmen.
For instance, a few years back I get a call from my area salesman saying I needed to call this new customer that just moved into the area from California and that he's wanting to buy 4 new pcs. of equipment but he won't sign until he talks to the service tech that will be taking care of the equipment. After talking to the customer and checking the specs (which I [url removed] saleman was a little miffed), he not only signed for those 4 but came back 6 months later and purchased 2 more for another location. No commission for [url removed] free [url removed] even a T-shirt.
Every customer that I had long term I ended up working on everything in their house, whether it was forklifts, booms and scissor lifts, stretchwrap machines, etc., And when it came to purchasing any new equipment in these areas they came to me and I turned to our sales staff.
Bottom line is, take care of your service techs or they won't take care of you!
  • Posted 2 Jun 2010 10:44 PM
  • DAVE160
  • yorkshire, United Kingdom
joe d has got it spot wright a good service engineer is your best sales rep. That's not to mean sales rep's arn't important they are but more sales will take place over the internet and more sales will basted on rental
  • Posted 3 Jun 2010 04:32 AM
That's a bit harsh Snap :-)
  • Posted 3 Jun 2010 10:47 PM
For your [url removed] was a technician from 1977 to 1996 when I was offered a sales position. I still do a lot of fabrication, modifications, and installation of attachments in order to keep costs lower. I do qualify a lot of customers and last year I had over 40% market share through sheer hard work and a lot of hustling. I am also a licenced mechanic and not a bad welder. Most of my customers used to be my service clients and they know that I am honest when I tell them about the workings of any truck. Im still a technician at heart and a salesman second.
I pity anyone coming into the forklift business fresh into sales. There will be a long dry spell before you start earning a decent living
  • Posted 4 Jun 2010 12:00 AM
Total replies: 28. Showing items 1 - 20 of 28 results.

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