Know your Diagnostics

How are you selling the diagnostic tools on your truck? Are you pushing the equipment as the "latest and greatest" in a one-show-fits-all demo, or are you tailoring your demos to fit each shop's services and needs?

A review of mechanics shows they want solutions more than technology, and the follow-up service and software to keep their purchases relevant.

"More than anything, a distributor should demonstrate products in a context-specific way," said Dave Cappert, PTEN technical editor. "For example, the distributor should be able to proficiently demonstrate how a given piece of diagnostic equipment works with the most prevalent technology experienced by a potential customer.

"So, if demonstrating at an import shop, how does the diagnostic equipment work with the technology found in that family of vehicles? Conversely, if demonstrating to a Ford dealer, the distributor should be able to demonstrate common diagnostic routines with that equipment on Ford vehicles."

Cappert also listed several factors he keys in on when making a diagnostic purchase, including value, suitability to task, modularity, scalability to applications, minimizing the obsolescence factor, support and training.

Likewise, Joe Marconi, owner of Osceola Garage in Baldwin Place, N.Y., and a PTEN tool review panelist, placed support and updates at the top of his list.
"This is big issue due to the fact that there is so much equipment available today," Marconi said, a good thing to keep in mind for all tools. "The tool rep must know the tool and must give a quality demo," Marconi said, adding that not all mobile tool dealers do.

Marconi's other key factors when buying new diagnostic tools include ease of updates, frequency of updates, whether training or a tech hotline are available, user-friendly capabilities, quality of build, and range of vehicles covered.

Once you know what you have to offer, Cappert offers the perfect advice for diagnostic sales:

"The distributor should always remember that potential customers are looking for solutions, not a technology demonstration per se. The technology becomes transparent once it's shown to be a credible diagnostic tool."