Never Say No

See how PBE jobber Don Kennett, Inc.'s persistence and customer service has translated to a growing tool and equipment business.


See how PBE jobber Don Kennett, Inc.'s persistence and customer service has translated to a growing tool and equipment business. The day starts pretty early for Bob Levy, general manager of Don Kennett, Inc., a Massachusetts-based PBE jobber. By 6 a.m. he arrives at the company's flagship store in Lawrence, MA, touching base with president Dan Takesian and his son Paul. Levy then begins getting things in order for his sales...


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Ever the consummate sales professional, Levy is hard not to like. His playful demeanor, work ethic and knowledge seem to garner respect and trust from his customers—no matter who they are.

Levy and the rest of the Don Kennett staff live by the philosophy that all customers should be treated equally. It's a philosophy that's served the company well for 52 years, helping make it one of the leading jobbers in northeastern Massachusetts.

That philosophy will undoubtedly apply to the new store that recently opened in Manchester, NH. Only 30 miles from the stores in Lawrence and Lowell, MA, Manchester is a unique market that presents a lot of opportunity.

"There's a lot of growth up there," Levy adds. "We could probably cover the market from either of our other two stores, but the people in Manchester want to do business with a local company. So it makes sense for us to have a store there."

Yet another example of how Don Kennett, Inc. always accommodates the customer.

Bringing More To The Table

Don Kennett, Inc. knows that if it is going to thrive, it needs to bring more to the table than just paint and sandpaper. Its motto of always accommodating the customer has guided this PBE jobber for more than half a century. Now, the company realizes it must also help its customers improve their businesses and provide products and services that help the customer to be more profitable.

Over the past few years, Don Kennett, Inc. has been holding roundtable discussions for some of its body shop customers. Typically, 14 or so shops will attend two roundtables a year. These discussions are a great way for Don Kennett's customers to talk about common issues and share ideas. "We even brought in a financial planner to give a presentation one year," says Bob Levy, Don Kennett's general manager.

The company is also working with I-CAR in putting together a collection of technical classes. Furthermore, they've hired an outside technical rep. "When a customer has a problem with a product or procedure, we can get right in his shop and help. There are only a half dozen or so jobbers in all of New England that have a technical rep on staff, so it's a big advantage for us," explains Levy.

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