Toolboxes are not just a necessity. They're a statement. Just like a hot car, mounted fish or trophy buck, the size and condition of a technician's toolbox is a point of pride and bravado, and not just for the person to which it belongs.
Representing what is typically the most expensive individual purchase that a technician will make, toolboxes are the crown jewel of the workplace. It's how other techs know who has been around the longest, who is doing the best and who is really dedicated to their trade.
Similarly, when walking into a shop you can usually tell which brand, and therefore which seller, is capturing the most business at a location by looking at the labels on the toolboxes.
It's how a successful distributor can effectively mark their turf. And don't think for a minute that it's not intimidating for another distributor to walk into a shop and see the competition's large and expensive toolboxes lined up on the walls.
So the intangible benefits of toolbox sales might be just as important as the actual sale. As stated by Mac Tools mobile distributor Matt Peternel in the April issue of Professional Distributor (pg. 16), "Toolboxes are huge. So when a customer of mine buys a toolbox from someone else, I really go after it. First, I don't want to place my tools in their box, but now they've got money tied up with someone else.
"I'll ask what they paid, and if I can get a better price point, then I'll get them out of that box and on-board with me. I've had customers void contracts more than once."
Matco Tools' Arkansas District Manager Robert Tolbert reaffirms the importance of tool storage from more than just a bottom line sales perspective. "You're selling the payment as much as anything," he states.
"If you're only collecting on the toolbox sale, then you're really missing out. If they're paying you for the toolbox, they should also be paying you for the tools inside it. It's about more than just that one payment. The box is a way of extending your involvement with that customer."
So in order to capture all the benefits associated with toolbox sales, you first need to sell that initial box. Here are some tips:
Know when to ask questions about customer storage, and how to show off your inventory for these impulse (yes, impulse) buys.
Led by district manager Robert Tolbert, Matco’s Arkansas district has seen an increase in sales, distributors and good times.