Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The product sells itself

Exhibit 1. ESO is in final prepartions for opening an office. We've found a location and we're working on fixing the place up, etc. I've been asked to take care of the equipment: computers, printer, fax, copier, etc. I spent a couple days going to every office automation showroom in town giving them a list of requirements and requesting their quotations. After that I waited 3 or 4 days but other than one computer shop, no one had sent anything. I had to call companies and chase them for quotations. It took over a week. It was frustrating as hell. "Do you guys want to sell stuff, or do you just have showrooms for show?". Once we had the quotations, except for the guy from Xerox, none of the salesmen bothered to give me any follow-up calls. I had to call them and tell them what I liked and what I didn't about their offers. I had to tell them what they needed to change. And of course I had to chase them again till I got the revised quotations. If I wasn't time-bound by a schedule to get the office ready I wouldn't have done any of the chasing. Anyhow, we went through all the quotations and chose the equipment and ended up buying the most expensive item from the salesman who had done the least amount of work. The poor guy from Xerox who was the most active salesman of the bunch, ended up getting just a small order. It didn't feel good at all giving the biggest sale to the guy who did the least work. Unfortunately the product he offered met our requirements more than the others. His product more or less sold itself.

Exhibit 2. A salesman showed up at our house around 7pm a couple weeks ago and said my brother had asked him to come. I called my brother to tell him that there's a guy waiting for him. He said he had told the guy to confirm to him if he can come at 7pm. Since the guy hadn't confirmed, he didn't come to wait for him. I told that to the guy and asked him why he hadn't confirmed. He said he was out of credit on his phone and couldn't call. Anyhow, I found out he works for LG airconditioners, so I thought I'd take advantage and find out more about them for my house. Turned out he only deals in central A/Cs and I need split or cassette type for my house. He promised he'll get someone from that other department to call me. I'm still waiting for a call. He never will, of course. But unfortunately, when the time comes to buy A/Cs for my house next year I will probably call LG for a quotation. After all, they're the world's largest manufacturers of air conditioners (or so they claim).

Something's definitely not right here. They are the sales people. It's their job to get us to buy their products. We shouldn't be chasing them around and doing their jobs for them. Don't these people care about making a sale. Don't they have any quotas to meet.

When was the last time you bought something in Oman because the salesman was good and convinced you to buy his/her product? More often than not they don't really market their products. They're just their to give you the price and nothing more.


Blue Chi said...

I never shopped around like that in Oman to have any sort of experience to contribute in this post, but I would like to hear from other people.

Arabian Princess said...

From my experience so far, Sales people in Oman need extensive cusomter service training!!
I had a simmiler problem when I bought my trademil .. we paid and everything and my husband had to literaly beg the people to bring it.. and when they brought it home they didnt even care to fix it up, promising that somone will come the next day to fix it .. and guess what? they never called!! we had to fix it ourself!

illogicist said...

Yep, they never call. You want to get a watch fixed or something, you need to call them. Order a laptop, you need to call them - nevermind them saying they'll call you (only if you ask them to) - its all lies. I reckon its because they call from their personal mobiles, and since they all use prepaid they're concerned about credit (as is everyone who uses prepaid - thank god for postpaid), and so they just wont call you.

One exception are the dudes from the Phillips service center. I found their service to be top notch. My shaver broke down last week, so I took it in to be fixed. The next day I got an SMS with a quotation of the price, and asking me if I wanted it done. I replied that I did, and a couple of days later I got another SMS telling me the job was complete. I also got a warranty on the replaced part. Very impressive service.

Kay said...

i think its mainly because here in oman, ppl dont want to pay extra for good service. its just not within our culture to tip, i remember once i was out for dinner with friends i left a tip and my friend was like why??? they took a service charge u dont have to leave a tip.

OceanDream said...

Speaking of LG salesmen. I went to their showroom in Araimi complex a few weeks back to get an idea of their prices regarding Split units as well as casette types because no one ever got back to Muscati regarding the prices. When I asked him about casette types he replied by saying they don't have any. I specifically asked him if they just didn't have them in this particular showroom, and he replied saying that they don't make them. He didn't even bother to make a call or enquire. That same night, my brother in law, managed to get me prices on LG casette ACs from their main brach.

Hmmm.. I guess they make them after all. Perhaps I should have gone and informed the clueless salesman.

Nash said...

Salespeople are paid peanuts, they are paid on percentage basis. Thats why when it comes to single orders they dont take it seriously. Show them a corporate order, they will run after you like a pack of dogs!

Bowsher said...

I quite often end up going for inferior products simply because lack of interest/service from the sales people. So much so, when shopping for products for our house I ended up most of the time with my second or third choice supplier because of this.

I wonder why it is like that here. I have heard the conventional explanations but am not convinced.

DevilishAngel said...

Our beloved country lacks people with expertise in 3 main areas: Marketing, Sales and Customer Service. Whether its a restaurant or any recreational place, a showroom (of any kind; furniture electronics, cars...), telecom company etc. customers don't just have to pay to get what they want, they also have to BEG!

illogicist said...

@OD: if I were you I would go back and tell him 'hey look what I found you useless person, casette units...are you sure you work here?' or something like that. Not only are they doing LG harm, theyre doing normal people harm too.

Mystique said...

Me and husband had the same problem. we were looking for a good digital camcorder and found the new JVC on the net (records on hard drive) anyway we went to the showroom in araimi.. the guy said they don't have them yet but they will arrive by the end of this month.. and we told him we would be interested in one .. the guy took our number.. but never called.. i had to call him back and found out the product arrived a week ago and he will call back with a price !! anyways we had to chase him for a few days and finally managed to buy the camera yesterday..

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