The amount of foot traffic walking in and out of a business often has a direct effect on overall sales. Penske rental agents said they've grown the foot traffic at their locations by partnering with the Penske brand.
For Gary Freeman of C&G Auto & Truck in Myrtle Beach, S.C., a Penske agent for more than 20 years, his relationship with Penske complements his primary business.
"The single biggest benefit is the additional traffic and how I can convert a Penske customer to my other business," said Freeman. "When we have someone who is moving in and utilizing a Penske truck, it gives us an opportunity to sell them on who we are and what we do."
Freeman said he has developed positive relationships with the same customers that are drawn to his rental business. "We give them a discount coupon to return to us to try out our shop," he said. "Our philosophy is if we can get them in here once, we have a good chance of getting them back."
Scott Miller of Miller's U.S. 31 Sales in Petoskey, Mich., said he gets more "door swings" to his store because he's a rental agent. "You have people moving into town and they're new to the area," he said. "There is some comfort that they've been to your location before."
Scott Craft, general manager at Bill Dye Auto Sales in Lynchburg, Va., said the rental business attracts people who wouldn't normally be at his location. "It gets you exposure," he said. "And without exposure, you don't have as many customers."
As rental agents, locations can benefit from add-on sales by people who visit their business. Steve Grebinar of Pak-N-Ship in Boynton Beach, Fla., has increased his gross rental revenue to about $340,000 in 2016 from close to $175,000 in 2015. He earned a commission on that revenue and has used it to generate additional sales in his Pak-N-Ship business. "It isn't only what you see in our revenue growth — which was amazing given the short time we've been doing it," he said. "Outside of the Penske system, we sell boxes and moving supplies and our accessory sales are strong."
Robert Maknoon of LAX Rent-A-Center in Inglewood, Calif., has been a Penske agent since 2006. In addition to Penske rentals, he rents cars and vans. Being a Penske rental agent allowed him to forge new relationships at several big companies, resulting in new revenue for the company's car rental side.
Agents said the quality of trucks and the customer service Penske provides to agents and customers on the road help make the partnership successful. "Those positive experiences with Penske make customers more likely to purchase goods and services from the rental agents," said Stephanie McGathey of Bugs Bee-Ware, a pest control business in Sebring, Fla. She's successfully converted rental customers into long-term clients for her pest control business.
"It has been a lead into the other services that our company offers. We weren't exactly expecting that," McGathey said. "Because of the high-end service Penske offers, it makes it very easy to cross over and offer my services."