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Small Business Ideas Forum

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Old 24th June 2007, 12:57 PM   #1

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Default Customer Sales Ideas

I sell proffesional tools to car dealerships, repair shops, body shops, etc. I would like to increase my sales and even give existing customers something for their business. Thanks, Harvey

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Old 24th June 2007, 01:01 PM   #2

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Welcome aboard

How often do you go to the shops of your current clients right now?

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Old 24th June 2007, 01:04 PM   #3

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I go to each of my customers on a weekly basis.

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Old 24th June 2007, 01:08 PM   #4

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That's good, just was curious as the way I see it there are two ways to increase your sales. (1) Sell more to existing customers (2) Sell to more customers.

I would sit down and think about how you could sell more to existing customers - for example are there any product lines they typically buy from someone else. Look around their shop when you are there talking with them. Also, are there mfg promotions being offered where you can introduce them to something new.

Regarding selling to more customers, I would sit down and make an exhaustive list of every potential shop in your area. Then start visiting them every week. Also ask for referrals/references from your existing clients.

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Old 25th June 2007, 08:06 PM   #5

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Default How about offering them "marketing tools".

Since they already know you as their "tool" man, you might could expand on that with marketing tools.

If they haven't used calendars, ink pens, auto mugs, key tags, and other products to hand out to the existing customers, they may be missing out on additional business and referrals.

You could become a source for those products, giving them more reasons, as well as products to buy from you.

On the other hand, Chilton and their competitors use sales reps to distribute their car repair guides to the automotive after-market. If your present work area matches their need, you might could find out if they have a vacandy or salesperson close to retirement.

In my area, the mechanics have a rep who calls on them for the parts cleaning equipment and solvent. Another possible product line with a direct tie-in.


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Old 14th August 2007, 09:16 AM   #6
James Schramko

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Originally Posted by tigertools View Post
I sell proffesional tools to car dealerships, repair shops, body shops, etc. I would like to increase my sales and even give existing customers something for their business. Thanks, Harvey
They don't want gifts. They want the best tools to solve their problems.

They want the tools that work, they want excellent service, they want good value and they want to deal with someone who they like and trust.

If you want to sell more then learn more about sales.

Show then how your tools make them more money.
Prove to them how your tools save them time..
Educate them about the benefits of your tools.. (safety, durability etc..)

See more prospects (group them into geographic areas)

Convert more of them (with your sales knowledge- sales books cost about $15)

Sell more tools per order (suggest tools that 'go with' other tools)

Sell more often (increase the frequency of your visits)

Sell with higher margins (buy lower or sell higher or both)

Sell related items, safety boots, torches, batteries, toolboxs, overalls,etc...

Make a loyalty program - spend $500 pick a gift

Capture emails and send a newsletter.....

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Old 5th October 2007, 02:48 PM   #7
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Do you have a website? Can they order online? You might want to offer them Knowledge….. I mean design your website as a place they can find information that pertains to their industry and your products. You can also offer the latest industry news on your website. I did the same thing I am talking about with my website, but I cater to the Security Industry during the day….. I mean I go call on customer face to face and I let them know that I also have a resource center on the web. You can also offer a newsletter with articles and coupons.

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Old 5th October 2007, 03:33 PM   #8
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Get some girly stuff to sell. Once you get them in the truck, have some "points" type products they can carry home to mama. Boxes of choclates (watch the heat), maybe some of those roses like at the c-stores, maybe some candles, a velvet Elvis painting, just some "thinking of you while I was at work today, honey" kinds of things.

Every week have a "special buy". It can be a tool, or a NASCAR hat, or a toy for the kids. Find a local wholesaler who will front you a case of whatever and carry the whatever in with you on every call.

I was in the auto parts business for years calling on shops and I continually beat you truck guys out by carrying in something different each week. I can't tell you how many of the sets of 3 big prybars I sold when they first came out. Flourescent droplights, halogen flashlights, something new and different. Something to get them to pay attention.

I'd also carry something like a wire terminal assortment, a vacuum cap assortment, little $ 20 of so deals. The shop owner would supply that stuff for the shop, but the techs would buy one to take home.

Every week, something in your hand. An old-timer (even older timer than me) once told me to never make a call empty handed. I sure paid off over the years.

Works with bigger stuff, too. I sold a ton of cooling system evacuators / refillers the same way. Every tool guy for miles had them and I was getting $20 more and pumping them out - because I carried them in and sold them. Sold every car dealer service manager in town. There are many cars that have to have the cooling system bled that takes a long time. This tool does it in a minute, or so. I had techs buying them for their side businesses at home. Had to put them on the book, since they were over $ 100, but I was the guy who took the time to demo and sell. At one Ford dealer I sold 5, 1 to the car shop, one to the truck shop and 3 techs bought their own.

Think outside the box!

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Old 9th October 2007, 09:53 PM   #9
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It seems to me that you would benefit from sending direct mail to shop owners.

You could purchase a contact list within your SIC codes, isolate it by annual revenue and send it to the shop owners. I would send a new customer coupon and release the mail in waves, encase business takes off more quickly than you can handle, you don't want to, out of the gate.

If you're comfortable on the phone, you could call shops, call during a down time for the owner, foreman. Work out your script, be prepared for voice mail. I think that cold calling could be a great source of new customers. If you go the extra mile you'll get lots of NOs and some yeses. The more NOs you get out of the way the more YESs that are waiting!

Also, you could provide your existing customers with calendars or items needed in the shops. Such as, pens, clipboards, rags, many items all with your contact information on them.

When you come by, do you bring anything other than an order slip, sodas, freebie handouts?


Last edited by Lance_Best; 9th October 2007 at 09:57 PM. Reason: More info...
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Old 20th October 2007, 01:16 AM   #10

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Location: Southeast Michigan
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In your personal selling profession your reputation is everything. Because tool purchases by employees are often subsidized by employers, there is a chance you can become the premiere supplier to that specific shop. Let them know that you can offer a discount to their employees if one of them calls you. This will make the management want to help you out with putting up your magnets and so forth because they will spend less money in subsidies, their employees will be better stocked, and thus can work on more cars during the day.

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