Relating to your customers

It’s one thing to be a good salesman, but as this month’s distributor feature shows, being able to relate to your techs helps a heck of a lot.

Matco Tools distributor Mike Pridgeon credited his broad range of life experiences for his ability to relate to his techs, on the job and off. Whether they’re into fishing, golfing, photography, racing or any of a dozen other pursuits, Mike can relate.

How does that help? As Mike said, it gets him away from a weekly “Hi, how ya doing?,” and into a more personal greeting by discussing a new baby, asking about a family dog that was hit by a car, vacation photos from a Grand Canyon trip or anything else.

“I can’t even put a price on that,” Mike said. “That I think, is what separates good tool guys from guys that are just mediocre.”

Mike uses his computer to keep track of little notes he makes at each shop to keep track of his customers and keep relating to them. That’s the subject of this issue’s “IT Help” column by Craig Woodman.

Woodman discusses some of the different low-tech ways you can take notes during the day and different high-tech approaches to organizing them for easy reference. Next issue, he will look into more high-tech note-taking habits.

Also this issue, “Sales & Marketing 101” columnist Phil Sasso writes about three important keys to successful sales beyond just relating to your techs; as a salesman, educator and retailer.

When you put the notes and experience together with the key sales points, you’re going to find that you’re on the right course. And if that doesn’t get you there, look at keeping the same destination with a slight variance on your course for success (“Mobile Motivations”).

Let’s get this year off to a strong start.