How One Woman and an Accidental Video Created a New Business Opportunity
This is a true story. It’s about how one woman, Michaela Nejaime, the Enterprise Sales Manager at TruVideo, discovered a new sales channel for her company during the pandemic by trusting her gut and following up on someone else’s mistake.
The transportation business is in Michaela’s DNA. Her family has owned car dealerships for as long as she can remember. That said, she didn’t begin her professional career in the automotive sector.
Before joining the team at TruVideo, a video-first texting platform designed to create more transparency in the vehicle sales and service process, Michaela worked for a technical recruiting and staffing company that supported IT projects for companies in the Boston area. Her role required her to work closely with each client to fully understand their specific project needs, to match a client with the best available resources. Above all, she was a good listener.
As a woman in business, Michaela learned lessons experienced by many women. If a male colleague is present with her on a call, for instance, questions are typically directed at her male counterpart. In meetings, she would often defer to suggestions submitted by others, even though her “gut” told her otherwise. And it seemed every time she didn’t speak up or went against her instinct, she was wrong to not do so.
“I think there is tremendous value in being able to identify other strong women who have pioneered themselves into this space and the way in which they’ve done that,” said Michaela. “I’m a firm believer in learning from the experiences of others.”
The Accidental Video
During the pandemic, a heavy equipment dealer contacted TruVideo. As it turned out, one of the dealer’s sales reps had accidentally received a TruVideo link meant for a Nissan dealership down the road and clicked on the link.
What the dealer saw on his smartphone impressed him. It was a typical TruVideo high-definition video of RO work being performed, combined with the capability of texting updates back and forth, between dealership and customer.
“Our products communicate with customers in the way in which they want to be communicated with,” said Michaela. “When they receive a text, they can simply watch their video and respond back to the advisor about proceeding with the work. Ninety percent of text messages are answered within three minutes.”
The dealer loved what he saw and asked TruVideo if he could implement this same solution at his dealership. The short answer was no. Although TruVideo was co-founded by a retail automotive dealer, it lacked visibility into trucking.
But not for long.
High-Definition Video Meets Texting
Michaela immediately recognized the opportunity to enter a new market. She pitched the heavy trucking and transportation space to her leadership team. They agreed to give her a chance to prove her instincts correct and let her explore the new market. She undertook the project on her own, with no additional resources.
“I was very lucky because some dealers worked with me, understanding that we were new to the space and we had a lot to learn,” said Michaela.
Michaela’s skill at digging deep to understand a client is what propelled her to take a serious look at the trucking industry. She started by asking the dealerships questions to better understand how they conducted business: what were their goals, their customer experiences, areas that needed improvement. What she discovered convinced her of the value TruVideo could bring to the sector.
“The trucking industry is the lifeblood of our country. There isn’t anything that we touch that hasn’t been brought to us by a truck,” said Michaela.
Obviously, when trucks are being serviced, they are not making money. Michaela knew the TruVideo solutions could expedite the service process and ensure trucks were back on the road, sooner rather than later.
Preparation Meets Opportunity
The first heavy-duty truck and trailer dealership Michaela brought on board was Wallwork Truck Center, with locations in North Dakota and Minnesota. Today, TruVideo has been implemented by several hundred similar dealerships in the trucking sector in the US and Canada.
By following up on her instincts, Michaela discovered a new sales channel for her company. And the results speak for themselves. One dealer, for example, averaged $3,100 more per RO in a 30-day time period with TruVideo versus without the platform.
“Typically, there are only a few women sitting at the same table with you during business discussions,” said Michaela. “As a woman in this space, it is sometimes natural to doubt yourself, and to doubt your ability to contribute. We need to remember we have a lot to offer.”