Trend Talks: Anna Claire Conrad

Now that we’ve kicked off 2015, there’s one thing on everyone’s minds—making more money this year than what was made in 2014. In the gear manufacturing industry, there’s a sure fire way to ensure that will happen… increasing sales.


In any business where a product is made available for consumers, that company’s livelihood, longevity, and wellbeing all come down to one thing—successful sales.

And no matter how much it pangs me to say it, money does make the world go ‘round.

I consider myself a romantic of sorts. I love to travel and make connections with people all over the world. I love to read, write, and cook. I look forward to both exciting new adventures and lazy days spent at home with my fiancé and our dog. And on any given sunny day, I’d much rather spend my day outdoors than cramped in an office cubicle.

Luckily, I’m able to do most of those things when I please, but the only way I’m able to enjoy a few of my favorite things is by going to work every week day and doing my best to put out the best quality product I can.

The same goes for a company’s sales department.

At the core of any successful business is a strong sales department, and at the heart of any strong sales department is a collection of salespeople who can push what they’re trying to sell. In an industry as niched and tight-knit as ours, sales are especially important, whether it’s the sale of machines, services, tooling equipment, or even a single gear.

There are several ways that salespeople go about pushing their product. Some practices have been around for decades, such as advertisements, emails and email blasts, regular snail mail, and telemarketing. Others may even take a page out of the boy scouts’ book of business by going door to door to meet their quota.

And, then, there are some methods that have only come about over the past 10 years or so, namely utilizing social media to promote a business. This can get tricky, though, because you don’t want to flood current or potential customers’ Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Twitter feeds with a lot of white noise, aka irrelevant or annoying information. Even with the safety blanket of a computer screen, you have to maintain a personal relationship with the people on the other side of the World Wide Web. As sales people know, the fastest way to kill a potential sale is to come across as overbearing, even online.

Others may rely on their products and research to speak for themselves at events such as the annual Gear Expo, where you’ll be able to witness some of the new products United Tool Supply Company is debuting in the later part of 2015, or the annual Fall Technical Meeting hosted by the AGMA, where scholars come together to share their knowledge of the gear industry.

Then, there are some manufacturers who have been around for so long that their reputation for quality products and customer service do the selling for them. Companies such as these can keep customers for generations if their business is handled appropriately. Two prime examples of successful family businesses can be found in our Q&A with Marvin Nicholson of Pentagear Products LLC, where Nicholson describes the history of his veteran-owned family company and how it got to where it is today, and in our company profile on United Tool, where we discuss the company Rusty Young built and the legacy he left behind.

Ultimately, the best way to boost your sales revenue is to provide a quality product. That’s how United Tool made a name for themselves with the model 8600 Unite-A-Matic, which, even after 42 years, is still their most popular product. You can learn more about how United Tool made a name for itself in this industry by reading our company profile and learning about the legacy Rusty Young left behind.

Just remember these suggestions on how to improve your sales going into this new year, and good luck!