Professional Distributor - 50

Breakfast in the bay

Though new to the tool selling industry, this distributor has
learned a variety of tips and tricks to help grow his business.

O
BY EMILY MARKHAM,
ASSISTANT EDITOR

920-234-6359
Emily@VehicleServicePros.com

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your story?
Have an interesting
experience to
share with your
fellow distributors?
Share it with us!
Contact Editor
Sara Scullin
at Sara@
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nly three years into the mobile tool selling
business, Reid Thomas has gained a vast
amount of knowledge.
This independent and GEARWRENCH team
member runs a route through Houston, Texas, where
he services some automotive dealerships, heavy
equipment yards, body shops, and independent
businesses. For some of the larger shops Thomas
visits, one of his favorite things to do is schedule
these stops early in the morning so he can bring
customers breakfast.
After turning the wrench for around 20 years
himself, Thomas understands how grueling work
as a technician can be. A gesture like bringing in
breakfast goes a long way.
Thomas also spends time looking for unique
opportunities to find new customers and make
additional sales.
Along with other GEARWRENCH distributors
in Houston, Thomas has participated in providing
a sponsorship at a customer's racing event, Texas
Shut Down. At the event, he and the other distributors were able to bring two or three trucks, as well
as Thomas' trailer, and set up like they were at a
trade show.
A self-proclaimed "people-person", Thomas
feels the best part of being a mobile tool distributor is the people.
Additionally, he says, "It's a great way to experience the diversity we have in our country."
When it comes to chatting with potential customers, Thomas says his number one rule is "don't
profile anyone."
"You never know who's going to be your next big
customer," Thomas says. "You have to treat everybody with the utmost respect and treat them like
they're going to be your best customer, whether they
spend 10 bucks or whether they spend $10,000."
Thomas also advises other distributors, especially those new to the business, to not be afraid to
talk with anyone.
"You're going to have to embarrass yourself and
break some eggs getting into business before you
find a groove [with] how you're going to do things,"

50 Professional Distributor I October 2020 I VehicleServicePros.com

Independent tool dealer Reid Thomas spends time
looking for unique opportunities to find new customers
and make additional sales.

Thomas says. "It's a numbers thing. If you spend the
time trying to find people and develop your clientele,
then you'll get them."
Another important lesson Thomas has learned
is to "live lean" when you're just starting out. After
buying their initial inventory and purchasing their
truck, he says, new distributors won't see any
money until what's on the truck is sold, meaning
they'll need to have money set aside to replenish
inventory.
"Live lean, build inventory, and build your clientele. Once you put the hard work in upfront, then
it allows you to have a little more time later on to
coast a bit," Thomas says.
With three years of experience under his belt,
Thomas is looking at expanding his business. In the
future, Thomas says it's possible he'll buy a second
truck or hire someone to work at his warehouse
and handle bookkeeping, deliveries, inventory, and
warranty so he can stay out selling tools.
No matter what happens though, Thomas is
happy with his career as a mobile tool distributor.
"It's difficult, but the rewards are definitely
worth it," Thomas says.


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Professional Distributor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Professional Distributor

Editor's Note: A Lesson in "Go With the Flow"
Cover Story: The Business of Tool Storage
2020 PTEN People's Choice Award Winners
Show Me Your Truck: A Natural Fit
Most Wanted
Sneak Peek
Go Sell Something: Impulse Add-ons Sell Even More
In Focus Products
Diagnostic Tech: Navigating Today's Voluminous Data Sets
Driving Sales: Lighting
Tales From the Road: Breakfast in the Bay
Professional Distributor - 1
Professional Distributor - 2
Professional Distributor - 3
Professional Distributor - Editor's Note: A Lesson in "Go With the Flow"
Professional Distributor - 5
Professional Distributor - Cover Story: The Business of Tool Storage
Professional Distributor - 7
Professional Distributor - 8
Professional Distributor - 9
Professional Distributor - 10
Professional Distributor - 11
Professional Distributor - 12
Professional Distributor - 13
Professional Distributor - 2020 PTEN People's Choice Award Winners
Professional Distributor - 15
Professional Distributor - 16
Professional Distributor - 17
Professional Distributor - 18
Professional Distributor - 19
Professional Distributor - 20
Professional Distributor - 21
Professional Distributor - 22
Professional Distributor - 23
Professional Distributor - Show Me Your Truck: A Natural Fit
Professional Distributor - 25
Professional Distributor - Most Wanted
Professional Distributor - 27
Professional Distributor - Sneak Peek
Professional Distributor - 29
Professional Distributor - 30
Professional Distributor - 31
Professional Distributor - 32
Professional Distributor - 33
Professional Distributor - 34
Professional Distributor - 35
Professional Distributor - Go Sell Something: Impulse Add-ons Sell Even More
Professional Distributor - 37
Professional Distributor - In Focus Products
Professional Distributor - 39
Professional Distributor - 40
Professional Distributor - 41
Professional Distributor - Diagnostic Tech: Navigating Today's Voluminous Data Sets
Professional Distributor - 43
Professional Distributor - 44
Professional Distributor - 45
Professional Distributor - Driving Sales: Lighting
Professional Distributor - 47
Professional Distributor - 48
Professional Distributor - 49
Professional Distributor - Tales From the Road: Breakfast in the Bay
Professional Distributor - 51
Professional Distributor - 52
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