Persistence pays off when building a customer base

Carrie Lake, a MAC Tools distributor based out of northeast Michigan, started out in a territory where her flag lacked representation for six years. So, she expected there would be some resistance when she went to visit former customers.

Lake's strategy to overcome this? Persistence. She visited the old stops and when they saw she kept coming back, week after week, at the same time of the week, they began to come out and see what she had to sell.

Winning back some of these customers required replacing parts with expired warranties.

Lake also wasted no time finding new customers within the same area.

In the 100-mile radius she serves, there are clusters of towns with small businesses that need tools. These include automotive shops with one to three employees, construction firms, excavators, building maintenance firms, rental centers, boat repair shops and outdoor power equipment dealers.

Speaking of excavators, she observed: "One guy might be moving the dirt, but there's still a guy at the shop who's got to fix it. They need sockets and impacts and wrenches. There are mechanics everywhere."

Working out of Tawas City, Mich., Carrie Lake has found that in her region that consistency is her best tool to create customer loyalty. 

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