I read with interest Mitch Schneider’s comments in COM-PEN-EEEEEEE! (January, 2009). In my years in the parts business, I have always stressed the importance of empathy when striving to meet the needs of the customer.
Mitch apparently doesn’t appreciate Monday morning sales calls. I have other customers who don’t appreciate Friday afternoon sales calls.
Generally speaking, calling on a repair shop before 9 a.m. isn’t appreciated because the shop is taking work in.
Noon to 1 p.m., repair shops are at lunch.
After 4 p.m., repair shops generally don’t like sales calls because they are trying to get the work out.
So, add it all up and a salesperson has just 24 hours during the week to interact with the customer. Back out the afternoon movie or golf (depending on the weather), the Wednesday afternoon nap and two visits a week to Bass Pro, we barely have time to write an order.
I agree with Mitch about the professional nature of doing business by appointment. One reason that I have enjoyed the parts business has been the opportunity to interact with a wide range of customers.
The vice-president of purchasing of a major university; buyers at a steel mill, a mine, a shipyard; purchasing managers for large trucking company, contractors and amusement parks all require appointments.
The appointment is a thing of beauty. The salesperson arrives at the designated time.
There are no phone calls, employees, customers or other vendors to interrupt the meeting. The salesperson can get in, get business done and get out without wasting anyone’s time. And by the way, if the appointment cannot be kept, the customer calls in advance to reschedule.
If the salesperson is effective, the customer should welcome the COM-PEN-EEEEEEE.
And Mitch, please, a little empathy for the salesperson. If we don’t recognize that our timing isn’t right for you, tell us. No one will have their feelings hurt. It is just business.
Mitch, trust me, we do not want to wait around wasting our time just to waste your time or to irritate you.