Show Me Your Truck: Jonathan Borth, Cornwell Quality Tools

March 4, 2021
This tool dealer is all about gaining knowledge to make the sale.
Photo courtesy of Amanda Faith
'[I'm] always smiling and ready to work a deal,' Borth says. 'I strive to build lasting relationships with my customers.
"[I'm] always smiling and ready to work a deal," Borth says. "I strive to build lasting relationships with my customers.

Cornwell Tools dealer Jonathan Borth has been selling tools for five years now. Unfortunately, during this time Borth has gone through three used trucks that just couldn’t keep up with his route through the Texas Hill Country. In order to continue his visits to automotive repair shops, paint and body shops, and a few heavy duty diesel shops, Borth decided it was time to buy a brand new truck customized to his specifications.

In December of 2020, Borth purchased his new, extra-wide, 22' Freightliner M2 truck from Summit Body Works. Borth says the truck was built exactly the way he wanted with lots of custom touches such as two extra roof A/C units and a diesel generator, extra dome lights above the slatwall, a lighted stairwell, lighted jerky, knife, and sunglass display cases.

Borth also souped-up the outside of his new truck. “The new wrap is eye-catching. Plus, I [added] LED strip lights around the roof,” he says. “It’s a show truck, not just another tool truck, and I love it!”

Though, like many, Borth likes to organize his truck by product type – electrical products together, sockets together, lights together – he likes to switch things up by way of placement every now and then.

“I rotate my inventory to different shelves throughout the year to keep customers looking around for product,” the tool dealer says. “This very often results in a sale of an item that has been sitting for a while. Just by moving it.”

In addition to his unique organization system, Borth also uses his TV monitor to drum up sales. At the back of his truck, the TV plays videos of new products and tool storage systems.

“This helps when I have multiple customers on the truck,” Borth says. “I can personally help one customer while the others watch the TV to see new products they didn’t know about.”

To further display his products, Borth opens power and cordless tools to allow customers to handle them, puts small items in bins on the slatwall, and uses a large open shelf for any items on special.

With all the extra space available on the tool dealer’s extra-wide truck, Borth had the ability to create three separate workspaces. The first is his desk, where customers can place products they want added to their accounts while they continue browsing. The second workspace is right below his slatwall; this is where Borth displays fast-moving products like magnets, mirrors, pocket lights, etc., as well as popular cold drinks and snacks. The last space is located by the door; Borth stocks apparel here and uses the space to demo products.

Apart from Borth’s fresh take on organizing and displaying his tools, the relationships he builds with his customers are really what keeps his business going.

“I am not a pushy salesman,” Borth says. “It’s just not my personality. I let the product speak for itself, and I work hard to provide excellent customer service.”

Borth worked as a Mercedes-Benz technician for nine years, so he’s able to use his knowledge and experience to help make the sale since he’s used many of these tools himself.

“If I sell something I’ve never used or sold before, I ask how it works or why [the customer] wants this particular tool,” Borth says. “This helps build my knowledge for the products available, and [allows me] to better serve future customers.”

About the Author

Emily Markham | Editor | PTEN and Professional Distributor

Emily Markham is the editor of  Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN) and Professional Distributor magazines. These publications are part of the Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group.

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