Mechanics in the agricultural industry typically perform preventive maintenance on older equipment, and periodically, they test, adjust, clean and fine-tune engines to keep them in good working condition. In larger shops, mechanics are responsible for diesel engine overhauls, hydraulic maintenance, as well as clutch and transmission repair.
In response to these duties, tool sellers should carry the following when stopping or servicing one of these shops:
- A variety of basic and specialty hand tools, including wrenches, pliers, hammers and screwdrivers.
- Precision power equipment, such as micrometers and torque wrenches.
- Welding equipment to repair broken parts.
- Power tools for common disassembly and part replacements.
- Engine analysis units for diesel and gas engines.
- Compression testers to measure engine performance, and find worn piston rings or leaking cylinder valves.
- Consumables like gloves, drill bits, safety glasses and telescoping magnets, which can also be big sellers.
- Special lifting equipment available for these types of vehicles and machinery.
If you feel out of your element in approaching these shops, try using the following questions to get a better feel for what this customer base needs, and how you can best service them:
- What tools do you use the most?
- What challenges confront you the most?
- If you could invent a tool to solve a particular problem, what would it be, and what is the problem?
- What consumable products do you use on the job the most?
By asking customers to invent a tool to solve an existing problem, you can gain invaluable insight, and potentially win significant business by producing their invention in the form of a currently available tool. This calls for tool distributors to use their most powerful selling tool—listening.
In many cases farmers depend on equipment dealers to act as a one-stop shop for all of their repair needs. This has led to these facilities implementing more advanced repair solutions in the form of tools, equipment and up-to-date training. These investments represent a great opportunity for anyone offering these products, which should include your business.