A word on sales

March 4, 2019
Success looks different on every tool dealer.

What did you do before you stepped foot on a truck?

Maybe you started out as a tech. Or, your background might have been sales. Maybe, like last months’ Tales From The Road Cornwell dealer Jeff Stutts, you were neither selling product nor were you turning wrenches. Stutts was working in power line construction when he bought out a local Cornwell Tools dealer. Many tool dealers, like Stutts, figure out the sales part as they go along. Turns out, there’s no secret recipe that guarantees success in this business.

“The biggest thing is not expecting customers to buy what you think will sell,” said the Asheboro, NC tool dealer in the February issue of PD (pg 46). “If they’re looking to spend their money, get their product to them in a timely manner. The key is … collections and selling. It’s pretty simple.”

Is it really that simple, though? While it’s true someone who started as a tech might have an edge when it comes to understanding product and ‘talking shop’ with customers, those with more sales experience might have perfected a method of closing the deal. If, at the end of the day, the numbers in the ledger are all equal, one tactic is not better than the other. However, like most things in life, there’s usually room for improvement.

I like hearing about the different sales strategies employed by mobile dealers. While selling can be personal to each person, learning new tips and reinforcing tried-and-true methods can’t hurt.

We’ve got a new sales-focused column beginning in this issue. ‘Go Sell Something’ author Alan Sipe knows a thing or two about pitching tools; Sipe has a cumulative 42 years in the industry, having held lead positions with multiple tool and equipment businesses over the years. This month, Sipe describes the various steps of researching a product: anticipating questions, preparing responses, and then practicing your perfect sales pitch. In short: 1) Learn the product 2) Practice.

You might consider the time you spend researching and training your sales approach as a small down payment on a big(ger) sale. Check out Sipe’s innovative and easy-to-employ ideas, starting with an approach for selling big ticket and complex items, on page 32.

A single sale is made of up many components.

Whether you were a tech-turned-tool dealer or a salesperson who segued from one industry to the mobile tool gig, you’ve probably found that along with impact wrenches and scan tools, your customers are in fact purchasing you. They are ‘buying’ your personality, your working style and your service. All the rest -- the exercises, tips -- are details that can help you take it a step further, craft the perfect pitch and close more deals. 

About the Author

Sara Scullin | Editor | PTEN and Professional Distributor

Sara Scullin is the editor of PTEN and Professional Distributor magazines. These publications are part of the Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group, which includes Fleet Maintenance, Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN), Professional Distributor magazines and VehicleServicePros.com.

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