From Buying to Selling

I think the best distributors are probably guys that come from mechanical because you can really relate to your customer very easily.


I think the best distributors are probably guys that come from mechanical because you can really relate to your customer very easily. Mark Decasian has been a Matco Tools distributor in southern New Jersey for going on four years—before that, he spent 15 years as a Mercedes-Benz technician. He feels that it was an easy change from using repair tools to selling them.“ I think the best distributors are probably guys...


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Mark Decasian has been a Matco Tools distributor in southern New Jersey for going on four years—before that, he spent 15 years as a Mercedes-Benz technician. He feels that it was an easy change from using repair tools to selling them.“

I think the best distributors are probably guys that come from mechanical,” Mark said, “because you can really relate to your customer very easily.”
And though he thinks that the transition from tech to distributor can be fluid, he readily admits the most important part of being a successful jobber is customer service, followed by selling a quality product.

“With selling tools, I feel, you’ve got to sell yourself first,” Mark said. “Matco products sell themselves, but if you can sell yourself, it’s doubled.

“The product is a great product, and all you need is to connect with your customer.”

Mark is also quick to point out his business of selling himself and Matco tools would not be possible without excellent help and support, primarily from his wife, Linda.

“Without her, I could not do it; there’s no way,” Mark said. From inventory and ordering to other book work and more, Linda “takes care of it all. She is 51 percent of the business.”

Mark said that the support system from Matco is also essential to what he does, from Gary Goglia, district manager, to fellow New Jersey distributors Derick Turner and Tim Sharkey. (Tim was Mark’s distributor and helped him into the business when he sought a change from his tech days.)

REGULAR WORK HOURS

Though Mark’s business does reach home with Linda’s involvement, he does set a line to keep some separations of family and business. First and foremost, he tries to limit work to Monday through Friday.

“I try not to even go on the truck on Saturdays and Sundays … if it has to be done, it gets done Friday night,” Mark said.

“I park my truck Friday night, make sure everything’s done, and then that’s it until Monday morning. I think that way, it feels like you had a couple days of rest.”

That rest is important when it comes to Monday morning and starting the week ready to do business with his roughly 300 customers. Being consistent with his weekend routine leads to continued consistency during the week.

“It’s very important; consistency is a big key to this business,” Mark said. “Guys expect you and look forward to you showing up … keep the same schedule.” The schedule stays the same, even if disrupted by a holiday or other day off.

“If there’s a holiday that, say, falls on a Monday, I don’t do my Monday route on Tuesday—I just pick up on Tuesday and start going. I don’t go back to those Monday guys, unless they call me.

“I’ll get [my Monday customers] next Monday and they usually give me double payments.”

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

The key to his customers being on top of their payments in such situations, or just in general, is that Mark makes sure all his customers, right from the start, know what he expects of them. At the same time they will hear what they can expect of Mark.

“Usually when I get a new guy on the truck, I explain to him how I operate, what I expect and what they should expect from me … to get that right out in the open right away.”

Mark’s expectations are fairly straightforward. He expects payments every week, and if a customer misses a payment, to call and get settled over the phone. But it’s more than just another sale, especially in the beginning.

“The first time we meet, I’m not out for that first day just to make a sale. I sell myself first. … Then I get to know the guy, the guy gets to know me, and instead of making sales for that day, I end up making the sales for life.”

Mark said he doesn’t look at his route or his customers as just weekly or monthly sales numbers, but the essential part of “a business that’s securing me for the rest of my life.” To be successful, “get the truck in front of the technician, and stand by your word, and be fair and honest,” he said.

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