Open for Business

Closing more sales in tough times is all in how you open them.

You may believe that, over time, small talk can lead to big sales. That rarely happens. Research shows chatting usually leads to more chatting. Tool talk leads to more sales.

Some dealers open by “toting and promoting.” For instance, they carry in a new torque wrench. They show it. They sell it. Good technique.

But in tough times, just showing a new torque wrench will rarely sell one. Even many tool junkies are trying to be more practical. A better sales opening is to ask questions to uncover needs. Ask your techs what kind of repairs they’re seeing more often. If you know what tools would help them, tell the tech about those tools. If not, ask them what tools they wish they had to make the repair easier.

Opening a sale is really about getting your customer to open up.

Don’t wait for your customer to bring up tools. Ask a question. Then ask a follow-up question. Then another. And don’t forget to ask for the sale.

Phil Sasso is president of Sasso Marketing Inc. (, a technical marketing agency specializing in tools and equipment.

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