Back to School: Learn from others' mistakes

Lessons from other mobile tool distributors, and how they run the business.


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. It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly over and the kids are just about to return to the classroom. In honor of back-to-school time, I thought I’d go back to school myself. Rather than answer questions, I decided I’d ask the question and become the student. I talked to dealers from a...


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“With technology, there are all sorts of ways nowadays to track people down,” Neuenschwander says about handling a skip. “As far as the Internet, you can use Facebook, you can use collections. There’s all sorts of options for getting that money back. It’s just a matter of how much time you want to invest in trying to get that money back versus going forward and saying, ‘I’m not going to worry about it,’ I’m just going to worry about the money I can collect and my good customers.”

A: You’re not just selling tools; you’re selling yourself.

“I’m not just interested in the sale, I’m interested in the relationship,” says Paul Murray of Lexington, Ind., who’s gone from independent rep to dealer in his 20-some odd years in the tool and equipment business. “It has nothing to do with product. It has nothing to do with brand name. It has nothing to do with anything except getting a customer to believe that you bring some sort of value to the relationship.”

“In that same vein, it doesn’t do me any good to sell something that I don’t personally believe in,” he continues. “Take drill bits, for example. There are a lot of good drill bits out there, but I found a line I think are the ‘be all and end all,’ and I can go in with a missionary-type zeal when I call on these guys because I feel like I’m bringing the best possible mix to the party, which is a high-quality item that’s going to work for them.”

“If I’ve got relationships, whether I sell something or not I can go into a place and have a productive meeting,” Murray says.

“I can sleep at night knowing that I’ve got relationships. If somebody hears my name, there’s going to be good feelings associated with that for the most part,” Murray adds, with a laugh.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

 

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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