It's not every day you run into a female mobile tool distributor. And regardless of gender, there are even fewer with the attitude, approach and proven results of Mac Tools distributor Jenivive Barrera. Her upbeat attitude and constant determination have driven her mobile distributor business to new...
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It's not every day you run into a female mobile tool distributor. And regardless of gender, there are even fewer with the attitude, approach and proven results of Mac Tools distributor Jenivive Barrera. Her upbeat attitude and constant determination have driven her mobile distributor business to new levels. Whether it's her consistency in visiting customers, or a magnetic energy that attracts their business, Jenivive Barrera knows exactly what products her customers want, and she's always ready to deliver.
There's No Stopping Her
"Working as a technician for eight years really helped me when I made the transition to my own mobile tool business," states Barrera. "My background in the automotive industry has definitely been a key part of my success."
Barrera's roots in the marketplace began by walking into a dealership and asking for a job. Knowing little about automotive repair, she faced a significant obstacle. However, after nearly 2 days of interviewing she walked from the dealership with a chance to learn the industry, and a trade. Barrera began training with a certified technician and attending classes regularly at a local technical school. However, Barrera would eventually yearn for more.
Enter Brain Dillman, the Mac Tools distributor that regularly visited the dealership where Barrera worked. He brought up the idea of running a route, which, after a bit of convincing from Dillman, resulted in Barrera leaving her job as a technician, and getting onboard a Mac Tools truck.
For three years, she ran throughout the west side of Madison, WI and its surrounding suburbs as a Mac employee, before transitioning to an independent Mac Tools franchise. She points to support from Mac Tools, her district manager and fellow Mac distributors in the area as vital to her success.
"The other MAC dealers in the area are really supportive. Instead of competing with each other, we support each other. If I have a friend who happens to work in a fellow Mac distributor's area, I'll definitely direct their business to that person. It helps to promote Mac Tools and, most importantly, better service the customer."
Barrera attributes her ability and desire to learn and advance in the industry to working a variety of different jobs. These experiences have meshed well in preparing her to handle a mobile tool business.
"I knew it was the right time to make a change, and I just went for it. But I think one of the most important traits for a mobile dealer to have is the ability to multi-task. You have to be able to manage a ton of different things at once in order to be successful," she states.
"Also, being a mechanic for almost 10 years means that I've used most of the tools I sell, so I understand their uses and can really explain the key features to my customers. And they've grown to appreciate my honesty when it comes to matching tools with particular mechanical problems. They trust that I'll recommend the right tool for the job, not just the most expensive one."
A direct and to-the-point approach also translates to Barrera wasting very little of her customer's precious time. When customers are really busy, she leaves a flier and asks them to call with any questions or problems. Due to her consistency in visiting shops at the same time every week, they know she'll be back to address any tool and equipment needs.
A Part Of The Community
Barrera visits a wide variety of shops on her weekly route, including:
- Automotive repair shops.
- Marine businesses.
- Diesel shops.
- Construction sites.
- Salvage yards.
- School bus repair shops.
Her consistent presence in several of the smaller communities on her route has also provided Barrera with an added advantage over her competition. Because she knows personal information that her customers have shared with her, she can talk with them like a friend or family member in learning what's going on in their lives beyond the shop. This has paid dividends in a number of ways.
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Iowa-based Dan Smalls preps for the upcoming Mac Tools Fair, and gives advice on training customers from the start.