Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Dealers without a clue

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dealers without a clue

    Ok, pet peeve time. Something to move away from the wait.

    Since our AFG grant was announced, I have recieved 11 packages or
    envelopes from companies wanting to sell us a new fire engine.

    I have also recieved a number of mailings from people who want to sell us
    other items - congratulating us on the grant - but obviously not reading what
    we were given the grant for.

    A couple have the name of a guy who was Chief 10 years ago, not only
    insulting me, but telling me they don't update their information much.

    The biggest thing is, where in the world have you guys (the dealers) been?

    When we had only enough money to buy a few sections of hose, maybe
    a foam pack, some turnouts, where were you then?

    I know, it was not cost effective to spend time with us back then, when we
    had little money. Want to know something? It is not cost effective for me to spend time with you now.

    To think of all the trees that have died, giving their all for this crud!

  • #2
    Welcome to the world of sales & marketing. On the other side of the coin is the frame of mind: should we spend time with people with or without money? Salespeople and retail companies make money by selling things, and it's much easier to sell wares to people with money. Can't really say it's right, wrong or indifferent, but anyone that has spent time trying to put food on the table while working in sales will probably say the same thing.

    Now that doesn't give anyone an excuse for not knowing the current personnel in the station by any means. The other companies are probably thinking that you might need other equipment to go on the truck, or if their stuff is peripheral to fire trucks (light towers, etc) then maybe they're letting you know what the options are in case the truck salespeople don't.

    This is also why DHS went to not mentioning what the award amount was for at one point, but because of the freedom of information thing and spending taxpayer money they put them back.

    My own mentality is that of my grandfather's (door to door insurance sales) which is that you never know if the guy covered in dirt just sold his farm for a million dollars. So treat everyone like a great customer. Some dealers do this, others don't. Price isn't everything, and technically neither is service. Finding the right vendor means having a mix of both that you can sleep with.

    As far as dying trees, I think the same thing when I'm in line at the grocery store reading about another woman giving birth to alien babies....
    Brian P. Vickers
    www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    Emergency Services Consulting
    Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
    Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

    Comment


    • #3
      And there you have it. The million dollar farm. Or in this case, the 274,000.00 grant.

      Good salespeople know this. The live it. But that comes from the owner
      of the business. Hopefully this thread makes even one of them think about
      it.

      I have been doing retail for years, and am trying my best to downsize it to the point where I can focus my energy on different things. I still try to treat everyone that walks in my door as a valuable customer, I never know when those folks can be help to me.
      I probably will send them to some other source, but they will thank me in the end!

      Comment


      • #4
        I will add that when I was on the Hill, I got more inquiries asking what the recent hold up was about and when was the money coming from dealers/vendors then I did from our own firefighters! I was actually offended by the constant requests. Such is life on the Hill!
        "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
        -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

        Comment


        • #5
          And then there are salesman like the one we have running around the Northern part of our state that buys lots of beer for the head of the dept and then sells them the truck after they've drank the beers. Oh and knows the sales game well. And i am not joking about the alchol!

          Comment


          • #6
            At least it's only a fire truck. I know people that ended up married through the same "sales" process.
            Brian P. Vickers
            www.vickersconsultingservices.com
            Emergency Services Consulting
            Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
            Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

            Comment


            • #7
              Vultures is a word that I use to describe these sales persons! They just like swoop down for the kill on their prey and pick and pick until the last bit of reconizable lifeform is gone! They really irritate me! I actually had a salesman call the chief of our dept on wed right after the announcement hit the congressional office trying to bid on the truck. This chief didn't even know that they were awarded and yet this "vulture" was on the phone before the submit key had time to be depressed from the congressmans press release. Needless to say, this chief was not really happy with this guy. It would have been different if he called and said "Hey congratulations, I just read where your department recieved funding for a new truck. If I can help in anyway or answer any questions, feel free to contact me and then ask if he can send him some information", but no not this guy, its "hey you got an award now what address do I send the bid package to"

              Okay, rant and raved enough. So sorry about that. I still have my fingers crossed for everyone out there and hoping the fire grant fairy is good to all!

              Comment


              • #8
                The same thing happened with our heavy rescue in 2002. The same people that blew me off when I was calling for specs and pricing when I got the 1199A are the same ones calling and trying to kiss butt. The funny one was the guy that told me to call him when I had cash in hand after winning the lottery because we had a better shot at that.

                Hence the reason we bought from who we bought from, and have since purchased 3 engines and a quint from them. And if the growth of the area continues we'll probably be buying 4 more trucks from them within the next 6-7 years. The others didn't not win our business, they just plain LOST it. There's a difference, as ncfscd6 alluded to. Even if they weren't there beforehand there's a way to approach people. Common (or not so common) courtesy is a start.
                Brian P. Vickers
                www.vickersconsultingservices.com
                Emergency Services Consulting
                Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
                Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division

                Comment


                • #9
                  When we won our grant in 02 for PPE, the sales people started calling like crazy. I knew we had the award that morning. One called that afternoon selling PPE. I told him we did not have the money for anything. He said "have I got good news for you! You were awarded the AFG." I told him that was not funny not to kid like that. I finally told him I thought he was lying. Anyway I thought it was funny to let him think he had told us about the award. And No I did not buy any PPE from them!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We don't get grants like that up here, so I can't quite relate to those types of grant-chasing cold calls, but we do have our share of the "salesmen-of-the-month". I tend to be a hard sell for a new dealer the first time around. If they can't be bothered to put some effort in to learn who we are, investigate my questions and get back to me promptly, etc., I can't be bothered to give them my time either. The best way to get in my door is to come prepared for our environment/needs, and it doesn't hurt to bring me some shwag either.

                    I have a few suppliers that have worked hard for years, and even when we had nothing to spend, stopped by every few months to say hi, inquire about satisfaction of past purchases, and leave some schwag, or always knew your name and took care of you at a conference, trade show, etc. When the money does come around, it is much easier to reward that courtesy with loyalty.
                    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

                    IACOJ

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, what I wouldn't give to have salesmen calling me to help me spend the AFG money I was just awarded. Sounds like a heck of a good problem to have.
                      Last edited by Chief310; 10-24-2006, 11:28 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree. It never ceases to amaze me the number of vultures out there. In 2004 when we were awarded we had two salesmen we delt with. Both knew from the get go that we were going to look at similar items available on the market (SCBA's and TI's). One sales guy was actually shocked when we had them both come into the department one night at the same time with thier wares for us to look at, try out and debate the finer points off. In the end the choice was made partly because of the products and partly because of the price deal we got in our purchase. But to this day I can not help but think that at the very least everyone on the department had a chance to look at options and choose the equipment that best suited us.

                        This past year tying to get bids for a pumper was a nightmare. After doing our own research the truck committee narrowed it down to 3 manufacturers we wanted quotes for. We came up with bid specs and gave them to Toyne, ALF and Central States. Each one was told at the begining of the proccess that we were bidding for AFG Grant, although if the stars happend to align magically with the city fathers we might forgo AFG and attempt to bond (didn't happen because of a street project that put the city over thier bonding capactiy) The ALF guy actually spent two hours on the phone with me and never once called me back or sent in a bid. The Toyne guy (I must add that the only thing we have ever had and have today is Toyne in our station) blew off one meeting, rescheduled two more and finally showed up on a night we hadn't discussed (I just happend to be there working on the grant that night), and spent three hours of my time doing a bid but doing his best to talk me out of the truck we wanted. Never saw a bid from him at all. The Central States Rep? Called me a couple times a week, offered and drove us up to a department 100 miles away to look at a truck similar to what we specd and took us to the plant to see exactly what they make, what they offer and to sit down with the engineer to go over our specs line by line. We had a bid within 10 days and every question I had was promptly answered anytime I picked up the phone.

                        Regardless of AFG funding or not at some point we are going to have to find the money for a new pumper. Not sure how, but we won't have a choice in the next 5 years (current pumper is 1972). Now tell me, who do you think will be the company I go back to when I do have money in my pocket and am ready to spend it???

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Remember, if it wasn't for all the dealers clamoring for business, there would not be competitive prices.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ncfscd6
                            Vultures is a word that I use to describe these sales persons! They just like swoop down for the kill on their prey and pick and pick until the last bit of reconizable lifeform is gone! They really irritate me! I actually had a salesman call the chief of our dept on wed right after the announcement hit the congressional office trying to bid on the truck. This chief didn't even know that they were awarded and yet this "vulture" was on the phone before the submit key had time to be depressed from the congressmans press release. Needless to say, this chief was not really happy with this guy. It would have been different if he called and said "Hey congratulations, I just read where your department recieved funding for a new truck. If I can help in anyway or answer any questions, feel free to contact me and then ask if he can send him some information", but no not this guy, its "hey you got an award now what address do I send the bid package to"

                            Okay, rant and raved enough. So sorry about that. I still have my fingers crossed for everyone out there and hoping the fire grant fairy is good to all!
                            They purchased from that guy didnt they?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              After reading all of this I've got to chime in here. We hit last year for $252,000 and we had saved up about another $150,000 for a fully equipped CAFS pumper. When I was writing the grant and trying to figure how much to go for I called several vendors to get in the ball park. A local dealer that we have done business with cooperated fully as did a couple of others that were new to us. The one that I couldn't get to first base with was a vendor for a very large company that starts with "P". And I contacted them three times by phone and e-mail before they got back to me. When we made the list guess who called? They were not included in the process. We approached it with a spec committee and I did not hesitate to tell them the story. Some people have told me since that we limited ourselves by not including the "P" but I can still look at myself in the mirror. If they don't care about us when we need them, what will happen down the road when we need warrantee work?

                              Comment

                              300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

                              Collapse

                              Upper 300x250

                              Collapse

                              Taboola

                              Collapse

                              Leader

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X