Mines, Marinas And More

Mac Tools' top distributors offer insight on servicing non-automotive customers.

They are:

"… working during the day, so you have to stop later. Often I'll have to sit down and have a piece of pie and a cup of coffee before we talk business. It's really relationship selling at its best.

"You also can't judge these guys by their appearance. Not all of them have worked out, but I was able to find one customer who fixes skid loaders from his home. He's a $150/week customer."

Chris Lewis; Baxley, GA

Other than the obvious reasons, I service LOGGING EQUIPMENT REPAIR shops because:

"We're in a very rural area where customers are pretty spread out. So while my two other trucks are on the road selling and collecting, I can spend more time with these types of customers doing demos and solving problems."

They buy:

"… a good mix of products. These guys buy a lot of 1/2" and 3/4"-drive tools, as well as a good number of specialty and diesel-specific products."

They are:

"Logging is better than heavy equipment because these guys get paid better and can spend more."

Ed Rader; Rawson, OH

Other than the obvious reasons, I service a local VOTECH because:

"I used to teach there, and when I became a distributor I felt the school had some great sales potential. I spend about four hours servicing the school each week, but really there's more to it than that when it comes to keeping the school satisfied with the service. For example, I get involved with a number of their troubleshooting contests and hold Macstravaganza events at the school."

They buy:

"They're being trained in either diesel, automotive, agricultural or high-performance vehicle repair, so primarily I sell a lot of hand and power tools. What I really try to establish is a comfort level in working with the tool truck. I also try to help guide their purchases in order to make sure they're getting the right stuff for their field."

They are:

"… on a 6-week cycle, where I sell to each graduating class."

Rod Serediak; Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Other than the obvious reasons, I service OIL REFINERIES because:

"We were lucky in having a great district manager to help us when we started. We also had a few contacts in the plantsites that came about from working in the mechanical shops for nearly 20 years. We're unique in being 300 miles from the nearest large city, so while we have a truck on the street, a significant portion of the business comes from operating a storefront that sells Mac tools. This makes it easier to cater to this customer base because tool trucks are not allowed on the plantsites. This way they can come to us in buying tools and making weekly payments."

They buy:

"All of the plantsites have heavy-duty, automotive and facility maintenance shops on site, so through their purchasing personnel we're able to supply all of these technicians.

"We also sell a lot of heavy-duty tools to the plantsites themselves. These places require more larger-sized wrenches, 1", 1-1/2" and spline-drive wrenches, large pullers and a lot of electronic products that aren't as popular with automotive customers, like borescopes and ultrasonic leak detectors.

"The shop equipment they use is also much heavier, i.e. larger lifting equipment, 50-pound capacity A/C equipment, 2,200-pound transmission jacks and diesel engine stands."

They are:

"… somewhat difficult to meet with on a regular basis. This is why we have the storefront, which is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. My customers seem to really appreciate the fact that I can carry the bigger tools, and they don't have to try and chase me down to get them or make payments."

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