“Never promise what you can’t deliver”
Selling a bus is largely a question of influencing politicians, according to Martin Spjern, head of the Nordic Region at Volvo Buses.
“Political decisions determine the type of public transport in a city or region. So this is where we have to begin,” he says.
One way of influencing things is to invite politicians to seminars and lectures of various kinds.
“We talk about the benefits offered by our vehicles and inform our audience of the way our solutions function,” explains Martin Spjern.
Martin’s customers are the operators who are contracted to run bus traffic. In the Nordic Region, there are five main operators with several thousand buses in their fleets.
According to Martin, not a day passes without one of his sales staff being in contact with the large operators.
“It’s like a circle. We sell, provide service and support. We also offer these operators the opportunity to include us and allow us to provide basic documentation and facts in conjunction with procurement. The earlier we are included, the greater our chance of delivering buses,” he says.
Martin has been involved in selling buses for almost 13 years and he underlines the importance of creating a confidence-filled relationship with customers.
“Never forget that you are selling primarily to a human being. This is the relationship it’s important to safeguard, together with a knowledge of the customer’s business.
“You can’t offer something the customer doesn’t need and you must never promise anything you can’t deliver. If you do, the confidence will be gone for ever,” he says.