“ABC: Always Be Closing.” While this Ben Affleck line from the stock market scandel film “Boiler Room” might be the defacto motto of the sales industry, when it comes to longevity however, the sale itself is less important than ensuring the customer receives what would best suit their business’ needs.
Take for instance, a very popular item here at Restaurant Equipment World, Ice Machines. As a whole, customers tend to be novices when it comes to Ice Machines and either try to order the cheapest unit or end up attempting to order one piece of a combination of units they would need to even have an ice machine that was operable. There are numerous factors for the customer to consider that would simply never occur to them and in a situation where they can simply place the order hassle free online, going that extra step is what will differentiate our company from our competitors.
About a year ago, I received an order for a Manitowoc S500 Ice Machine from a gentleman in California. There was an immediate red flag because the machine was ordered without a bin, so I knew right away that I should probably get in contact with the customer. I gave him a call and found out he was purchasing the machine for his son’s baseball team at a small college. This being the case, a maximum of 25 guys were going to be using this machine 3 hours a day, 3 months out of the year. 560 lbs of daily production seemed an awful lot like overkill. Instead of just selling him the requisite bin for the machine, I suggested that maybe he would want to go with a compact unit, the Manitwoc Q-130, which produces about 130 lbs of ice in a given day and is built in with an 80 lb bin. I also suggested that with the extra money he would have left over with the difference in cost between the two units, he should purchase a filter and replacement cartridges. He agreed, the order was placed, and everything arrived fine.
A few months later I received a call from an associate of the gentleman who placed the ice machine order. It turns out that the cafeteria was planning an expansion and we had been recommended for the equipment they needed. By making a little bit less on the initial sale but providing the customer with what best suited their needs, we ended up generating a whole new client and a much greater source of revenue. In this industry the dollar is and will always be king, but it is important to remember that the continued success of any enterprise is not based upon a price being 30 cents less than a competitor’s, but in the dividends paid to the customer for the investment of their faith in your brand.