Sales tip: Sell more economical tools

Clint Maxwell, an Independent out of Texas, learned that providing the same quality tools as the flag trucks, but at a lower price, gave him a major edge.

So, he began studying the flag catalogs and learning which manufacturers make products that can compete with the flags on quality and price. After identifying tools where he can make good margins and have a competitive advantage over a flag, he would push those products. He has built himself a niche that he provides good quality, warrantied tools at a lower price than certain brand tools.

However, Maxwell also recognizes there are some exclusive tools that flags carry that he can't offer. He realizes that some customers are loyal to certain brands and will not change. "I'm not here to compete (100 percent of the time) with franchise trucks," he says. And these flags exist throughout his market.

There is, however, a sizeable number of customers who want the tools he carries.