The world according to Tim “The Tool Man” Bader

North-Dakota based Cornwell Tools dealer Tim Bader shares insights on his experience with the mobile tool distribution business.

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On truck inventory: “Driving around in an empty wagon, you won’t make any money doing that.”

On business practices: “Don’t confuse activity with productivity.”

On customer expectations: “They want to deal with someone who is successful.”

On life: “I like my quiet time. I get enough socializing with everyone else in the tool business. I select the people around me pretty carefully.”

On the seasons in North Dakota: “Summer is so short, that these guys have all these other places to spend their money [recreationally]. But in wintertime, hell – I might be the highlight of their week, showing up.”

On the tool business: “The tool business is unique, where the average guy can put in the effort and some sales training and he can communicate with people, he can do really well.”

On the justifying a tool purchase: “It’s the old coffee can approach. You need that tool, and you don’t have it. Every time that happens, you put money in the coffee can and see how long it takes to pay for it. That way you can justify owning it.”

On what makes a successful tool dealer: “To me, the tool business is service, trust and salesmanship. You’ve got to have that relationship with these guys. They’ve got to trust you.”

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