I received one of those viral doom and gloom emails the other day bemoaning the state of Australia's economy. It was all the Government's fault. Our politicians are greedy and non-supportive of local Industry. All our manufacturing is moving off-shore. Our grand children will have to beg for bread and live in a toilet. All because of lack of leadership today.
The same day I also received this phone call:
" How much are your spa covers ? "
" $520 ", I replied.
" Is that your best price ?"
" Yes, it's the best price you will get for that quality of cover and level of service ."
" I can buy a cover for under $500 ."
" Yes, you can. Actually, you can probably buy them even cheaper than that if you shop around.
Bear in mind that you will be buying a Chinese cover or a locally made production-line copy, that will struggle to last 2 years before disintegrating ."
" Can you supply me for under $500 ?"
" Sorry, my price is very fair. The covers are locally made using quality components and we provide full after-sales and support. If you buy a cheap cover who will you call when it starts perishing? Will someone in China help you out? I can guarantee the seller here won't want to know you. Will the cheapie include measuring if necessary ? Who accepts responsibility if the cover doesn't fit properly ?"
He politely thanked me and moved on. I suspect my blunt responses were hardly the ideal sales pitch but I've never professed to be a great salesman. The product and my knowledge of the product and Industry have sustained me for over 30 years. I don't need to hard sell. Call it arrogance or even contempt but I've always had this belief that my product is the best and I know more than anyone else about the subject, so why would anyone go elsewhere?
Price, of course.
So many people buy on the bottom line. There is no consideration of value.
People actually prefer to pay $50 less for a cover that lasts 2 years instead of 15 years.
No, it's not just the Government's fault that Australia has a rapidly diminishing Manufacturing base. It's also market driven.
About 20 years ago a lady rang me to request a price for an above-ground pool cover. I quoted her and she then proceeded to inform me that I was a rip-off merchant. As an honest dealer, her comments actually cut me. We made about $30 from an above-ground cover and that included delivery, fitting, processing etc. It really wasn't worth starting the delivery truck for.
I quickly concluded that there is a pseudo market out there. People who are happy to buy inferior products and want to pay nothing for it. I never sold another above-ground pool cover and resolved from that moment forth to never compromise quality for price.
Fortunately my customers are discerning and receptive. I am grateful to the thousands of people who happily use my spa covers.