When Running a Tool Business Dealership, There’s a Time and Place for the Upsell

Running a tool dealership business can be a lucrative venture. For the person willing to work hard, it can be a great way to make good money. But before they put their nose to the grindstone, there’s a lot they must learn about the ins and outs of the business. That’s why Cornwell provides their dealers with thorough training before they hit the road.

Among the many things our dealers learn in their training is how to make a successful sale. There are as many different types of techniques as there are customers, and in this blog, we’ll discuss a particular sales skill that’s commonly referred to as “upselling.”

What Is Upselling?

In business, upselling is a technique that encourages customers to spend more on a product or purchase something in addition to what they intended to buy.

For example, say you own a shoe store. If a customer who you happen to know loves golf comes in looking for tennis shoes, they might also appreciate seeing the golf shoes that just came in. And, who knows? They may decide they want to buy that pair, too.

What’s the Downsell on the Upsell?

Now say a customer you don’t know well comes in looking for tennis shoes, and you divert their attention to the golf shoes. As consumers, we’ve all experienced that salesperson trying to sell us something we don’t want or have any use for. There can be nothing more annoying. We might even decide to shop elsewhere next time.

That’s why upselling is only appropriate in specific transactions and should never be done casually — unless you plan to push away the very customer you intend to keep!

How Do I Know When to Upsell?

Contrary to what you may think, a successful upsell doesn’t mean making more money on a transaction. Instead, you know you’ve succeeded in this technique when the customer walks away feeling valued — like they’ve just received the best possible customer service – whether they’ve bought something or not.

Customers Often Know More About Your Products Than You

As a tool dealer, when servicing your clients, it’s important to remember that your clients have a lot of expertise with tools — more than you in most cases — and they don’t have the time or patience to buy from a tool dealer who’s looking to profit off them.

When buying tools, technicians often decide based on price and their previous experience with the product. For instance, consider Ron. He’s a busy mechanic who needs to replace the wrench that just broke. The chances are good that if that tool lasted him a long time, he’d be willing to spend a little extra for the same one.

But what if Ron had bought that wrench only recently? If he wants to buy the same tool again, that’s his prerogative. Sell him the wrench he wants — but not before explaining to him how the pricier one is more durable and will save him money in the long run. You can be sure that the next time Ron’s wrench breaks, he’ll remember the one you showed him.


The significant part about having customers who are experts in what you sell is that you can speak their language. If the timing’s right, a transaction can be an excellent opportunity to show a customer what else you’ve got — not necessarily to sell them that product – but to keep them educated about what’s on the market and at what price point. Not only will they appreciate the chance to talk shop with someone who loves tools as they do, but they’ll think of you the next time they need something.

Are you thinking about running a tool dealership business? Cornwell would love to meet you! So why not contact us today?


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