Selling is all about your relationships

In this issue’s cover profile on Todd Smith, a Mac Tools distributor in Utah, Smith talks about how a recent boom for the shops in his area has benefitted him. He said a major key to his success is that he’s established relationships in each shop he stops at, from the bottom to the top, making time for everyone even when times were lean for him.

Now those relationships are paying off.

Nationally, you’ve probably heard about the down economy/recession we’re in. (If not, you might want to think about getting a newspaper subscription or checking CNN or Fox News once in awhile.) Job losses, bailouts, etc., are most of what’s being talked about. But if you read deeper, some media outlets are talking about the uptick in vehicle maintenance for independent repair shops. People are holding onto their cars longer as they either can’t afford new cars, or are uncertain about the Big Three’s future.

That’s good for your business too, as a tech who’s busy has money to spend to replace broken tools or expand on what he already has. Think about the shops on your route: Do you have solid relationships built at each? Will you be able to take advantage of the projected uptick in the repair business?

If not, what are your plans to change that? As Smith illustrates, the relationships in this business are key. If you expect to take advantage of the shops being busy in 2009, now’s the time to make sure you’re laying the groundwork if you haven’t already.

Merry Christmas, and have a great holiday season!