may2021 - 28

Educate your customers to sell more

A little curiosity can increase your personal brand and bank account.

B
BY ALAN SIPE
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Alan W. Sipe has spent the last 42
years in the basic hand tool industry
including positions as president of
KNIPEX Tools North America, senior
vice president of sales and marketing at Klein Tools, manager of special
markets at Stanley Tools, and sales
manager at toolbox manufacturer
Waterloo Industries. Currently, Sipe
is the owner of Toolbox Sales and
Consulting, a company specializing
in sales strategy, structure, development, and training. Sipe can be
reached at alansipe@gmail.com or
847-910-1063.

of thousands of technicians everywhere.
ack in my days as president of KNIPEX here
Not a single one of us at KNIPEX was a true
in the U.S., we showed our products at 10
experienced
technician. In fact, the very best demto 12 trade shows each year. Some of the
onstration
person
we had was Michelle Agué, who
shows were major events such as SEMA, AAPEX,
had
previously
sold
medical replacement spine
and the major mobile annual showcases.
parts.
Some
of
us
couldn't
even change an autoIn addition to having the opportunity to meet
mobile headlight successfully.
many interesting tool users, wholesale distributors,
Many of you weren't technicians in your previand mobile jobbers, we also learned unique new
ous life, but you, too, can become a tool educator
uses for our products.
without a problem.
An example is the Swedish style pipe wrench.
As you make your sales calls and sell your tools,
This tool was originally designed as a plumbers'
ask
yourself what the customer will use this tool
pipe wrench and is the primary style of pipe wrench
for.
Lock
this knowledge in your sales tool memory
in most of the world. Initially, we really had no idea
bank
and
use it as a sales-generating educational
that a Swedish style pipe wrench was also a great
tool later.
front-end tool used for freeing up and adjusting
An example is if you are calling on technicians
rusty and corroded tie rods.
at a BMW dealership, you could walk in with a
We just assumed that plumbers from Europe
15 " Torx tip screwdriver
working in the U.S. were
(I'm sorry; I've forgotten
purchasing this tool until
the size). Now, simply
technicians and jobbers
Never be afraid to ask
show it to the technicians
started showing up at trade
your
customer
what
they
explaining that it will
shows asking for them and
make working deep down
telling us these tools were
use a particular tool for,
in a BMW steering column
used on tie rods.
much easier.
especially if you sell them
The KNIPEX Cobra
If you aren't or weren't
style head on the Swedish
a
unique
product.
a
technician,
don't ever try
style pipe wrench grips
to
sound
like
one. You will
tremendously, won't slip,
destroy
your
credibility
and because of the length
very
quickly.
Just
say,
" I
am
not
a
technician,
but
provides significant leverage to turn corroded parts.
the guys who work on BMWs tell me... " Or, " I was
Once we learned this valuable use for our pipe
at XYZ Ford garage and I saw mechanics using this
wrench, we immediately developed a physical demtool for (fill in the blank). "
onstration display and put together an educational
Never be afraid to ask your customer what they
sales pitch.
use
a particular tool for, especially if you sell them
When someone would come up to our booth,
a
unique
product. Most people like to help when
we would simply make the statement, " I'm not a
asked
to
show
their knowledge and skill. Using a
mechanic, but you know how hard rusty and corstatement
like,
" Thanks for purchasing this tool
roded tie rods are to free up and adjust. " Nine out
from me; is there a certain application you will
of 10 times the trade show attendee would agree,
be using it for? " will get the conversation started.
smile, or nod their head up and down. We would
Now you can take that knowledge to educate
then explain that this odd-looking tool was a Swedothers doing the same tasks explaining that you
ish pipe wrench and would make easy work out of
have a tool to help them work faster, safer, or
turning tie rods.
smarter and maybe all three.
As a result of listening to our customers, askJust by using your natural curiosity and asking questions, and educating our prospects, that
ing
questions you can learn some excellent tool
Swedish style pipe wrench is now in the tool box

28 Professional Distributor I May 2021 I VehicleServicePros.com


http://www.VehicleServicePros.com

may2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of may2021

Editor's Note: Positive industry trends have shops looking forward to an uptick in 2021
The ABCs of ADAS
Sneak Peek
Most Wanted
2021 PTEN Innovation Awards Nominees, Part 1
Go Sell Something: Educate your customers to sell more
In Focus Products
Diagnostic Tech: The impact of vehicle security on service operations
Driving Sales - Body Shop & Collision Repair
Tales from the Road: Special delivery
may2021 - 1
may2021 - 2
may2021 - 3
may2021 - Editor's Note: Positive industry trends have shops looking forward to an uptick in 2021
may2021 - 5
may2021 - The ABCs of ADAS
may2021 - 7
may2021 - 8
may2021 - 9
may2021 - 10
may2021 - 11
may2021 - Sneak Peek
may2021 - 13
may2021 - 14
may2021 - 15
may2021 - Most Wanted
may2021 - 17
may2021 - 2021 PTEN Innovation Awards Nominees, Part 1
may2021 - 19
may2021 - 20
may2021 - 21
may2021 - 22
may2021 - 23
may2021 - 24
may2021 - 25
may2021 - 26
may2021 - 27
may2021 - Go Sell Something: Educate your customers to sell more
may2021 - 29
may2021 - In Focus Products
may2021 - 31
may2021 - 32
may2021 - 33
may2021 - Diagnostic Tech: The impact of vehicle security on service operations
may2021 - 35
may2021 - 36
may2021 - 37
may2021 - Driving Sales - Body Shop & Collision Repair
may2021 - 39
may2021 - 40
may2021 - 41
may2021 - Tales from the Road: Special delivery
may2021 - 43
may2021 - 44
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