Impact Tools for Screws – Wrong Tool for the Job!
Screw design adapts to changing needs.
Having been in the industry for more years than I’d like to count, I have had my share of conversations with contractors and purchasing agents. If I simply do the math, well over a half a million calls during my career. So, saying that, I’ve had a pretty good finger on the pulse of the changes that have been made over the years in the designs of screws to adapt to the changing needs of contractors throughout the recent decades. For instance, changing the standard head size on larger size diameter screws for the gutter and roofing contractors from the 5/16 and 3/8 hex heads to a one size fits all ¼ tall high hat to save them time from having to constantly change their drivers while working. One thing that has never changed, however, is using anything other than screw guns to drive in screws.
Not everyone on YouTube is an expert.
With the growing popularity of do-it-yourself videos, everyone with a camera phone and an idea has the resources to reach a larger-than-life audience. This can be good or, in some cases, not so good. Not everyone is an expert. If you are not sure what tools are best to use with your fasteners, ask your fastener representative. If they don’t know the answer, a good representative should be able to find out the answer for you.
In the fastener industry, we have seen the not-so-good side of these types of do-it-yourself videos. I’ve seen videos that were directed to contractors and do-it-yourself guys, encouraging them to use impact tools to drive their screws in order to make the job quicker and easier. If you have already tried this, you would think that this was the case. At first. Until, months later, when your gutters are falling from the eaves, and you have the additional cost of labor and materials returning to restore them. The old saying ‘pinch a penny to lose a pound’ becomes a reality.
NO IMPACT TOOLS WITH SCREWS!
The impact wrench was designed to drive large wheel nuts into wheels. When you think of the way that a screw was designed to work, the motion of ‘impacting’ a small screw in the same way, doesn’t at all make sense. Screws being installed with this improper tool can be fractured or otherwise compromised in their ability to do the job they were designed to do because the impact tool is adding stress to the fastener which can be dangerous as well as costly. The damage that these improper tools are causing is creating enough concern among manufacturers and distributors that there have been discussions of stamping ‘NO IMPACT TOOLS’ on the boxes of screws in order to get the word out.
Using an impact tool with your painted and powder coated screws can also cause your paint to chip. After spending the extra money to make sure that your screws match your metal roof or gutters, who needs chipped paint?
It’s the wrong tool for the job.
Although initially, an impact drill may drive your screws in quicker, in the long run it could be the biggest headache you’ve ever created for yourself.
Zip and Tek Screws, That’s What We Do!
Secretaries. Let’s really talk.
Despite the stigma that sometimes exists between a salesperson and a “gatekeeper”, we are not two parties who are “diametrically opposed” to each other.
You have important goals and responsibilities, and I respect those goals. I have goals and responsibilities as a salesperson, and I’ve spoken with secretaries who have made the particular hour at work that I’ve called them an extremely pleasant experience.
It’s about relationships. I’ve learned that over the years of being a “phone sales person extraordinaire”. I know all about the sideshow sales people who call you guys and try to “trick” you into letting them speak with your buyer. It’s an unfortunate stigma that CAN come along with phone sales.
I don’t think that’s a logical approach, and I never have.
I’ve learned over the years that the ladies and gentlemen who answer my phone call, initially are the ones who are keeping things rolling smoothly for your company, that they field calls from tons of sales people, sometimes on a daily basis, on top of all of the other functions you perform to keep the wheels well oiled. You’ve got the inside information on the inner workings of your company, and I respect that responsibility. I know that just like me, you benefit from and appreciate the words “Thank you and “Please”. It’s about “The Golden Rule”. Angela, Kristin, MaryLou, Lori, Debbie, these are all ACTUAL NAMES of secretaries I look forward to speaking to, each time I call the contractor’s company, whether they’re buying zip screws and tek screws from us, or not.
Keeping this in mind has granted me successful relationships with many secretaries and office managers of our clients that I keep in contact with, quite comfortably, as time goes on. I wanted to write about how important these relationships are to me. I wanted to thank the ladies and gentleman that I speak to on a fairly regularly occurring basis, at the outset of a lot of the phone calls I make on a daily basis. Thank you for each laugh, for each additional cup of coffee we both laugh about having as soon as we get off the phone with each other, for every smile that stays on my face, while I’m holding for our client, or prospective client that was a result of our short but uplifting conversation.
This cup of Joe is for you. Cheers!
Selling Zip and Tek Screws – The Art of Customer Service
Mastering customer service, so you don’t have to perform ‘customer service’. When I first started this job, selling tek screws and zip screws, I knew I had the right intentions in mind. But, I also knew there were things I needed to focus on, in order to make this position fulfilling, all the way around. Fulfilling for our customers, for our prospects and for the company I work for itself.
- What were my goals?
- What were my priorities?
- What could I bring to the table, for all involved?
It always starts with the customer. When you put yourself in their shoes, you are just much more geared to be a valued source. What are their needs? In what ways can I benefit their business? Having this particular mindset during a conversation with a prospect or a customer pretty much guarantees a healthy, business relationship.
How can I answer questions or concerns that any contractor would understandably have for me, during an introductory phone call?
Answer: By having a thorough and consistent knowledge of my product. By having confidence in the product that I’m selling. By staying on top of a changing market and doing the best I can to offer the best deals, and the products that are conformed to suit their business. But more importantly, by understanding the customer’s needs from the beginning.
What is customer service?
Answer: Service to the customer: before, during and AFTER the order is placed.
This is why I ask questions. Questions that are constructed FROM THE BEGINNING to find out what I can do to benefit the customer.
- “What items are you using the most of”?
- “What application are you putting your current fasteners through”?
- “What are you main concerns when it comes to screws/fasteners”?
- “What quantities would work for your overall needs, while saving you the most money”?
Questions like these guide both me, and the contractor I’m speaking to along a certain path. The path to a mutually beneficial relationship between my company and our customers, a path to success. We are always geared towards gathering information that can only benefit the client.
Taking the time, in the beginning, to find out more about a customer’s needs, and listening, REALLY listening, are key to my position, here.
Another position I take when I’m on the phone with a prospective client: I pretend I am THEM.
Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I am off my rocker, this I what I mean by that statement: I put myself in the customer’s shoes, IN THE BEGINNING.
- “What would I want to have happen, if I were the person on the other end of the line”?
- “What would make ME happy”?
- “What would make ME satisfied”?
Thinking along those lines from the beginning goes a long way towards creating a productive, functioning, business relationship, from the start.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned along my road to learning better customer service: Accept responsibility:
This kind of attitude means that we truly start out with an attitude of servitude. In other words, we are here for YOU. If there is something we can do BETTER, we will do everything in our power to do so. Having an open mind and attitude as representatives of this company allows for the quickest, most efficient process, possible.
Another one of the ideologies I try to stand by is: “Leave the customer with more service than he/she was expecting to get”. Helping a customer make the correct and most cost-effective decision is paramount, in what I do.
Lastly, we are not entirely selfless in our pursuit to be Number One in customer service in our industry. We realize that a strong business connection with our customers can only instill an even stronger foundation under our own feet. It also confirms that All Points Fasteners stands out, among the many suppliers available to contractors. We understand that the more successful our clients are, the more successful our business is.
I want to change the perception people have about telecommunications. I want them to finish a conversation with me, having full confidence that I’ve just provided them with quality, and lasting service. I want them to feel GOOD about having received my call.
The goal, ultimately, ends up being this: Good Customer Service. So, I don’t end up doing any… ‘customer service’.
What Do All the Numbers Mean?
Did you ever read the label and wonder what all the numbers represented? Well, here’s your decoder ring!
Example: 12-24 X 7/8 Hex Washer Head Self Drilling #3 Drill Bit
12 – Represents the thickness of the shank. Think dress size. The bigger the number, the thicker the shank.
24 – Represents the number of Threads per Inch also known as TPI. The higher the number, the finer the threads, which are best used in metal applications. The fewer the threads per inch, the coarser the threads, the faster the screw will drive and are the preferred threading for wood applications or wood studs.
7/8 – measurement from underneath the head to the tip of the screw. In the case of flat headed screws, the length is measured from the top of the screw to the point.
#3 Drill Bit – Drill bit tips range from #2 to #5. They do not represent the size of the hole that they will drill but do represent the thickness of metal they will drive through. But we will save that for another tip!
Self-Drilling (Tek® Screw) Primer – It’s All About Education
Sharing our knowledge of commercial fasteners such as self-drilling screws, also known as Tek® screws, with contractors is important to us.
Based on years of experience having to match screw requirements with nothing more than descriptive word phrases, we knew the primer teaching contractors how distributors call out fastener specs would be beneficial and probably save not only time but money when ordering screws.
And we know that the more information we arm contractors with on the screws they could be using to improve their business, the more we will be contributing to their success.
So, All Points Fasteners is all about presenting solutions that solve real problems for contractors.
We Love Christmas!
All Points Fasteners would like to celebrate an old Christmas ritual. Merry Christmas from All Points Fasteners!
It’s time to set aside the day to day job of selling tek screws and zip screws for now ’tis the season for gifts, great food, family and travel. Most of us can relate to the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, running around town for last minute Christmas gifts, coordinating holiday plans and travel, grocery shopping, cooking, decorating the house, etc. But, what’s it really all about? We put in all this time and effort to create an atmosphere of cheer and wonder for the holiday season. In keeping with the spirit of the season, what do we think would be the perfect capper on any evening of Christmas celebration?
All Points Fasteners Fasteners would like to take time out to remind us of the forgotten art of Christmas Storytelling!
Picture it: you’ve just had dinner, you’re stuffed, and now the kids run to sit in front of the television, in some other part of the house while all the grownups sit at the table and discuss…. Business, politics, or family matters.
What happened to gathering around the fireplace and telling a story?
There was a time when everyone would gather around the consummate “storyteller” of the family and listen to that timeless classic “Twas The Night Before Christmas”,or some such other Christmas classic, in front of a group of enthralled children and…dare we say it… adults.
Let’s dust the cobwebs off of the long, lost tradition of storytelling during Christmas. It’s a great way to bring everyone together, in an organic and festive way.
How great would it be to watch your children’s eyes light up as you recount any classic Christmas story of their choosing?
Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer
A Christmas Carol
The Little Drummer Boy
The Twelve Days of Christmas
These classic Christmas stories can be told at any point during the Christmas season and are a great way to bring your family even closer together, during the holidays.
Pull up a comfortable chair, dim the lights (all but the Christmas tree!), gather the kids around and open up one of these story books. Delight the kids and honor a wonderful, old tradition: Tell a Christmas story for the whole family!
We hope this idea lends itself to a very wonderful Christmas experience for you, and your family.
Everyone here at All Points Fasteners would like to wish you a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Building Relationships One Call At a Time
I find that when I call a potential customer to introduce our zip screws and tek screws, the very first concern I have is recognizing the value of their time. An understanding of that principal is an important key to being a conscientious sales person.
We live in a fast-paced world, and the necessity for commerce, not to mention the level of competition in the market-place, can make it very easy to lose contact with the human touch. But, when we get right down to it, most people want the same thing: To be treated fairly, and with respect.
When I receive any sort of interruption in my daily routine, such as receiving a sales call, it throws me off of my current track. So, the first thing I have to wonder is… is this other track a track I’d like to be on? I have to understand that this may be the sort of thing that other potential clients or customers ask themselves, when they first get on the phone with me, during their busy day.
I started with this company, because I recognized its’ value to the customers, to the marketplace, and to me. I do the best I can to extend that trust and availability to each and every person I speak with on the phone, whether it be for the first time, or for the hundredth. What makes this job a priority to me, and to my customers, is knowing that I’m supplying a steady, quality product to the heating and air conditioning industry (among other industries) at a reasonable rate.
But, there’s more to my job, than that! I like getting to know people. In our instant gratification, transient society, it’s often essential to tap into a customer’s needs, while also respecting their time. But, sometimes, the ‘red tape’ can get in the way. That’s why building relationships with my customers is what I do.
But, I’m always happy to make them smile, before and after the fact! A smile and a laugh during a long, busy workday can go a long way towards rejuvenating the energy of all involved. I’m proud of the fact that our customers trust me enough to place some of their company needs and information in my hands. After those needs are met, I will check in on a routine basis, to make sure that those needs are continually met.
I hope I get a chance to extend a warm welcome from our company to yours!
~ Rebecca Marcotulli, New Account Specialist
Zip Screws And Tek Screws, Watch Out!
We’re excited to introduce our New Account Specialist, Rebecca Marcotulli. Rebecca oversees developing new accounts with potential clients, with the intent of procuring new business relationships with businesses that use zip screws and tek screws. This position was designed specifically with Rebecca’s unique talents in mind. Her job description entails contacting potential buyers and qualifying their specific fastener needs.
Rebecca has over 15 years of experience with “cold calling”, and has always had a knack for building a rapport with people she’s just been introduced to. This proficiency with creating immediate friendships with strangers was most likely facilitated and developed through interaction with her father’s 35 years of experience in telecommunications.
One amusing anecdote is how her father would occasionally put her on the phone at 6 or 7 years of age, where Rebecca would parrot what she’d heard her father say time and time again to prospective customers: “Frank, I hope you’re sitting down, because I’ve got a price that’s gonna knock you off your feet”, etc. Buyers were often amused by this pint sized, new addition to the conversation.
In lieu of her somewhat eccentric, “Traveling Salesman” sort of background, we’ve created a position for her unique talents. Rebecca is also a talented musician and singer/songwriter, and her consistently outgoing attitude has made her a valued, new addition to our team.
Zip Screws And Tek Screws, watch out! Becca’s come to town!