People like to do business with successful people. I’ve heard that repeatedly when interviewing distributors for this magazine, no matter the flag on the truck.
Part of being successful, is showing that you’re successful. That’s according to several distributors, including independent Lynn Bazile, this month’s featured profile. For Lynn, that means keeping shelves stocked, even when there’s a slight down-tick in your business (as may be happening in today’s near-recession climate).
I agree with that shelf theory, after thinking about it and applying it to my own off-the-truck buying experiences. For instance, if I go into a store, whether I’ve been there before or not, and the shelves are poorly stocked I’m likely to shop elsewhere.
Why? Because, mostly subconsciously, it feels like something is wrong. If the shelves are hit or miss, mostly empty or whatever, it gets into your mind that something is wrong. Something doesn’t look right.
And if something isn’t quite right, you generally don’t want to part with your money there.
Or put yourself in your techs’ shoes. If they walk on the truck and see empty space, they’ll start thinking things like, “Do I really want to spend money with someone who might not be coming around anymore once it’s paid for?”
Just like you’d be less likely to get a repair estimate from a shop with no cars on the lot, they’ll be less likely to get a tool from a truck that doesn’t carry many.
So even if it seems like you can scale back on you inventory to get past the current economy, think about how that might look to your customers and the longer term effects of that.
1233 Janesville Ave.
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
Matco distributor Mark DeCasien’s last name was misspelled in the profile story on his business in the May issue. Professional Distributor regrets the error.