The Incredible Tote – Claudio Zanobini’s success story

Posted: 22/02/2017 13:29:42

 
Claudio-Zanobini.jpgWhen a new franchisee joins Mac Tools, they don’t just become a franchise holder, they become a part of the Mac Tools family. Like all families, Mac Tools likes to have a get-together and that means Tool Fair.
 When a new franchisee joins Mac Tools, they don’t just become a franchise holder, they become a part of the Mac Tools family. Like all families, Mac Tools likes to have a get-together and that means Tool Fair.
 
Every year Mac Tools holds two Tool Fairs as part of the package of training and support it offers its franchisees. Not only is it a get-together, it also gives the head office team a chance to launch new products for the year ahead, provide all the information and knowledge the franchisees need to grow their businesses and continue offering the most innovative and up-to-date products to their customers.
 
At the last Tool Fair, Mac Tools decided upon the theme of superheroes for the event and franchise holder Claudio Zanobini, despite being unable to attend, still made a big impact. In his everyday routine as a Mac man selling top notch tools to technicians, he takes his Mac Tools tote bag with him to every workshop he visits. It has become something of a trademark for Claudio and, because of this, he was asked to make a short film of himself conducting real time sales from his tote bag. The film was screened at the Tool Fair and was enjoyed by all in attendance. Claudio was subsequently given the superhero title of ‘The Incredible Tote’ by the Mac Tools management team.
 
Making a video for an industry event is a classic example of how Claudio is willing to go the extra mile to make a real difference. This is typical of Claudio and something he has done throughout his working life. After leaving school he joined a national tyre fitting chain as a trainee. After more than 25 years with the same business, he had progressed through the ranks to become a Divisional Director with the responsibility of running 127 branches and managing 750 personnel. Yet despite this extraordinary success, he was tired of the demands of a senior management role.
 
Talking about the moment when he realised he needed to make some positive changes in his life Claudio says, “I found myself driving home from a holiday in Italy dreading returning to work on Monday morning. Prior to going on holiday, I saw an advert for Mac Tools recruiting in the Norwich area and thought I would give them a call. I was on the phone at 9am in the morning and arranged a meeting for Friday of that week. I had the meeting in the morning and knew it was something I wanted to do, so I drove straight up to Bristol to speak to my line manager and handed my notice in right away.”
 
Since becoming the Mac Tools distributor for the Exeter area in 2010, Claudio has developed his own unique sales technique – a technique which inspired The Incredible Tote. He takes up the story of how it works, “When I make my first visit of the day it’s ‘show time’ as I use my tote bag to promote items. The bag creates an interest in the tools and my customers now look to see what deals I have when I call into their garage.
 
“It gives me the opportunity to have a bit of banter with my customers and I can use it to steer the conversation to what’s new and exciting. From there I can then get them to leave the workshop and head into the van where I have an even better chance of making a sale or up-selling. 
 
“If I don't sell anything out of the bag it’s not a problem, I mainly use it as a tool to get bigger sales. I have been doing it for a long time and it's a key part of my routine. People remember me because of it and that helps to build long-term relationships and they, in turn, lead to the big sales.”
 
Claudio certainly seems to have developed a winning formula for himself, and not just in terms of sales. In 2011 he was named Rookie of the Year by Mac Tools and quickly followed that success up in 2012 when he received a Gold Award from the company in recognition of his achievements that year. The accolades keep coming as, more recently, Claudio received the prestigious Diamond Award at the March 2017 Tool Fair.
 
Claudio is quick to point out that his ongoing success is not just down to his hard work, “The initial training I received when I started the franchise took place over five days at Mac Tools Head Office and European Headquarters in Sheffield and was followed by 10 days at the Mac Tool School in Ohio, USA. Training was given on products, sales, computer software, and health and safety. When I first went out by myself in my van I felt well-prepared for the journey ahead.
 
“The ongoing support has been equally fantastic, too. There’s the annual Tool Fair where the entire tool categories are displayed with specialists on hand to help. At these events, I attend additional training seminars about sales and diagnostic equipment which ensures my knowledge is up-to-date on the latest innovations.
 
“Mac Tools has been great. Even though, I am fairly self-sufficient and can work most things out for myself, I’ve always found that if I need help from any of the Mac Tools staff then it is always forthcoming.”
 
If it sounds like Claudio is enjoying himself, it’s because he is. “It's a business that’s fun, but like any venture, it requires hard work. Nothing happens until you, as a Mac Tools distributor, make it happen. I still work as hard as ever, however, I’m fortunate in that I have a real passion and love what I do, so it doesn’t really feel like I'm working. The biggest positive about being a Mac Tools franchisee is that I always look forward to going into work in the morning.”
 
Asked if he has any advice to give to people who are tired of the daily nine-to-five grind like he was, and who are now thinking of making the move to self-employment with a Mac Tools franchise, Claudio says, “Don't hesitate, just go and do it. This is a role ideally suited to people who like people and can interact well. You don't need to be the world’s greatest salesman, but you need to be consistent in everything that you do. You need to be confident as you will get knocked back sometimes. Just don't take it personally if people aren't initially buying from you. Always remember that every day is a fun day and with every visit you are another step closer to that sale!”
Every year Mac Tools holds two Tool Fairs as part of the package of training and support it offers its franchisees. Not only is it a get-together, it also gives the head office team a chance to launch new products for the year ahead, provide all the information and knowledge the franchisees need to grow their businesses and continue offering the most innovative and up-to-date products to their customers.
 
At the last Tool Fair, Mac Tools decided upon the theme of Superheroes for the event and one franchise holder who really entered into the spirit of things was Claudio Zanobini. In his everyday routine as a Mac man selling top notch tools to technicians, he takes his Mac Tools tote bag with him to every workshop he visits. It has become something of a trademark for Claudio and is the reason he went to Tool Fair as The Incredible Tote.
 
Dressing as a superhero to attend an industry event is a classic example of how Claudio is willing to go the extra mile to make a real difference. This is typical of Claudio and something he has done throughout his working life. After leaving school he joined a national tyre fitting chain as a trainee. After more than 25 years with the same business, he had progressed through the ranks to become a Divisional Director with the responsibility of running 127 branches and managing 750 personnel. Yet despite this extraordinary success, he was tired of the demands of a senior management role.
 
Talking about the moment when he realised he needed to make some positive changes in his life Claudio says, “I found myself driving home from a holiday in Italy dreading returning to work on Monday morning. Prior to going on holiday, I saw an advert for Mac Tools recruiting in the Norwich area and thought I would give them a call. I was on the phone at 9am in the morning and arranged a meeting for Friday of that week. I had the meeting in the morning and knew it was something I wanted to do, so I drove straight up to Bristol to speak to my line manager and handed my notice in right away.”
 
Since becoming the Mac Tools distributor for the Exeter area in 2010, Claudio has developed his own unique sales technique – a technique which inspired The Incredible Tote. He takes up the story of how it works, “When I make my first visit of the day it’s ‘show time’ as I use my tote bag to promote items. The bag creates an interest in the tools and my customers now look to see what deals I have when I call into their garage.
 
“It gives me the opportunity to have a bit of banter with my customers and I can use it to steer the conversation to what’s new and exciting. From there I can then get them to leave the workshop and head into the van where I have an even better chance of making a sale or up-selling. 
 
“If I don't sell anything out of the bag it’s not a problem, I mainly use it as a tool to get bigger sales. I have been doing it for a long time and it's a key part of my routine. People remember me because of it and that helps to build long-term relationships and they, in turn, lead to the big sales.”
 
Claudio certainly seems to have developed a winning formula for himself, and not just in terms of sales. In 2011 he was named Rookie of the Year by Mac Tools and he followed that success up in 2012 when he received a Gold Award from the company in recognition of his achievements that year.
 
Claudio is quick to point out that his ongoing success is not just down to his hard work, “The initial training I received when I started the franchise took place over five days at Mac Tools Head Office and European Headquarters in Sheffield and was followed by 10 days at the Mac Tool School in Ohio, USA. Training was given on products, sales, computer software, and health and safety. When I first went out by myself in my van I felt well-prepared for the journey ahead.
 
“The ongoing support has been equally fantastic, too. There’s the annual Tool Fair where the entire tool categories are displayed with specialists on hand to help. At these events, I attend additional training seminars about sales and diagnostic equipment which ensures my knowledge is up-to-date on the latest innovations.
 
“Mac Tools has been great. Even though, I am fairly self-sufficient and can work most things out for myself, I’ve always found that if I need help from any of the Mac Tools staff then it is always forthcoming.”
 
If it sounds like Claudio is enjoying himself, it’s because he is. “It's a business that’s fun, but like any venture, it requires hard work. Nothing happens until you, as a Mac Tools distributor, make it happen. I still work as hard as ever, however, I’m fortunate in that I have a real passion and love what I do, so it doesn’t really feel like I'm working. The biggest positive about being a Mac Tools franchisee is that I always look forward to going into work in the morning.”
 
Asked if he has any advice to give to people who are tired of the daily nine-to-five grind like he was, and who are now thinking of making the move to self-employment with a Mac Tools franchise, Claudio says, “Don't hesitate, just go and do it. This is a role ideally suited to people who like people and can interact well. You don't need to be the world’s greatest salesman, but you need to be consistent in everything that you do. You need to be confident as you will get knocked back sometimes. Just don't take it personally if people aren't initially buying from you. Always remember that every day is a fun day and with every visit you are another step closer to that sale!”

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