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.

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