How to stock the right inventory

Dealers must hone relationships with supplier customer service reps.


Phil Sasso is the president of Sasso Marketing (sassomarketing.com), an automotive aftermarket advertising, public relations and Internet services agency. He's also a speaker and strategist. Sign up for his free weekly marketing tip email at philsasso.com/blog. Q: I’ve been a tool guy for several years. When it comes to inventory, I still sometimes struggle. I have some stuff that sells out too quick and other stuff that gathers dust. Any advice on managing inventory? A: You’re better off with an empty shelf than a shelf full of items that won’t...


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A bigger issue can sometimes be figuring out exactly what a customer wants if he or she can’t give enough specifics. One dealer told me he once asked if anyone else in the shop had the tool so he could find a part number or at least a manufacturer’s name. It worked!

Lastly, drop shipping is no longer a dirty word. It was once unthinkable to drop ship a special order or out-of-inventory item directly to your customer. Now, I think it’s just good business. Many suppliers ship packages without their address or prices on the packing slips.

Many suppliers can ship the same day if orders are received by mid-afternoon. If you call an order in by 3 o’clock today, it ships same day, says ISN’s Pilkenton. “We service over 80 percent of the entire U.S. next day,” he notes.

So in most case, your customer doesn’t have to wait a week or two for you to get back to him with his new tool. This makes for happier customers. And happier customers tend to make for happier dealers.

 

Phil Sasso is president of Sasso Marketing Inc. (www.sassomarketing.com), a technical marketing agency specializing in tools and equipment. Subscribe to his free marketing tips at philsasso.com/blog.

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