Have fun: Spread the holiday cheer!

One of the more enjoyable aspects of being a tool distributor is you get to spread goodwill among your customers, and it can be a lot of fun. Holidays are always an opportunity to do something fun for customers. This Easter, it’s going to be hard coming up with something as fun as last year.

Last Easter was exciting, not just because I dressed up in an Easter bunny costume. It was fun because I won a bet with a fellow distributor over who could sell tools that we bought at the Matco Tools Tool Expo faster. My prize for winning the bet was seeing my colleague and friend, Kevin Vernon of greater Baltimore, wear his Easter bunny costume at my distributor district meeting.

At last year’s Tool Expo, Kevin and I came up with the idea for this contest. We decided to see who could sell a certain number of products faster. Another fellow distributor, Mark Breeden of Fredericksburg, VA, selected the tools for this contest. These were a 1/4” deep ADV socket set, a 10” composite blow gun and a seal installer. Kevin and I purchased five of each of these three tools, and we decided to see who could sell these 15 tools faster.


Learning from a mentor

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy winning the bet. Kevin is a great salesman and he’s especially good at creative selling (Professional Distributor profiled Kevin back in December 2013.) But I did win. I sold all 15 of the tools the day our contest began. Once I sold out all the tools on Monday, the contest was over. It took Kevin a day and a half to sell all these tools.

We both wore Easter bunny costumes for the full week. Kevin, however, had to wear his costume to my district meeting.

But, in reality, we both won the bet. Customers loved seeing us in the Easter bunny costumes that we had bought at a party center. It lightened up everyone’s mood on the truck. Customers saw a different side of me that they don’t normally see. A lot of them took my picture. Some of them put it on their Facebook pages.

This was the first time I wore a costume on the truck. It was the first time I really went out of my way to do something different. And I have to say, it was fun and I think it helped my relationships with some of my customers.


Creative selling pays

In the year-and-a-half I have worked as a distributor, I have done seasonal promotions. I have sponsored raffles for customers to win prizes such as TVs and gift cards. But doing something that is more out of the ordinary like wearing a costume on the truck takes salesmanship to a new level. I think the experience has encouraged me to think more creatively.

It also shows the importance of camaraderie in our business. There is a lot we can learn from one another. Not only about what products to sell, but how to sell them.


John Luehrs is a Matco Tools distributor based in Spotsylvania, Va.