All About Attitude

A big part of Frank Gonzalez's success has got to be his big smile. And his positive attitude.

A big part of Frank Gonzalez's success has got to be his big smile. And his positive attitude. Frank Gonzalez is no stranger to hard work. From his time as a technician and shop owner, to his stint in the Army in Afghanistan and now to his successful role as a mobile tool distributor of Mac Tools in Miami, Frank has performed well. A big part of the big guy’s success has got to...

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There’s a long-established, mostly respected rule in journalism for writers to keep themselves out of the story, with some exceptions. I must respectfully break that rule now regarding the time I spent riding with and interviewing Frank Gonzalez about his business as a mobile distributor of Mac Tools.

Frank is an upbeat, enthusiastic and optimistic person. This is not unlike the majority of successful tool jobbers, but one unique example presented itself the day I rode along with Frank.
At about 11 a.m., on a sweltering, humid day in Miami, his truck broke down. The truck started leaking coolant furiously while we had been checking in on a customer.

I thought it was the end of the interview.

Frank was hardly fazed. Within 20 minutes, he diagnosed the problem (broken fan belt) and moved the truck across the street to another customer who could work on it. That shop owner worked through the lunch hour to get Frank going again, and we were back on the road about 2-1/2 hours after the initial problem.

What impressed me most: Frank smiled through it all.

“The thing about it is, if you have to stop, then stop and get whatever it is taken care of, and then go,” Frank said of the delay. “You can’t let it ruin your whole day—that’s part of having a truck. The truck’s going to break down. It’s a matter of when.”

We sped up on a few stops, but the delay didn’t require Frank to miss many customers. He called who he needed to, and got back on the road.

For some, that might have been all the reason they needed to trash a day or two of work and complain about lost time.

Frank’s optimism through the whole thing made the whole ordeal seem like less than a blip on the radar.

I was impressed. Impressed enough to break the first-person rule.

Live wire

There likely aren’t many, if any, mobile jobbers who are hitting the road without a laptop computer and printer anymore. But how many are out there with mobile Internet connections every day?

“It’s all part of customer service,” Frank said of being online all day long on his route. “That $50 a month is one of the best investments I’ve made in my business.”

He touts his ability to receive and send emails as needed between stops as a major point of the mobile computing, whether it’s answering a tech’s question or placing a special order.

Frank also likes having the ability to use Instant Messaging for a direct connect with support help on problem orders.

“Another big thing about having the mobile Internet is so customers don’t lose interest,” Frank said. Whether the tech is looking to special order a tool, apply for a Mac Card or whatever else, Frank said if he can answer questions, order tools or process a credit application—while he’s still there—that keeps the customer’s needs focused on what Frank can do for him and not someone else.

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