Regardless of how many sensors, electrical connections or on-board diagnostic systems the vehicle makers throw at repair shops, some of the basic needs of your customers will always remain the same. One is hand tools, and another is power tools. It's an obvious staple of your business, and your customer's viability, so let's look at some ways to sell more of them.
Most power tool sales stem from either an old tool finally giving out, a new technician coming on board, or product enhancements/developments that make the new tool a must. The common trait amongst all of these situations is that the customer is coming to you. So here are some things to talk about in order to stimulate power tool sales, not just take an order.
Lightweight And Cordless Designs
The selling points here are obvious. Regardless of how impressive the RPMs are, continually holding, lifting and using power tools can be hard on the hand, wrist and forearm. Offering impact wrenches, ratchets and drills that offer the technician a bit of a break in terms of weight can get a great response, especially if they spend a lot of time changing tires or reaching up under the vehicle.
The benefits of cordless tools are also pretty simple to see and understand, but you have to demonstrate these benefits to the customer. Remind them of how useful cordless tools can be on service calls, or the convenience of not having to search for an open air line. Additionally, cordless technology has improved greatly in recent years to provide a significant amount of power. Talk to your customers about these benefits. Don't wait for them to ask about a new power tool before showing them the features and benefits.
Lower Noise Levels
If you can attach a quieter power tool to the same air line and run it against the older, louder tool, you'll make some sales. There's no better way to sell a new power tool with quieter operating capabilities than a good, old-fashioned demonstration. Again, the focus is on making a pro-active sale. We're showing the customer why they should buy a new power tool, even if their current one is not broken.
The value of a quieter tool is universal. No more stopping the guy in the shop so the owner can take a phone call, and let's not forget the health and safety benefits that accompany a quieter alternative. Most tools that claim lower decibel levels have also been found to reach them without sacrificing power.
It's no surprise that specialty tools continue to be at the top of everybody's wish list. Two reasons are accessibility and time-savings. The same can be said when looking at ratchets and impacts with slimmed-down head designs. With everything getting tighter under the hood, dashboard and chassis, the ability to combine power and accessibility will be a winning combination in driving more sales that are not dependent on a new face or a broken tool.
Additional no-brainer selling points are added durability and greater power. While it can be difficult to substantiate these benefits, unlike the others we mentioned which can be shown and compared, they're still worth mentioning. Replacing less powerful tools can be a great benefit in generating interest and closing a sale, because it's another way to save time and add to the shop's profitability.
Additional things to remember include:
- Maintaining a high level of customer service when it comes to warranties and repairs (see sidebar on pg. 40).
- Remember the role brand loyalties and differentiating price points can play with your customers. Keeping a variety of power tool products available is a smart sales decision that allows you to sell to any customer, regardless of their ranging wants, needs or financial capabilities.
- Stay informed on new product developments, and share this data with your customers.
- Display the products so they're easy to see and easy for the customer to grab. Putting the tool in the technician's hand is what makes the sale. If it feels good, they won't put it down.
Power Tool Repair, Inc.; Akron, OH