Keep your truck stocked

Matco dealer says, 'Buy the tools, they will sell.'

Matco dealer says, 'Buy the tools, they will sell.' Mark Menozi is in his ninth year as a Matco Tools distributor based in Morris, Ill. The soft-spoken mobile dealer is a former marina employee where he worked as a tech, service writer, salesman or anything else that was needed. He’s translated that broad base of experience into a successful tool...

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He lets interested customers know that there will be toolbox deals associated with the show and he takes pre-orders from customers that he can get approved for financing.

Mark said the work is definitely worth it. In fact, one of his toolbox sales took place almost completely over the phone while he was at expo. That setup is even set to be featured in a Professional Tool & Equipment News “Big-time Boxes” feature. The box is a 6S rollaway cabinet with top chest, locker and side cabinet.

“There’s good money in toolboxes — I sell quite a few toolboxes.”

In addition to his push at expo time, he has allotted space on his truck to stock three toolboxes. He carries one each of the 4S, 5S and 6S Matco series toolboxes “to show more variety and give everybody the different pricing options.” He keeps the premium 6S series toolbox nearest the front of the truck so all the techs see it, even if they’re just climbing up to make a quick payment and go right back to work.

The best way to increase toolbox sales “is getting one toolbox into a shop; once one person there gets one, they pretty much sell themselves,” Mark said.

“You never know when someone’s going to be ready for a new box. Everybody wants a new box; it’s just a question of being stocked when they are,” said Mark, who aims to sell one toolbox a week.

Beyond tool storage, Mark said his sales are even across the categories. Whether hardlines, diagnostics or power tools, none regularly outsells the other areas. He did add there are some seasonal adjustments (A/C machines are going to start selling better in spring, etc.)

Beyond the seasonal changes and knowing his customers and their wants, he just tries to be a good observer in each shop.

“I try to look around at my stops to see what equipment is getting older, or that they may not have, and suggest something to owners or managers,” he said.


Of course, it’s one thing to have high gross sales, yet another completely to keep up on collecting. Mark is quick to admit it.

“Selling is easy — the easiest part; you could sell the whole truck in a week if you wanted to. Collecting is the hard part,” he said.

“I make sure my customers are aware that their $40 or $50 means a lot to me every week, in order for me to keep a stocked truck and give the service that I do,” Mark said.

“I tell them, ‘I’ve got to get paid, just like you. I understand things happen – if you fall behind, get yourself caught up. You’re not not paying Matco — you’re not paying me.’

“For skips, I’ve learned to deal with it. I follow the advice from others to spend my time chasing good money over bad money … it’s just part of the business.”

In fact, the whole business is about concentrating on the positives. Mark said he’s heard some distributors complain they’ve gotten a bad route, for instance.

“There’s no such thing as a ‘good route.’ The right person can sell tools anywhere; the route is what you make it. Just stick with it and it takes time, but it will come around,” Mark said. “I try to make at least one big sale every week.

“A great week is a $20,000 to $30,000 week, and they are out there. I’ve had a few of them.”

The key is to stay out there and keep showing up.

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