Matco distributor offers diagnostic tool training to customers

Kevin Fryer, a Matco Tools mobile distributor in Auburn, Ala., has found that hosting training sessions for customers about the use of tools helps his bottom line. 

Fryer utilizes his resources to offer training seminars to technicians. He generally holds a training seminar, with the help and organization of a tool manufacturer such as OTC or Launch Tech USA, to offer these education clinics on different tools.

Fryer works with a contact at the tool manufacturer who organizes the promotional material for him, so he can print flyers to give to technicians and leave at shops. 

To encourage attendance, Fryer will also promote door prize giveaways and has offered free food, like a barbeque, to attendees. 

"Guys will tell me I've got the best door prizes," said Fryer. "They come to (the training to) win something too."

Fryer explained that he'll save promotional items he receives through the year. "I'll save t-shirts that I get at shows. I'm kind of like a hoarder, I guess. I save everything up." He'll then use these items as door prizes for training events, along with other raffles on his truck.  

Because of relationships with a local technicial school, Fryer uses these school facilities to hold educational seminars at no additonal cost to him. 

These training clinics do take some additional planning. Fryer ran into a snag with scheduling when he set up his last seminar through Launch Tech USA. He had scheduled the training on the Launch GDS the same night as the local high school's graduation.

Compared to other training courses with more than 20 attendees, Fryer said he only had about eight people show up. But the training wasn't a complete bust. 

"I had a very low turnout. But, I actually sold six scanners out of that deal."

In addition to the sales he made, Fryer said the training was also an educational opportunity for him to learn about the tools he could sell.

"That's how the Launch was a success for me... I learned so much myself about scanners that I was able to sell it easier."

He has mostly worked with diagnostic test equipment previously, specifically scan tools, but Fryer has mentioned he may work with other equipment such as tire changers. He said it all depends on the resources available from the different manufacturers.