CRA President’s Message: Associate Power
By Hank McInnisCanadian Rental Association business education
Spring has finally sprung and it is time to do some clean up and organizing. Snow plows have a tendency to do some damage and leave behind a mess. Check your fences where the snow has been piled and sweep your lots and re-paint lines if needed.
It is also time to show off all the new equipment you purchased at the trade show. Display the large equipment in front of your shop. Now let’s move inside, clean up and rearrange your show room. As you did outside put the new equipment front and centre inside. Change things up. When that customer returns after a long winter you want them to have a “Wow this is new!” attitude. This will cause them to look around and create conversation. Perhaps put something on special for the weekend do-it-yourself customer or have an open house. Either way I am sure one or more of the CRA’s associate members would be willing to help – they love to show off and talk about their products.
The associate members are a great asset. Like many things around us, we do not use them to their full potential. These members have a wealth of knowledge; they are not just traveling salespeople. If you ask, they will be happy to assist you with your open house and take the opportunity to display, demonstrate and talk to your customers and staff about the products they represent. Some will even do training sessions with your staff or have service specialists that will come to your shop and train your mechanics. Others will have training seminars that can be attended free of charge.
Have your staff spend time with the associate representative whenever there is an opportunity. As I said in earlier columns, it is easy to call someone you know for advice rather than just calling a company and talking to a service rep (although I have found these people to be very helpful).
Remember, our associate members are very important to our association and our businesses. They provide us with great service, information and in some cases, friendship. Without them we would not have anything to rent or sell. They show great support to the Canadian Rental Association, the American Rental Association and your local.
The trade shows would not be possible without their support. Not only do they go through the expense and time of travelling to all these shows and moving stock around the country, many of them help with organizing the shows and spend extra money to sponsor.
Along with trade shows they assist with meetings by sponsoring or providing facilities. But more important they attend and have input. I have been to meetings where the associate members have outnumbered regular members. As with some regular members, there are some associates that will always be at your meeting or event regardless of where or when it is. They also do the same for the many social events across the country and the ones that take place at the ARA Rental Show.
As you can see the associate members are a very important part of our organization. Whether you need information or are looking to purchase some insurance, a lawnmower, an excavator or a tent, there is a CRA associate member who can help.
Along with our regular members the associate membership is growing. We currently have 225 associate members, some whom are introducing new products to the rental industry. You can see a full list on the CRA website. So the next time you are speaking with an associate member, don’t just give them a purchase order. Say thank you because without them the CRA would still exist but would not be the same.
I would like to finish by saying thank you to all our associates from all our members, boards, executives and staff. You are a very important part of the Canadian Rental Association.
Hank McInnis is assistant manager at Atlantic – The CAT Rental Store in Dartmouth, N.S. He has been working in the rental industry for 13 years.
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