Tool shows portend a strong 2010

I’m just now back in the office from the Mac Tools and Matco Tools annual tool expos, and it appears we are in for a good year. Both distributors and tool manufacturers shared positive news about what’s coming this year.

Tool manufacturers at both shows said that orders are picking up, and order sizes are getting larger. When it comes to quick turnarounds on inventory, that’s all good news for distributors.

Not to be outdone, the distributors I talked to were not just talking about being optimistic, they were committing to bigger orders than last year at this time. After all, if you don’t stock it, it’s much harder to sell it.

In the goals department, one of the top-selling distributors of the shows posted truly inspiring numbers: In 2009, he had $275,000 in toolbox sales alone. Truly, he is not simply an order taker, but is out there selling and has tremendous customer relationships and product knowledge.

Similarly, this month’s distributor focus on Cornwell Tools dealer J.R. Lopez highlights the importance he places on relationships, loyalty and product knowledge. As you seek to increase your product knowledge, be sure to scrutinize the Most Wanted products (pgs. 18-19), the three In Focus pieces and tips from techs on tool cart purchases in Driving Sales.

In case you missed your brand’s tool shows, watch for more coverage of the tool shows in the coming issues of Professional Distributor.