Mobile Tool Franchise Guide: List of Calls (LOC)

Mobile Tool franchises typically provide franchisees with a “List of Calls.”

[Note:  This page is a work in progress.  Please feel free to suggest additions/corrections below.]


Matco Tools franchise FAQ states:  “Matco Tools gives new franchise owners a “List of Calls,” which contains at least 325 potential customer names and contact information. Each territory is identified by the District Business Manager through surveys and customer interviews. This helps eliminate time-consuming cold calls, while increasing productivity and sales… Each Matco Tools Franchise has their own territory and “List of Calls,” so you never have to worry about overlapping or competing with other franchise owners.”

Snap-on franchise website states:  “The very first day you start your new business, you will have an established list of calls with plenty of professional tool users within it. The list of calls each franchisee is assigned is an established, protected list that the franchisee visits each week. A solid foundation of existing and potential customers means you don’t have to wait for customers to come to you; they are expecting you to call on them.”

Mac Tools states:  “One of the best things about Mac Tools is that franchisees are given a ‘List of Calls’ containing at least 325 potential customer names and contact information. Each territory is identified by the Business Development Manager through surveys and customer interviews. This helps eliminate time-consuming cold calls, while increasing productivity and sales.”

Cornwell Tools website doesn’t mention a LOC, but states:  “…you will receive an area of responsibility with achievable sales potential that correlates to success… Geographic routes are assigned and surveyed by your District Manager for solid potential for new and repeat sales… Daily computerized printouts of customers at specific locations, their buying history, their potential needs, and their outstanding balances due are generated by special software available for Cornwell Dealers from an outside vendor.”

Here are some of the complaints alleged by Matco distributors and ex-distributors related to franchisees’ List of Calls (LOC).  The allegations are not necessarily true, but worthy of investigation for prospective franchisees:

– Some List of Calls do not provide enough sales potential for dbrs to be successful or even sustain the minimum purchase requirement

– Some LOCs contain outdated, inflated customer counts, closed shops & shops counted multiple times

– Some LOCs contain high percentages of lower-potential customers (lube shops, road techs, tire techs, older techs, students who can buy through corporate program, etc.)

– The number of potential customers in a LOC (325) is only guaranteed at signing.  That number will dwindle via attrition (shops closing, downsizing, etc.) and Matco is under no obligation to replace them.

– Some LOCs are geographically dispersed with unmanageable driving time and fuel costs.

– Distributors are forbidden to call on or sell to customers not on their LOC, even if customer requests them or is not being serviced

– Preferential treatment given to some distributors who are given leeway in calling on shops not on their LOC, others aren’t.

– Some claim Matco often prefers to put new or available customers on a LOC they can sell to a new franchisee rather than an existing distributor even if it is on their route or they are struggling

– Successful distributors had shops removed from their LOC to give to others, then were terminated when their sales declined below the minimum.

UnhappyFranchisee.com commenters provide this information and advice regarding Mobile Tool Franchise List of Calls (LOC) (If you have comments or corrections, leave them below):

Former Distr wrote:

Matco places emphasis on the List of Calls of at least 325 potential customers. One thing that may not be discussed or considered is ‘Quality’ of that list.

I have many customers that are in their 50′s and 60′s and their tool buying days are coming to a close. On the other end how many on the list are tire techs or lube techs that may never progress in the business?

Be aware of your potential customer base and their tool purchasing power, their income level, their desire to be a automotive or truck technician, many just need a job and have no desire to pursue a career in the industry. Others are truly pursuing a career.

Economic conditions vary across the country. Not sure how you can investigate it but are your customers credit worthy?

Analyze the shop on your list of calls in which these people work.

Is it just a small mom and pop shop, minimum wage/no benefits shop with a high turnover, or is it a High end progressive business, focused on quality, education and providing for future growth for their employees. These facts will help determine the quality and stability of your potential customer.

Be honest with yourself, out of the 325 potential customers, how many can afford to pay you to the terms necessary for you to survive the business. You need quality businesses with a low turnover rate.

Tommy Cheung wrote:

Signs to look out for:

–  overinflated head count, go to the shops listed and count the techs for yourself, do not include road techs that are never there, for example.

–  ask when you are given a shop in between distributors, and neither want goes to that shop, ask why?

–  check to see if you are going all over town, because the d.m. will try to find failed shops , just for headcount.

–  the d.m dosen’t visit every shop when doing a head count, some he will call and some he just copies from previous records.

Todd Allen Peterson:

Your Head Count will have close to the min. of 325 customers on your “List of Calls” Matco knows this is a low number because they want you to go out and establish more customers so they can start another guy on a route when they take them away from you. 325 customers in a none established route is a joke. I promise you will not be in the top of Matco Distributors unless you have around 500 min. to call on because the top guys every year have that many. If they say they only have 350 on their list of calls they are paper trailing some of their other accounts…

 

richard on November 27th, 2011 8:28 pm wrote:

i have seen…  other distributors were allowed to have customers, big spenders, in my area but we were told that we had an assigned area but i was told that we didnt have specific ares just a list of calls but i couldnt go in another distributors area to solicit from someone that he did not go to… there is too much greed and corruption going on here to even imagine for most people to comprehend… i have reported other distrubutors selling out from under me but it was okay because they were one of the good ol boys. you complain .they tell you to grow up. you try to play the way they play and its against the rules. its all bs…

 

Debbie*Lady Matco on November 30th, 2011 5:25 pm wrote:

Matco promised 325 potential customers.  NOT delivered – my List of Calls – is supposed to be certified mechanics that must purchase tools to do their jobs.  MY list is HIGHLY inflated and I have IN WRITING the proof to back it

guest2 on December 1st, 2011 2:18 am wrote:

I… drove my list of calls and reviewed all documents before signing and knew what I was getting onto. You still have to treat this as YOUR business and those distributors that do that do fine.

Former Distr on December 7th, 2011 10:17 am wrote:

I have my list of calls in front of me, the one that Matco will probably give to any prospective franchisee that is interested in my old route. The one that I provided to my Lawyer.

How can I service 80% of my route when

-3 shops, totaling 47 prospective customers are listed THREE times

-6 shops closed totaling 18 prospective customers

-employee counts are off by more than 20 people

– 6 shops were given to another distributor to call on – 26 prospective customers

PROSPECTIVE FRANCHISEE’s – DO NOT Trust the ‘List of Calls’. I don’t remember how much time you are given the list in advance of signing papers, but VISIT EACH AND EVERY SHOP ON THAT LIST PRIOR TO SIGNING!

In addition to the problems above, I had 3 shops on one road that REFUSED to allow Matco Tools in because of the previous Distributor.

Make sure you know how many in each shop actually buy tools. There is a difference between a ‘mechanic’ and a ‘tire tech’. Check for the number of ‘students’ working, they will not buy from you, they will buy through the Matco Tech Ed Program, that goes for Instructors too, I have three of those in my area, they also buy direct from the Tech Ed Program.

Relentless on December 8th, 2011 10:45 am

Wow! These statements imply that we have territories with our “List of Calls”. So we don’t have to Overlap. Very Interesting. Kind of implies you can call on shops as long as their in your territory.

Why would Matco tell you this to get you to sign and go to training, then when your successful come to you and make you give up the shops you established with your DM. My RM told me they were unsecured and I didn’t have a territory I had a “List of Calls” and if I didn’t comply “Yes” I could be terminated.

By the way this Distributors route was laid right over the top of me since I had established the shops and not gone off my route. Kind of contradicts the above statement. Don’t you think?

Former Distr on December 14th, 2011 11:47 am

The whole basis of your potential business is that List of Calls, and they neglect to even know if it is valid. I have written proof that it is a ‘fabricated’ list, and that no one ever personally visited the ‘calls’ to verify they were in fact even a business at that location.  This is fraud that goes all the way to the top.

Bob Tremblay on December 16th, 2011 7:40 pm

I became a Matco distributor in 2007. when seeding my route with my DM I found shops that were not on my list of calls a couple were not being serviced and he stated I could service them and he would add them to my list of calls. several other ones belonged to another Distributor.

when I finally got into my route I found out several of my shops here taken away from a couple other distributors. This did not make them happy and made it difficult for me to do business with them.  I also found out that my route was made up from a distributor that matco had terminated. he had 3 routes then downsized and went back to 1 route keeping the best shops. The portion of the route I received was the portion that he found to be unprofitable and wouldn’t service any more. Thats why Matco terminated him.

Debbie Solko on 2011/12/30 at 3:02 pm wrote:

Economic conditions of a area MUST be considered! Regardless of the stories otherwise, one MUST consider the reality of the buying ability of their potential customers. Research the average income of your prospective techs. As simple as a phone call or looking in the Want Ads If the local shop is only offering $10 – $12 hour and it I’d FLAT rate- How much will REALLY be left for these guys to buy tools ?? I know guys that simply can’t afford a $25 weekly payment Hell that is $100 bucks a month! Then there are the techs on a LOC that are seasoned veterans, they have a lot and NEED LITTLE! Ask yourself can you really get 200 of the guys that make so little to spend $25 week, every week?

Former WI Distributor on 2012/01/01 at 4:07 pm wrote:

I was with Matco for over 8 years and forced out due to low purchase average. After losing 15 – 20 shops in my territory I could not keep up with the economic downturn. After asking multiple times for an expansion to my route since the one next to me was vacant…I was shot down. My customer count (True) was in the area of 200-225. The new distributor now has both routes. I had to call on vacant areas 20 miles way to keep my TP going. My first 5 years were the best but when I started losing shops and asked for help I was thrown to the curb. Now after losing over $150k, Im determined to follow through with this lawsuit.

Matco has many fraudulent ways of doing business with all the risk on the Distributor…

[Note: This page is a work in progress. Please feel free to suggest additions/corrections below.]

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5 thoughts on “Mobile Tool Franchise Guide: List of Calls (LOC)

  • December 31, 2011 at 6:53 am
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    If there was an established previous route with a proper head count, why would the D.M. go around town trying to get more head count?

    My route was patchy at best, now I see why I was going in between guys who had stops right next door, and were not servicing the shops that were given to me and now I see why.

    The shops I was getting were dead shops with either techs quitting or no business and weren’t buying.

    One of my shops in my area was the skyway express. Another distributor was going out of his route and into my shop trying to sell, I told my d.m and nothing was done until I called the distributor and told him he could not go in there.Another shop of mine was 10 miles out of this guys way, same dist, and he was sneaking in on saturday trying to service this shop, I drove by and caught him, told d.m. and nothing was done.

    Just saying, distributors want more head count and they will try anything to get more count, watch your back, because they will stab you in the back to get more head count.

    The territory is not big enough to count for shops closing, techs quitting and shops not replacing them, my route was also inflated with road techs, marine techs and heavy equipment techs who were always on the road, the count needs to be for actual techs that work in that shop and are there.

    Some of my route sheets were copied and show an old date on them, which means the d.m just copied and put in my route book.

    DO NOT BUY A MATCO FRANCHISE UNTIL THE CHANGE POLICY, AND WATCH YOUR D.M AND R.M.

  • December 31, 2011 at 8:29 am
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    If you do sign up as a Franchisee with Matco Tools, the will provide a List of Calls as 325 potential Customers. What happens after the fact, when you find that this list is inadequate to maintain your business, whether due to shop closings, layoffs, bad economy or false entries in the list?

    Section 12, page 30 of the FDD:

    “Matco provides no assurance that the potential customers will acmally become your customers, or that due to economics, demographics or other reasons, the number of actual or potenrial customers, and/or the businesses identified on the List of Calls, will not increase or decrease after the date of the Distributorship Agreement.”

    Some distributors have reported that Matco has modified the route for them, taking some and adding some. But others also have reported, like myself, that Matco refused to assist in that matter.

    At best, Matco is inconsistent and unfair in the way they handle this matter.

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  • January 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm
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    When I started with Matco in April of 1995 there was not a list of calls. We had territories which gave us opportunity to expand our business and become successful entrepreneurs. After about 6 or 7 years the rules changes and the was to be a list of calls. This was a concept that Snap-On was using and Matco was going to try molding their franchise in the same fashion. When I joined up with Matco their moto was “Distributor Driven”. When I left Matco their motto was “Buy it From Matco”. Some distributors saw that as a comment for the customer to buy tools from Matco. The reality was that they were telling their distributors to buy all their merchandise from Matco or there may be ramifications.

    When I left Matco after 8 1/2 years I WAS NOT struggling. I could see the path they were taking and I was not walking down it. After 7 months of working for someone else I knew I had to go back to selling tools. It was and still is what I love to do more than anything else. I joke with people that chrome runs through my veins. A couple friends of mine from Matco had went to selling for Cornwell Quality Tools and told me that this is a company which still cares about their dealer force and they were extremely happy with their choice. After selling Cornwell Tools for over 5 years I must say ” There is a difference”. As much as I enjoyed being my own boss and selling tools with Matco; Cornwell provided a much more dealer oriented atmosphere. Oh yes, and a lot more profit.

    I have sold for 2 tool companies and have had 3 different routes, made a good living the entire time. I am not naive to the struggles of a new dealer as I have been “The new Dealer” 3 times. With much hard work and dedication this business does work. I believe this so much that 2 1/2 years ago I took on the challenge of becoming a District Manager for Cornwell. It is my goal to help dealers enjoy the success I have had in this business over the past 17 years. Selling tools is by far the most enjoyable thing I have ever done, I can not see myself ever doing anything else.

    The American Dream is still alive, but it does take lots of hard work and dedication. Thanks

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