Scan Tool Training

Selling scan tools is one of your toughest challenges. More than one distributor has told me they don’t like selling scan tools “because they don’t stay sold.” How do you sell something that complex and expensive without being able to tell the customer what it will and won’t do?

Even if your customer already knows what they want, they’re going to ask questions that only someone intimately familiar with the tool can answer. The best solution is to arrange a demo or training session on that specific tool. Scan tool companies are often able to send one of their trainers or recommend one local to your area. Sometimes that training is available at no charge, but even then it can be a challenge to get enough people to attend. With months of advanced notice and constant reminders, you should be able to get enough of your customers (and their friends) interested.

Technician training is presented by national trade organizations like the Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (AMRA), Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide (MACSW) and many others. You can do a Web search for automotive service trade organizations that offer technician training.

There are also loosely-organized local groups. The training available through these organizations is sometimes about specific tools, but more often the trainer talks about several tools used to diagnose specific problems or systems. Parts stores, scan tool companies, your DM and even your own customers can also tell you how to find the training that will help technicians understand diagnostic tools.

There are hundreds of YouTube videos about scan tools, most presented by the tool companies themselves. They are short, concise and easy to understand. You can bookmark videos about the scan tools you carry and show the video to customers.

Almost every distributor I’ve met has risked the investment and loaned a scan tool to a prospective customer. Naturally you hope they will buy, but either way it helps you learn more about the tool. Make sure you write down what they tell you, especially when they mention specific vehicles.

If you have other ideas or techniques for selling scan tools and diagnostic equipment, send me an email at and I’ll share them with other readers.