The Truth is Somewhere in Between

Posted: April 17, 2015 in Opinions and Observations
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I try to look at disagreements with the following rule;

There are three sides to every story.

There is Yours

There is Mine

…… and The Truth is somewhere in-between.

Today again I heard a phrase on the news about someone wanting to start a conversation or dialog about a particular subject.  If it is a political topic, what this really means is they want the opportunity to shove their thoughts in your face.  Other bloggers have picked up on similar topics, so this is not unique to my personal experiences. I will not start a conversation like that but I have observations to share.  With that in mind think about that new toy you want to buy.  You have an idea what it does but not quite sure how it works.  It is not cheap, so you want to get a good deal.  Doesn’t everybody?  It is understood that sales or deals happen from time to time and you can expect some companies to offer quantity discounts.  Sales people expect and even appreciate this.  They do not expect you to even ASK them for a discount on a single small-ticket item.  Most companies will give you a discount on the printer for example, but you pay full price from there on to get the ink cartridges……

So you talk to the sales person for a while and they answer your multitude of questions to your satisfaction.  You say, ‘thanks’ and go home and buy the same thing on-line to save sales tax or to get more money off.
When it doesn’t work as easily as expected or not what they thought some people actually go back to the original sales person (who by the way may have lost the opportunity to make a sale or help another customer while you asked 20 questions and he did not make a dime from your visit… just saying) and ask for help.   When the ‘did you buy it here?’ question comes up, the sales / customer service person will rightfully no longer assist.  I want to ask again does everyone want a good deal?

I am old enough to know what the term tips in the food service industry came from.  It means To Insure Prompt Service.  You want your food hot, you don’t want to wait, tip the waiter/waitress.  I am more than willing to pay a sales person for their time and expertise.  As a sales person I EARNED the difference in price other stores might offer.

Some people may still want to have their cake and eat it too.  To some, I have to admit, they believe they get a ‘good deal’ by shopping for the best price and getting pre and post sales help for free.  That is just not how I roll.  That is my side of the story as a sales person.

Comments
  1. Great insight and I totally agree! Working on a local level to have support for your instrument is important.

    Neal Chin

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I agree also with your perspective of ‘local support’, Neal. I wish I would have put it that way. I have had many great customer/salesperson relationships. Over time you know your client and their needs, their equipment, their budget and desired goals. Like growing food locally, if you cultivate the local support you will be healthier, happier and wise!! Thanks for great comment.

      Like

  2. Thought provoking thanks. But is “To Insure Prompt Service” not “To Ensure Prompt Service”?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It seems to me that we will soon no longer have shops and actual people to talk to if this way of buying continues. I love coffee shops in bookshops, it is a perfect way to spend time and yes, you can buy books cheaper on line, but nothing beats flicking through a book – reading a few pages and sipping a coffee. You can’t do that on line.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. chuckcdg3 says:

    Going into a store without any intention of buying is referred to as “showrooming”. Forbes magazine printed an article about customer habits. A survey institute discovered 40 percent of people actually went into a store to buy, but changed their mind because they received poor customer service. This is in relation to a lack of product knowledge. I see this every day because I am a sales manager. However, I do not work for any particular store. I am a vendor. Smart customers realize I am the one they want to talk to in regards to product knowledge(PK). I love to sell because I enjoy educating people in the proper use of our products. When it comes to dueling swords with competitors, well, “The Truth is somewhere in-between”. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I am not sure if the cart was before the horse on this one. Did Internet sales force some shops to lower costs to compete or did the stores fail to maintain their strongest advantage over on-line sales by not keeping knowledgeable sales and support staff? Circuit City decided to fire all their commissioned Sales People and replaced them with non-commission minimum wage ‘clerks’. Now where are they? In my earlier posts I mention how fortunate I was as a sales person to speak with the manufacturer reps. They (you) are the ones with the best insight and I too love to share what I know with my clients. I would lose if it came to price alone, but if there were other issues or concerns, I would make the sale even if I could not ‘match the price’. If lucky, the sales rep will do the dueling with competitors and when properly trained, they will pick the best solution. Great insight. Thank you very much for your post.

      Like

  5. Sam McLean says:

    So true Midimike! I worked for the music company Allans Billy Hyde before they went into receivership and what you mentioned happened there all the time. Customers asking everything there is to know about a product and then going home to find it online. I remember one customer even had the nerve to tell me that is what they were doing, after I had spent half an hour with them, needless to say I just turned and walked away. Good old retail!

    Liked by 2 people

    • midimike says:

      Hey Sam! I am often surprised at the lack of understanding or appreciation people have for the work others do. Forget that it is difficult to know 200-500 products in-depth enough to know the difference between them and why one product is better for YOU than the other product which is better for THEM. In my opinion, most people do not even know what questions to ask, let alone what the answers mean! Important lessons. Coming through the school of hard knocks, you have learned and paid the price. I would hate to see local box stores all close down due to the expedience – yet impersonal – on-line shopping sites.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. demetrius13 says:

    Brilliant commentary! Cut to the chase, here it is. If people can’t appreciate that, tough toenails!
    Ya gotta call a spade a spade. And in the words of the legendary Calhoun Tubbs: ‘Wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it go: ”

    Spade Don’t Like It (When You Call a Spade a Spade)

    From the bottom of the deck you got the card that you played
    Afraid if you don’t cheat that you won’t make the grade
    You’re sitting pretty counting up the fortunes that you made
    A spade don’t like it when you call a spade a spade
    Yeah, a spade don’t like it when you call a spade a spade

    With insider tips you got the stocks you trade
    Need a wheelbarrow to carry all the loot that you made
    Got a smile on your face as you keep up the charade
    A spade don’t like it when you call a spade a spade
    Repeat

    Chemtrail sky, we see the lines that you sprayed
    Exterminating us like you got a can of Raid
    But when the light comes on you scatter to the shade
    A spade don’t like it when you call a spade a spade
    Repeat

    Can’t believe a thing from the statements that you made
    In a river of lies is where you choose to wade
    The shining light of truth is the one you can’t evade
    A spade don’t like it when you call a spade a spade
    Repeat

    Demetrius Blather

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I really appreciate the comments. I thought more people would disagree with me on this topic. Great poem (or lyrics)! Thank you for sending this my way. Very cool!

      Like

  7. wa99ins says:

    Your thoughts are dead on here, Mike. People want to know why their favorite B&M stores are closing and only retail giants are left. There’s nothing wrong with buying online, but if you actually go to a store seeking expert advice, you might want to actually make your purchases there, too. Otherwise those experts may not be there the next time you visit–or worse, they’ve been replaced by lower-paid drones who give you bad advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Thanks a bunch. You sound very familiar with both sides. I agree there is nothing wrong with on line sales….. but I have never found an on line support page that comes close to the depth and accuracy of someone that actually uses and understands the products. Kudos to you for seeing and knowing the difference!

      Liked by 1 person

      • wa99ins says:

        Thanks Mike. I’ve been selling guitars for 10 years. I’ve seen plenty of both sides.

        Online service can never touch B&M service.

        Like

      • midimike says:

        I could tell from your comment! You had the insight from years of ‘in the trenches’ experience. Guitars are such a unique instrument…. you can breath life into them, pour your soul out through them. But at the same time they have demands of their own. Reading a book or an article can never compare. I remember buying my first guitar and being literally overwhelmed by the variety of configurations of pick ups, the quality of the tuning heads, the materials used and workmanship among others. I would have gone totally in the wrong direction had I not relied on a great sales person. Yes, I bought a great guitar from that salesman and never regretted it. For you it sounds like much more than a hobby LOL. I am sure your customers are saying the same thing about your advice over the years. You should think of all those people you helped and how better off they are having listened to your years of experience. You are very welcome!

        Like

  8. Tom Robinson says:

    You NEED more people to disagree with you on this topic. For example, tips are basic income to server types. Don’t begrudge them an expectation of reward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • midimike says:

      In many ways you are so right. In today’s environment, where we expect perfection without compensation, TIPS are the only thing that helps people make ends meet. No one can live off of the paltry wages servers earn as a “base” salary. It is laughable to expect people to survive on that alone. I reward servers for their efforts and do not “punish” them for failures of the cook or wait times due to under staffing decided by management, again to save money for corporate investors. That said….. Some servers – like some sales people – earn and deserve more than others.

      Like

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