Sales tip: Make toolbox displays extra-special

Matco Tools distributor Kevin Vernon realized that toolboxes, being high-ticket items, are an important part of the business. He pays careful attention to his customers’ toolboxes. When he sees a technician with an overfilled toolbox, he suggests they consider getting a new one.

Trade-ins play an important part of toolbox sales for Vernon. When a customer is trading in an old box for a new one, he carefully considers what the used box will fetch him.

He has also learned that once a customer shows an interest in a toolbox, it’s important to close the sale as soon as possible. If not, the customer will shop around and the sale price will not be profitable.

Vernon recognizes that toolbox sales are as impulse driven as any other piece of merchandise. Hence, he came up with the idea of a dedicated toolbox trailer. Toolboxes have unique features, such as heavy duty drawers, that you can’t fully appreciate from a picture. “It’s just like buying a car,” he says. “It’s a lot easier to buy something when you can see it, feel it and touch it. They can picture themselves working with it on a daily basis. A lot of it is impulse.”

He beats the surface of the toolboxes with a hammer to show how strong they are. “You just can’t show that on a picture,” he says. “Most toolbox purchases are impulse buys. You happen to have that right one in just that right color.” He sold one toolbox to a customer who was looking for a pink toolbox.

Vernon owned an 18-foot trailer for hauling his drag race car. He decided that such a trailer would make a good platform for carrying toolboxes.

Since his truck needs service every eight weeks, Vernon drives the toolbox trailer hitched to his pickup truck during the week his regular truck is in service.

He keeps several toolboxes and some tire changers in a shed behind his house. The shed is kept clean and organized at all times so that he never hesitates to invite a customer to come over and see his capital equipment.

In the eight weeks he has driven his toolbox trailer, Vernon has sold six toolboxes. Including one from a customer who swore he’d never buy one.

Some techs want toolboxes for their personal use at home.

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