Tips for sales professionals and those new to the commercial vehicle industry

Q&A with brian guillerault, Governor at Large, Generation Next

Hews Co LLC

This article was originally published in the January 2020 issue of Generation Next Edition

NTEA caught up with Brian Guillerault (LinkedIn profile). As a director of sales operations, Brian is well-stocked with tips for people new to the commercial vehicle industry and to the sales profession.

What advice would you give people new to work truck industry sales?

Whether you’re new to the industry or to sales in general, the following approaches can help deliver value for customers and generate revenue for your company.

  1. Build Lasting Relationships – Don’t take a transactional approach to sales -- get to know customers and understand their business. Even if you don’t make a sale, build a relationship that will set you up for future business.
  2. Be a Project Manager – After you’ve made a sale, continue to deliver value. Communicate clearly about next steps and let customers know they can call you if they run into any issue. Lastly, follow up to make sure your customer is happy with the purchase and the decision to do business with you. Most importantly, if tehre's a problem, fix it.
  3. Innovate – Bring creative ideas and innovative approaches to solving your customers' needs. This will set you apart from your peers and competitors.
  4. Be Results-driven – Focus your time on the activities that get results. Employ an entrepreneurial mindset -- always move things forward and drive growth. 

What resources do you find useful for your own professional development? Where do you draw your inspiration? 

I didn’t come from the work truck industry, so I had a lot of catch-up to do when it came to learning the nuts and bolts of truck equipment. One of the most important industry-specific resources that helped bring me up to speed in a short amount of time was Truck Equipment 101 -- or TE101. As far as professional development goes, I always try to have a “student mentality,” which means to always strive to learn new things and develop yourself. In today's society, there are so many different channels that we can learn from. Personally, I like to follow leadership and sales/marketing leaders on social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. I also listen to podcasts like “Sales Hacker” and “Gary V Audio Experience.” I’m also a huge fan of YouTube as a learning resource -- you can find a “how to” video on pretty much any topic that you’d like to learn more about.

What do you gain from attending industry events such as The Work Truck Show, and what tips can you share with sales professionals attending for the first time? 

The Work Truck Show is an excellent opportunity to learn and network in so many different ways. I always try to do my homework prior to the show and plan out my days so that I’m attending as many of the educational sessions as possible and taking advantage of the high-quality speakers and content that NTEA puts together for Work Truck Week. The event is also a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with vendors and partners who you aren't regularly able to see. It’s just as important to build strong relationships with partners and vendors as it is with your customers. I always try to take advantage of the new product introductions and showcases that are done in the exhibit hall. It’s an incredible opportunity to get a firsthand look at the new products and technologies that are hitting the marketplace. Finally, the event is an opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals in the industry. Generation Next makes it easy by holding a few networking events onsite, like Take5 and the Generation Next Leadership Workshop and Networking Reception that follows. I was introduced to Generation Next when I attended these events at my first Work Truck Show in 2018, and I was hooked! The Generation Next team has some great events planned for Work Truck Week, and we hope to see you there!

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