If you run a business in the fuels industry, the problems of your customers are, really, your problems. When your customers think about the ethanol fuels they use, what do they see? Do they have visions of the tanker truck carrying gasoline, but with a DG placard on the back warning of “hazardous corn onboard”?
Do you know how much money your customers lose each day from the cost of both the proactive and reactive steps they have to take to minimize ethanol fuel problems in their vehicles and equipment? Your customers’ problems are your problems - and your opportunity. It’s good business to be the expert they can turn to. Let’s talk about some more ways you can get “customers for life” by being their problem-solving hero.
Microbes and Tank Corrosion
It’s one thing to face the financial loss of x gallons of stored ethanol fuel. But the tanks and fuel systems the fuel moves through are likely an enormous capital expense. Your clients may be starting to see or hear about serious corrosion problems caused by microbes that thrive in ethanol fuels. These microbes are being seen more and more across the country as ethanol settles into the nation’s fuel supply and more ethanol is stored for later use. The fuel microbes give off acidic byproducts that cause costly damage to storage tanks and distribution systems. And this problem is only going to accelerate in the near future.
If any of your customers store diesel fuel in addition to ethanol, they face the additional corrosion problem of acetobacter microbes that thrive in diesel tanks that get contaminated by trace amounts of ethanol from the supply chain. They produce acetic acid which is highly corrosive and damaging to all of these types of distribution systems.
It’s easy to underestimate how much microbes in ethanol fuel cost fuel users. When you add up all of the costs for remediation and preventive methods, it’s very easy for a client like a gas station to spend $3,000 - $6,000 a year or more just to head off microbes problems in ethanol fuel.
Being The Hero For Your Clients
Given the cost of these problems your clients face (both the overt costs and the ones they don’t notice but which do impact their bottom line just as much), they’re looking for someone who is on their side. Given your current relationship, they naturally would look to you first, and this creates a golden opportunity. This opportunity stems from the chance to be the expert problem-solver and go to bat on their behalf. And if you can do this, both by providing actual solutions and by passing along some of your expert knowledge so they know what they’re dealing with and why nothing but good things will happen to your bottom line. People always buy from who they like, and they like companies they think have their best interests in mind.
So be the problem-solving hero for your clients and you’ll keep more clients who will in turn buy more. And new clients will come because your reputation as the problem-solving expert means more to potential customers than what someone can sell them.
Lost Mileage Solutions – A multi-function fuel treatment with detergency and combustion improvers can typically take back much more of the mileage lost than it costs for a client to use it. This is especially true when said fuel treatment has a concentrated treatment rate of 1:1000 or more. Detergency is important because restoring the engine environment back to what it was like at new is essential to restoring mileage lost over time.
Equipment Damage Solutions – Since equipment damage stems from ethanol solvency and ethanol-water absorption, your customers would appreciate a solution that interrupts the solvency and improves the ethanol fuel’s ability to absorb water.
Microbes & Tank Corrosion Solutions – A biocide is an essential weapon to offer your clients. Not everyone has them but everyone needs them. And biocides will work in all types of fuel, which increases your flexibility with different types of clients. Finally, biocides are high-margin items that are great news for your bottom line.
You may be interested in these related posts:
- Fuel Distributors: Turn Your Clients' Fuel Problems Into Opportunities
- Slipping & Sliding: Diesel Fuel Lubricity Issues
This post was published on August 18, 2022 and was updated on August 18, 2022.