Mac Tools distributor fine-tunes business through establishing and maintaining relationships

Dave Capp, a Mac Tools from Walnut Bottom, Pa., is a 27-year veteran in the mobile tool business. Because he's been in the business for almost three decades, Capp has fine-tuned his operations, including money management and working with people. 

“There’s not enough that can teach you for working with people," he says. "You have to know how to talk and treat people, and the main thing I’ve found is that you try to treat them the way you want to be treated."

"That was a really big learning experience because I never had to talk with people before. I’ve learned a lot in that way."

“I never proclaim myself to be a good salesman," says Capp. "But what I strive for is, I try to give people the best service I can by coming back every week, taking care of their little problems as opposed to big problems, and trying to deliver their product. I think in return, I’m very reliable in that aspect."

He also sees value in being prompt for each shop visit.

"Most people can set their watch for the time I’d come to the shops each week, unless I have a problem. Or, I’d tell them a week before that I’m doing something different – they know when I’m coming, and they know when to look for me."

Capp has proof that his customers look for him to arrive on time, too.

“I found out the other day that some of my customers do care about me, because I was sitting along the road somewhere. I had two or three people call me, just to make sure I wasn’t broke down.”

I was just there doing some computer work. I had a few phone calls, but I appreciate them checking up on me.”

(Read now: Dave Capp's route focuses on stops for a variety of businesses)

Utilize industry resources

Along with his knack for working with people, Capp has utilized his resources at trade shows to work with manufacturers to gain product information. 

"The main reason I go to the tool fair is to get a breath of fresh air into my business, and also to spend as much time as I can with vendors for product knowledge. Whether it be just knowing how a tool works, or knowing how to promote it. That type of thing.

"And also, to give the feedback on products, if they can help me out by talking one-on-one."

Getting together with other distributors

Capp also keeps in touch with his route manager and other Mac Tools distributors in the area. His district has a meeting every 60 days, where about 10 distributors get together. 

"It’s always good to get together with the guys that sell the same products that I do and have communication. Of course, our route manager tells us what’s coming up on sale and what we’re promoting. That’s a good thing for us.”

In addition to these bi-monthly meetings, Capp meets with a smaller group of three or four local Mac Tools distributors on a weekly basis. 

“We make it a very big point that every Thursday morning, we meet at a restaurant or about an hour, from 7 or 8 o’clock every Thursday morning, and it’s a way for us to share a lot of information," says Capp. "It’s a way to track customers if we lose them. Or if we’re looking for a product, or having a problem with a product, we discuss that.

"Also, if somebody needs something that hasn’t come in, one of us may have it and we’ll help each other out. That's kind of a fun thing, too.”

Lasting relationships

Overall, Capp is happy with his decision to go into the mobile tool business.

“If there’s anything in my business that I’ve gotten out of it that I’m satisfied with, is that I’ve really gotten to know a lot of good people over the years. If I would have never gotten into the tool business, I would have never learned to a lot of things about people and the things they do.”

Capp appreciates that these relationships have allowed him to have open communication with his customers."They know they can call me anytime of the day, and they can communicate with me if they have a problem.”

“If I was to quit today, one of the things I’d miss most is interacting with the people," says Capp. "I do like the freedom that I have. I actually like the feeling that I can go out and do something for people and feel good about it; knowing I can make their job easier, and I did something on my end to do that.”