Tales from the Road: A divine tool dealer

May 2, 2019
Barrie Evans operates a Cornwell Tools franchise… and also a church.

Barri Evans is a Cornwell Tools dealer in Midland, Texas. Like many tool dealers, he attended vocational school to become a mechanic after high school. But unlike most tool dealers, Evans heard the calling and went on to become a pastor instead.

“I was full-time minister for 21 years, until we decided to start a church here in Midland,” he says. “A guy that I worked with in the church was a Cornwell [dealer], and he wanted to know if I wanted to run a second truck for him while we were starting the church. I did that for three or four years, and then ... he asked if I wanted to buy my route, so I ended up buying it from him and I became my own franchise.”

Evans says selling tools after so many years away from the secular business world proved a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, he had guidance from a trained professional.

“The guy I worked with first used to sell cars at a Ford dealership, so he had gone through the Ford sales training,” Evans says. “He taught me what he knew, and it all worked out.”

Apparently that training paid off, because three years into owning his franchise Evans was ranked number seven in the nation for Cornwell. This is his fourth year, and he is currently sitting at number four.

Part of the success Evans sees is due to his dedication to his customers. He makes it a point to be reliable, showing up when he says he will every week. He also goes above and beyond to get warranty work completed and tools repaired so that the technicians can get back to work as quickly as possible.

In addition to providing quality service, Evans stands out by building relationships with his customers. He says he has even performed wedding ceremonies for his customers, including one that took place in the technician's workspace.

“I’ve actually done a wedding for one of my mechanics in his shop," he says. "He and his wife showed up at the same time, right there in front of his Cornwell toolbox, and we did the wedding.”

And just as Evans is like family to his customers, he is also happy to be part of the Cornwell family. He doesn’t have any plans to stop being a tool dealer, though he notes, “Maybe one day I’ll hire a guy to run my truck while I do the church [full-time].”

Evans adds that it’s important for tool dealers to work for a company they can trust, as he trusts Cornwell. “You don’t have to worry about them falling down or doing something wrong and getting you in a bind,” he says.

“I just really appreciate Cornwell and how they support me,” he adds. “They’re a good solid company with good solid people, and I appreciate being able to be with them.”

About the Author

David Brierley | Editor | Fleet Maintenance

David Brierley is the editor of Fleet Maintenance magazine.

Brierley’s education and career have been based in the publishing industry. He is an award-winning writer and comes from a background in automotive, trucking, and heavy equipment. Brierley joined the Endeavor Business Media vehicle repair group in 2017 as managing editor for Fleet Maintenance, PTEN, and Professional Distributor magazines, as well as VehicleServicePros.com. In his current role, he writes for and oversees production of Fleet Maintenance magazine. He has worked in the publishing industry since 2011.

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