The other side of the counter – part IV


One of my avid fiends / followers brought to mind another engaging facet of our time behind the counter in a retail auto environment. Thanx for the reminder Sam! This is the early morning edition, out on the patio with a nice hot cup of coffee to cheer me on. You asked for it so here we go!

Is that the best you can do? YEP!

Bob Barker LMAD host

Let's makea deal

“Is that the best you can do?” “Is that MY price?” You get these responses uncountable times a day. And does it ever get old fast. YES! That is your price and YES! That’s the best I can do! And it is, for the most part, the same people over, and over, and over again asking the same questions. Mostly commercial but not always. I know money is tight but come on folks! This is not Let’s Make A Deal! And what makes you so special that you should get a different deal than any of our other customers?

And, PLEASE, don’t use the old ” I spend a lot of money here!’ schtick. Most of the time it ain’t that much and we have other accounts that smoke you on traffic and they don’t seem to have a problem with our pricing at all. And more often than not, if you do some simple discovery it usually reveals that they have either returned half of what they ordered or been suspended a time or two for lack of payment. Really makes you want to go out of your way for them, don’t it! And “Well, I guess I will just have to do business with (fill in the blank)!” doesn’t have a whole lot of weight either. In most cases at that point I usually tell them the directions and point them to the door. More than once I have backtracked a customer to that chain only to find out that they don’t want to deal with them either for the same reason! SHOCKING! What are the odds!

In this modern age of EBAY and other auction based sites we have all participated in these at one time or another. The price is negotiable. But I have never known any retailer having negotiable prices on their products. Try that tactic at K-Mart or WalMart and see if you get any response other than laughter. What it states is what it is. Flat out. In our business we do have retail and commercial customers just like anyone else. And these commercial customers do get a discounted price based on how much they traffic in parts. The more you traffic the deeper your discount. It’s really pretty simple. And I know we have competitors and we all know who they are. But we also know that their pricing structure is similar to ours. With that being said, it just irks me to no end when the comment comes around ” I can get it at (fill in the name of choice) for XXX”. With the previous statement that we know what our competitors are doing price wise, If ours is say, $55 why do you constantly pull the ole’ “I can get it for $25 over there”? That’s not even a close shot! 9 times our of 10 it is a horse crap story. And if you follow the procedures like you should (Wink! Wink! Nudge! Nudge!) for the most part the price is simply a few dollars off and we can match that no problem. Why do we have to do this dance every time we deal with these people? They have a very bad learning disability!

I know, as a major retailer we just put these prices and discounts out there as simple guide lines so we can sit around the counter and haggle over whether we should give it to you for free or not every time you come in or call. Are you serious!? We know who the major participants are in these exercises and they become a perpetually annoying bunch. And, for real, if Billy Bob’s Auto has the part for a third of what ours is… why don’t you just go there and quit bugging the fire out of me?! Because your pulling my leg all the time is getting painful and pissing me off! Just sayin.

Stay tuned!


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