They say the sky is the limit in the distribution industry and, if that’s the case, MAC Tools mobile distributor Brian Davis is soaring through the clouds. A member of the MAC family since 1999, Davis started out working at the corporate office for 2-1/2 years before he decided to become a...
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“Perception and image is everything in this world; when you personify that perception, you build a relationship that goes deeper than discount pricing because, they may not be getting the lowest possible price when they come to you, but they know they are getting the best service possible.”
“Customer service goes beyond the truck for me; I want to be that first call whenever someone is looking for a tool.” Davis has an extensive network of individuals at MAC at his fingertips waiting to heed any call. “The reason my customers pay a premium price for a product,” Davis says, “is because at the end of the day, the addition they get is me.”
Visiting 25 to 30 shops a day, Davis’ two most important numbers are sales and transactions. If he were to sell several thousands of dollars in a day, he’d prefer to have 30 people buy $100 worth of merchandise rather than have two people spend $1,500. He wants to be diversified and have face time with as many individuals as possible.
A testament to how his business practices are paying off, Davis also maintains one of the highest collections of any distributor in the nation, collecting nearly $50 per customer a week.
A Floating Warehouse
Rather than having one truck with one inventory, Davis has up to nine on any given Friday. Every Friday morning, some local “MAC guys” meet for a 6 a.m. breakfast to bounce ideas off each other, such as “What have you found in the marketplace? What is selling? What isn’t?”
Davis started the weekly meeting as a part of a mentor program. He’s mentored six industry newcomers for MAC this year and thought breakfast would be a great way for the rookies to meet a few of the veterans. The casual meetings slowly evolved into a weekly think tank and inventory swap. “If you need an item for a customer or you want to add something, your inventory just grew seven times. We spend the first 15 to 30 minutes swapping inventory,” Davis says of the warehouses on wheels.
While a member of the President’s Board, Davis had a chance to describe the tight-knit group to industry peers and was told that the situation was truly unique. Nobody else was doing anything like this.
“Camaraderie, team building, learning best business practices, sharing successes; these meetings bring up a wide spectrum of conversations. Everything from skip accounts to collection agencies … it’s very beneficial,” says MAC District Manager Ty Van Driel. “If Davis can breed good distributors around him, it only helps improve his business.”
Full Speed Ahead
“When you work with Brian [Davis], you need to wear your running shoes. From the first stop he already knows what he’s toting and promoting into the shop, and the whole day is non-stop. For his every one step, I have to take three to keep up. He’s just that engaged and efficient in the market,” Van Driel says.
When a distributor deals with four competitive trucks on the street, the question remains: What sets him apart from the competition? Each person sells products for the same vehicle types to the same clientele, and visits on a weekly basis.
How does Davis do it? “I’m relentless in my pursuit to achieve my goals. I service 350 people, and they all expect something from me, so I don’t want to come up short. I’m driven to be one of the best; second place just doesn’t work for me,” Davis says.
“I’m never satisfied with what I did yesterday. I’m driven for tomorrow. I want it to be new every day for me and my customers. I hear all the time about distributors who go out of business and say ‘I couldn’t take it at night; I was too worried about money on the street.’ Because my relationships are so good with my customers, I don’t have to worry about money on the street.”
A Family Affair
Continuing his business with his wife, Allison, in charge of bookkeeping, has been a blessing. “Allison plays an enormous role in my business. I get home and drop off my cash bag, and it’s done by morning. It makes it more of a family-run business,” Davis states. “And as my boys [Luke, 7, Garrett, 4] get older, they help out by stocking and cleaning the truck.“