SHELTER

May  2004

The Window Guy
A Dealer's Perspective

Let’s Be Real Here, OK?
Being Genuine with Your Customers is Important
by R. Mark Reasbeck


Welcome back to my world. I have recently discovered that I can no longer rely on my good looks to produce a monthly column that is of the caliber and quality that the SHELTER staff has demanded of me. This month, I will reach down into the depths of my soul to expose everything else wrong in this world.

This is so deep that I can’t even disclose the “location of inspiration” for this column.

“Use Genuine 
Replacement Parts”

We have heard this slogan for decades, especially in the automotive industry. My logical thinking here is, “Why are we replacing this part in the first place?” 

Wasn’t the original a “genuine” part? Obviously, the original “genuine” part has failed, so now I need a new “genuine” replacement part, so I can feel comforted that the “genuine” replacement part is as good as the original “genuine” part (that failed). Is this only making sense to me? (I still won’t disclose the location of inspiration.)
Most of what is manufactured has planned obsolescence. In other words, it is built to wear out or will be replaced by a new and improved model. 

Look at the dish soap wars. “Now with more scour power” is the TV catch phrase. Sorry, the “Scour of Power” comes from old-fashioned elbow grease. Even the toilet bowel cleaners have more “tiny bubbles” packed into the same-size package, so you have to conclude that you have been cheated over the years because they could not have packed these extra bubbles from the beginning. Maybe they’re not “genuine” bubbles!
Here’s another great one for which I can’t take credit. I recently picked up a “new and improved” can of pork and beans, now with “MORE” beans. I was thinking that I can’t go wrong here; I’m getting more food for my dollar. No price increase for the same-size can. What a deal. You may be wondering how they can do this. Simple, less pork to make room for more beans. They get consumers to think they are getting a good deal.

What’s This Got 
To Do with Windows?

I’m not sure if I know what beans have to do with windows. I’m just venting. It’s starting to look like I may have no point to this column this go round, but I have been issued a creative license to write this, and I’m not finished yet.

“Being real” seems to be a thing of the past. Stop and think of the products that are copies of the original. I’m picking on the car companies again. Here’s a quote for you, “Admire the quality of the well appointed dashboard with its rich, simulated woodgrain finish.” 

The food industry is full of its substitution products, too. For instance, there’s “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter,” and imitation sour cream.

Why do we spend so much time in this country trying to find ways to imitate by sacrificing at the altar of substitution? Before you jump all over me, I know technology has given us the ability to improve on the original in almost everything we use in the course of a day.

My REAL point to this whole column is this: be real and genuine to your customers. Just like you can spot that phony butter, your customer can see it written across your forehead. Avoid fibs at all cost. (Note: they’re lies if someone else tells them, but fibs if they came from your mouth.) 

A customer can live with the bad news, if it’s the truth, so be genuine. Don’t make claims about a product that are deceptive. When asked by a customer how your product compares to the “other” brand, tell them that they are a good competitor, but you would like to show them the features of your product. The customer will finish your presentation by asking if the “other” product has the features you just focused on. See, you were all betting I couldn’t take all that rambling and make a point out of it. To be honest, I had my doubts, too.

The Ever Popular Pet Peeve
This time, I have gathered my pet-peeve offering from my beloved sister-in-law. While recently moving into a new home, I was fortunate to hear her discuss her displeasure with the cable guy who was approximately five hours late. 

Not receiving any satisfaction from the voice on the other end of the phone, she promptly, and with authority, asked to “cascade” to the supervisor. What has cable got to do with dishwashing soap?

SHELTER

© Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.