Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Ron Lanzo.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
Our total employee fluctuates due to season variations in demand by market segments. That said we have in the neighborhood of 400 – 450 employees at (17) AFR warehouse & administrative facilities across the country.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
Our clients vary from new start ups to Fortune 500 firms. We do rentals across a wide range of vertical markets including (1) legal; (2) modular office trailer companies; (3) construction companies, and (4) the Federal Government. We hold a GSA schedule for both commercial furniture and residential furniture rentals.
Tell us about selling and your business?
What’s unique about our business model is that it’s based nearly exclusively on rental. Most of our customers are renting for the short term for a variety of reasons such as “swing space” or “construction”. We also have customer who rent for special events, trade shows and for a specific short period of only a couple of days.
Tell us an interesting story on creative selling?
During my career in sales I’ve had many situations or sales that were closed due to some creative or unique approach. Often times this can separate you from your competition and it can often remove the focus on “price” as the sole determination for success. One of my most recent “creative” sales was to a local university (NJCU – New Jersey City University). They needed to rent for approximately four months while they did some construction, so we set up the “swing space” in three different buildings on campus. The most “creative” was our use of desks combined with privacy panels normally used for cubicles to create “Bursars Office” or bank teller stations using transaction counter tops (see picture included). This was the best and most effective way to create the space and solution the client needed! “That’s creative selling” 101!
What would you tell others about being effective in selling?
** It’s always about relationships! People buy from people they know, like & trust!
So, you first have to build rapport and establish a relationship. As this relationship develops you build a closer “bond”.