What’s your service style?

Find the approach that works for you, and keep it genuine.

There is more than one way to buy an impact wrench (or punch and chisel set or scan tool). In a quick-buy situation, a technician purchases a tool and that business transaction is complete. Technician and tool live happily ever after (hopefully … maybe). While that quick-buy scenario is an option, it’s not always the most flexible, safe or even cost-effective option. If this tool ships, the box is checked -- but what is that technician missing out on, and how can you show him or her all the things that a sale can include? You can sum that up in two words: customer service.

In this issue of Professional Distributor, we place a lot of emphasis on the importance of customer service, starting with our cover story. Consider this month’s feature story more of a discussion panel or coffee talk. Each of the four mobile dealers featured here has a unique approach to share when it comes to helping their customers feel heard, appreciated and yes, stocked with tools.

Whether the challenge is showing product to younger guys who don’t have a ton of disposable income, or grabbing the attention of customers who may be using smartphones to comparison shop on your truck, the person to person side of business is important -- and it changes based on who you are and where you do business.

Independent dealer Kevin Haitmanek in Maryland tries to find out something personal about each and every one of his customers: “I let them know I care, that they are someone who’s important to me. I can tell you something about every one of my customers; they’re not just a number or a dollar sign to me,” Haitmanek says.

For a number of mobiles, good customer service is just what you know, based on what you’ve seen or learned in the past, like this month’s Show Me Your Truck mobile dealer Joe Ostling. Ostling started out as an equipment manager for a construction company, and over time he’s learned that maintenance people are, for the most part, service oriented. On his truck he not only sells tools, he sells service. “That’s the way they (maintenance professionals) think and breathe and live. I went into this business with the same attitude; if I offer my customers good service, the rest will take care of itself.”

Ostling does this by making sure customers’ needs, repairs and warranties are taken care of promptly with no hassles. He says this is what keeps customers coming back for more. “Once you become their supplier you depend on them, and they depend on you,” Ostling says.

Enjoy these tales from your fellow tool sellers and service providers on the road, and don’t miss the first batch of 2019 Innovation Awards Nominees starting on page 22. We’ll feature the second half of nominees in next month’s issue of Professional Distributor.

More in Training, Sales & Marketing