Retool + Conquer logo

Retool + Conquer logo

Roundin' Up The Troops

It has been a while since we caught up with the Retool Team.  These hard working voices of hilmor have been on the road for over a year now blazing a trail in HVAC/R tools.  Though no two days are the same for these Technical Sales Representatives, they are sharing with us what a typical day might look like.

 

Ryan Cotton:

Do you tend to wake up early to do a counter day? 

I typically like to schedule my counter days from 9am to 12pm. This allows me to sleep in a bit, until 7am, and get breakfast at my hotel. Sometimes the coffee isn’t too good at the hotel, so I need time to stop at Starbucks to get some good morning fuel.

Do you pick up breakfast or lunch for your distributors? 

Depending on the turnout, I’ll buy enough lunch for the staff and sometimes for the customers, too. For lunch, I like to get something unique. I will, at times, order sandwiches or pizza but I try to get something local that the staff likes. I’ve had some really good Philly Cheesesteaks at counter days.

How many customers do you interact with on a daily basis? 

A usual counter day can vary a lot as far as how many customers I talk to. I have had days where the only person I spoke to was a mail woman, and other days I will be slammed, talking to as many as 50 or 60 techs. On average, I would say I talk to about 20 to 30 techs. Along with training the staff, it makes for a pretty busy morning.

How much down time do you have?

After the counter day, I will drive home, back to the hotel or on to the next city. If I get settled early enough, I use the rest of the afternoon to catch up on work. There are weeks where I do counter days every day for weeks one end and there are other times where I won’t have any counter days, or very few. I try to use these times to do contractor or school visits, or I will ride along with one of my contractor friends to learn more about the trade.

All in all, I stay pretty busy with hilmor. Especially in 2014, hilmor has become much more popular so I have a lot more work to do.

 

Matt Higgins:

What does a typical day on the road look like?

A typical day on the road consists of driving a couple hours, picking up breakfast or lunch depending on the time of the counter day. Once I arrive at the counter day I will typically speak with the branch manager for input on where the he would like the truck parked and see what specials they would like to run while the truck is on location.

Do you tend to wake up early to do a counter day? 

Yes, normally I will be up early. I typically host counter days at multiple branches of a distributor. We will host a morning counter day, travel to the next branch location and host and afternoon counter day.

Do you pick up breakfast or lunch for your distributors? 

We will provide breakfast or lunch depending on the time of the counter day, or the branch location will provide food.

How many customers do you interact with on a daily basis? 

It really depends. Some days you may see up to 50 contractors, while other days you may only see a few.  Weather is a big factor with how well of a turnout you get during counter days.

 How much down time do you have?

None. Typically once I finish a counter day I have a long drive ahead of me to get to the next location. I spend a lot of time driving at night.

 

Alston Mullins:

What does a typical day on the road look like?

I head out to make a sales call or do scheduled events like counter days or open houses. I usually visit every distributor in the city I’m in, travel to the next city and end my days  by catching up on work: sending emails and returning calls.

Do you tend to wake up early to do a counter day? 

I generally wakeup by 6:30 a.m.

Do you pick up breakfast or lunch for your distributors? 

I will grab breakfast!

 

Amy Hull:

Do you tend to wake up early to do a counter day? 

On a typical weekday my alarm goes off at 5:30am. The first thing I do is try to remember what city I am in….  Since I typically stay in the same brand of hotel, all rooms look the same and I forget where I am.

 

Do you pick up breakfast or lunch for your distributors? 

Once I have my bearings, I get ready, pack up my room and haul my belongings out to the truck. I am usually at the local Taco Cabana, McDonalds, BK or a local taco joint at 6:45am picking up 50 – 100 breakfast tacos or sandwiches for my first counter event for the day.  Most of the time the order is ready and waiting for me but sometimes the night manager dropped the ball and didn’t let the morning shift know there was an order. If this is the case I wait around for about 45 minutes until they are ready. 

 

I arrive about 15 – 20 minutes before a branch opens. I get the truck all set up, talk to the counter guys and check out their inventory to see what hilmor products they have available.  Sometimes I am met in the parking lot with a group of contractor trucks waiting (they are excited the hilmor truck is coming) and other times they start filing in when the doors open.

 

How many customers do you interact with on a daily basis? 

On an average counter day approximately 20 – 30 contractors will show up at a morning. Everyone typically stops to chat a bit and most are genially interesting in seeing the tools. Once they get their hands on these tools and see the innovation we have brought they get excited. Obviously the goal is to get the contractor to go in and purchase something.  It is exciting to watch contractors walk out of the stores with hilmor products in their hands

I am usually at the morning counter day until approximately 10am. I close up the truck, say my goodbyes to the branch and head over to my lunch counter day. Once there I go in and say hi to everyone and ask around to get an idea of the best pizza place in town. After getting suggestions on favorite orders and a feel for how many people are showing up, I order in pizzas for delivery. I set up the truck and have the branch manager get a table ready for the pizzas. The contractors start filing into the parking lot and again they are excited to see the hilmor products. On average about 20-30 contractors show up (sometimes a lot more … And sometimes if the weather is bad or the event is not well promoted a lot less).

I leave around 1 or 2pm depending on the contractor traffic. From there I visit a few other distributors in town, check out the inventory, handle any warranty issues and set up future counter days. Once I have seen everyone I can, I hit the road and travel to my next town.

 

How much down time do you have?

I check into the hotel, haul all my stuff up to my room and take an hour to relax. Sometimes I go to dinner with my reps… Sometimes I go to dinner with my distributors and contractors and other times I grab a bite at the hotel bistro by myself.  It is fun because now I am getting to know more people in different cities and have made a lot of friends in the industry. It is fun to hang out with them (and sometimes they even drive so I do it have to try to park the hilmor truck or find a cab). I have been invited to their homes for dinner and have met some of their families. These friends are awesome and have made life on the road much more enjoyable. It is really great to experience different cultures in different cities.

 

On my one or two alone nights during the week I prepare for the next week by sending out counter day reminders and flyers, answer emails and catch up on office work. I love to go swimming and I love to read so I relish in my downtime. I call in my breakfast order and do it all over again the next day.  If I am lucky I get to stay in the same hotel for a couple of nights in a row so I do not have to keep packing and unpacking.

 

My favorite days are Fridays when I get to head home and be with my husband for the weekend. I try to do my office work early in the morning and hit the road so I can be home early or midafternoon so I can completely check out and spend true quality time with my husband. Sometimes I leave on Sunday evenings and sometimes I leave on Mondays to start the week all over again. As much as I like life on the road and even with all the great friends I have made, nothing compares to being at home.

 

Mike Oddo:

Do you tend to wake up early to do a counter day? 

Depending on the distributor, we will either do a morning or lunch counter day.  Most of my reps/distributors prefer lunch counter days from 11-2 as the morning rush is crazy and most guys don’t have time to talk or buy tools.  I always show up an hour early to be fully set up by the scheduled time and I feel like I need to give the distributor ample time as I train the counter staff and salesman if possible.  After the counter day, we usually visit other distributors in town or contractors.  Once I’m finished, I always drive to my next city, check in, and get ready for the next day.

 

Do you pick up breakfast or lunch for your distributors? 

If its morning, we will usually pick up bagels, etc., and if it’s lunch, we will get that, too!

 

How many customers do you interact with on a daily basis?

A typical counter day might bring 20-50 guys depending on city, branch, location, etc.  To make sure I talk to as many contractors as possible, I do a raffle with small giveaways as guys love freebies.  This goes over well as they will give you a few minutes of their time to show off some hero products.

 

How much down time do you have?

The way I book my calendar, I really don’t have a lot of down time as I’m trying to get from city to city.  When there is down time, you have to stay disciplined and stay on top of your work or you will go bonkers when you get back to the office.

 

Will Jimenez

Do you tend to wake up early to do a counter day? 

My typical day on the road starts with a 4:45 wakeup call so I can hit the gym before hitting the road.

 

Do you pick up breakfast or lunch for your distributors? 

I will have a counter day typically from 8am-12pm followed by sales calls in the afternoon. If I have a later counter day, say from 10-2pm I will usually order pizza for the guys and then see customers.

 

How many customers do you interact with on a daily basis?

I typically see 3 to 4 customers a day.

 

How much down time do you have?

After my afternoon sales calls I will usually drive a few hours to my hotel. Once at the hotel I will get some work done!  If I do have some additional down time I will try to find a local trail to ride my bike -although lately, I haven’t ridden much.

 

Have you caught up with any of our Retool Team Reps lately?

Posted in RETOOL Team.
Tagged with , , ,