About Dealer Development:The OEM Regional Manager’s Guide

By Luke Sheppard

The sharp end of the stick. The lightning rod. The business end of the OEM. However you choose to describe the role of the OEM Regional Manager, their importance in the mutual success of the dealer and OEM is indisputable.

The role of OEM regional manager is not an easy one, and success is anything but guaranteed. It’s a tough existence being the sharp end of the OEM’s stick in the field and the recipient of the dealer’s (and customer’s) dismay. At the same time, you’re expected to provide a tremendous amount of product and service support from your OEM to those same people.

In my experience, many fail for various reasons, including a lack of understanding of the dealers’ business and market, inadequate investment into the relationship they have with their dealers, and a lack of focus on outcomes that benefit both parties (us vs. them mentality still prevails).

Success in this game, like many others, comes down to the fundamentals of effective collaboration.

Enter, Walt McDonald. For more than four decades, Walt has been helping equipment and capital goods dealers collaborate with their OEM’s to drive above average results by using practical strategies, tactics, and tools. Walt has indeed seen it all in this industry, and he speaks the truth. His conviction about and steps to cultivate a mutually beneficial partnership with your dealer are wise words to be heeded by any OEM representative in this industry.

I came to know Walt by reputation before having had the privilege to engage with him on a more personal level. When I made the jump from factory to dealer leadership, I knew that my learning curve would be steep. So I asked around about how I could accelerate my onboarding into the retail side of the equipment business. The response was nearly unanimous: Walt McDonald and his Master’s Program in Dealer Management. The easy-to-follow and implement step-by-step guide in Walt’s program helped me become a much more effective general manager in far less time than I expected. I’m convinced this DEALER DEVELOPMENT: OEM Regional Manager’s Guide will do the same for you.

This book will help you identify what you need to know about your dealer’s business, before the all too often loss of credibility that accompanies making overconfident and unfounded recommendations about their business. It will help you figure out which wins are mutually beneficial vs. those that have a one-sided advantage. You will learn how to quantitatively appraise your dealer and prioritize your efforts for their development.

if you are a Channel Executive, an OEM Regional Sales Manager or Regional Product Support Manager tasked with growing your OEM’s business, this book will provide you with the tools you need not just to grow the business, but help make your OEM and dealer stronger as a result.

Knowing how to grow your dealer and focus your efforts for mutual success isn’t easy. But there’s no reason to make it harder than it has to be. This is the book that every OEM Regional Manager should read before your first visit to a dealership. With collaboration as your priority and this guide as your basis for success, you will be.

Luke Sheppard is founder of Sheppard & Company, a business consultancy. He is author of his just released book, Driving Great Results: The Tools You Need to Run A Great Business. Luke has 20 years heavy equipment industry experience in engineering, operations, general management and executive leadership. You are welcome to contact Luke at: lukesheppard@consultantssheppard.com