Nurturing relationships is key to building trust and unlocking new business

Dougie Bennett, Senior Business Development Manager

In my four years at Asset Alliance Group, the importance of customer relationships has always been crystal clear. It’s all about building, maintaining and strengthening ties and keeping an ongoing dialogue. These are key to forging even stronger bonds with existing customers and vital to facilitating deals and securing new business. That’s been my philosophy throughout my career and it’s why I feel AAG suits me personally so well.

Based at the Newmains office, I cover the whole of Scotland from the Borders to the Western Isles and there’s nothing I like more than getting out to see customers. You can’t beat the face-to-face contact. Asset Alliance Group is a people business at its heart, and I believe we do a great job in putting our customers first and meeting their particular needs. As a company, we’re always striving to make our customers happy so they come back again and again. They’ll often spread the word about the service they receive, and we’ll win additional business on the back of that.

On a personal level, I like to think customers value my honesty and integrity. They know I will always tell them the truth about what vehicles we can source and when we can deliver. They appreciate that and know I will always do my best for them first and foremost.

The most rewarding aspect of the job is negotiating a deal and then seeing it come to fruition with the delivery of stunning vehicles to a customer. Our order with fresh produce supplier Stewarts of Tayside is a case in point. The tractor units and refrigerated trailers definitely have the wow factor and the customer is thrilled. It’s a real kick to see the eye-catching trucks with their unique strawberry-themed livery out and about on the roads.

It’s hard to evaluate my biggest achievement at the company. What’s really satisfying is nurturing relationships over a number of years and helping a small company expand its fleet from a handful of vehicles to 20, 50 or 100. It’s a nice buzz to feel that I’ve contributed in some way. More than that, when you build up trust with a customer, they put their faith in Asset Alliance Group and they’ll be on the phone to me again and again when they’re looking to source vehicles to add to their fleet. Many of my customers I’ve known for 20 years or more and I consider them friends.

Asset Alliance Group is a wonderful place to work. I know that the people around me in the business from Finance to Fleet Services all share the same “customer first” attitude. I have some fantastic colleagues. We all help each other out and have a lot of fun, and I’ve got to admit that I play my part and really enjoy that aspect of the business. The team knows me well for the odd bit of fun I have every day. Thinking about it, I think colleagues and customers would smile at that and say ‘Yes, that’s Dougie’!

It’s great to see how the company has expanded in recent years and I’m proud to play my part in the next growth phase. We’re in a very strong position. With the backing of Arbuthnot Latham bank, we have access to finance that ensures we can deliver on our promises to fund modern vehicles for customers, despite some of the uncertainties facing the industry.

Contraction of the market is one of them, with fewer big companies operating large fleets these days, so that presents challenges. Fortunately, we are well-positioned to adapt to shifting market demands to manage the diverse requirements of large or small customers wherever they are located. The future’s bright. I’m looking forward to continuing developing relations with my valued customers in Scotland and striking up new business friendships.