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Distributor helps new prospects test out the business

Mac Tools distributor David Musil of Crete, Neb. (about 45 minutes outside of Lincoln) has a lot of notoriety in the tool distribution business. He has regularly finished in Mac's Top 10 distributors nationally and was even featured in the May 2010 issue of Professional Distributor. Even though Musil is known to run a successful business, it has only recently come to light how he acts as a mentor to many prospective Mac franchisees.

Not so long after he began in the tool business in 2000, thanks to a program Mac Tools used to have that started out prospective franchisees as employees to the company until they bought their own route, Musil started attracting the attention of prospective distributors. 

"I just did it, even before they offered this program I was always willing to offer a ride along," Musil remembers. "Mac took the idea and put it in a structured situation."

Musil is refrencing that in order to become a Mac franchisee, it is required that the prospective distributor ride along with a veteran for at least a week. He said he does not think he "invented the wheel."

"I believe other people have done it before," Musil said. "But no one specifically gave me the idea. I feel that until you actually ride that truck, how do you know?"

The day-to-day challenges of the tool business are best learned first-hand. Many newbies may be challenged by the situations where they have to close sales or handle collections. The ability to see how a veteran accomplishes this first-hand is invaluable. Sometimes, even finding out if someone can emotionally and physically handle the job is important.

"Some people can't keep up," observed Musil. "A ride along is good in order to see if they [the prospects] can go up and down the stairs all day long and stay with it and stay focused. One young man in his early thirties, that appeared healthier than me, even asked me, 'I don't know how you go up and down stairs all day.'"

Mac usually finds prospective distributors to ride with Musil from nearby states such as South Dakota, Kansas and Iowa. For obvious reasons, Mac does not set up distributors in areas which would overrun a previous distributor's territory. 

Where did Musil get the gumption to do ride alongs with more than 25 different people? When asked whether it was his background as a church greeter in a local Lutheran church he replied the opposite was true. "It's one of those deals where I started the tool business and then became involved in church," Musil remembers.

Rather, it is his love for tools, the same love that got him into the business, that motivates everything. Before he was ever in the business he was a mechanic that used to "run to the truck" when it came, because he loved tools so much. Now that Musil is a veteran, he can now enjoy the opportunity of helping make the dreams of many come true.