A day late and a dollar short once again as I write this article on the heels of a major publications. This article of mine has been half written for a few months now and I wanted to see if there were other small companies who have had or are having similar experiences like mine. Oh well, as the old sales axiom goes-’If you can’t be first, be different.’ Actually it’s a good thing because I had no way in researching the fine details that the latest PCT Special Report- A Constant Partner by Kristen Hampshire so completely supplied.
Kristen’s article is very good and complete with PCO testimonials of what a great Distributor brings to the table. Friendly service, quick and accurate answers to questions and just an overall ‘silent partner’ and a great resource whose value is very important.
Also in her article was the take from the perspective of the distributor themselves. It is their contention that they “hear us” and have made great strides to become that ‘most trusted partner.’ New innovations on the web and in customer service are a top priority as they vie for the coveted title of “My Primary Distribution Partner.” But I wonder, is this true across the board as the article seems to suggest?
My Vantage Point
At the great risk of having my hypocritical meter jump off the charts I really only have anecdotal evidence to support my view. What has happened to me personally or a friend of a friend I heard about while eating lunch with a colleague. There are several distributors who service my area but only two in my town and over the years I’ve spent a lot of money with all of them. I can say however that with the exception of one distributor, I have found myself in the 4% of the respondents they have cited. (maybe that’s why they are my secondary sources) So while I enjoyed the PCT article and cannot refute the graphs and many responses they got with their exhaustive and full research efforts. I can only give you what repeatedly and predictably happens to me whenever I go to my 2nd or 3rd choices……. And no, I’m not naming names but;
Has This Happened To You
Do you; Wait for sometimes an hour or more to have your order filled? This even when you’ve called ahead & there isn’t another soul in the shop.
Do You; Only find out part of your order isn’t in stock as they are coming out with what they do have and that you’ll have to wait several days for it to come in?
Do You; Get the feeling that you’re looked at as a cheap skate when you ask about a products price and then change your mind based on that? (I’ve seen the rolled eyes)
Do you; Dread going to the distributor because you know something in the transaction always seems to go wrong?
Do You; Feel like you’re interrupting the staff as they drag their shuffling feet from the warehouse to the front desk and plunk down to take your order?
Do you; Feel as if you’ve spent enough money over the years and have earned a better pricing level but never received it?
Do you; Know the managers name or more importantly, does he know you?
Do you; Often have to call about the bill as there are errors, over charges and even late fees on billing that’s not even 30 days old?
Well, that’s my little survey and I’d be interested to hear your comments. Maybe there’s something I haven’t listed or perhaps you feel I’m way off base. To me it’s all good, I have a fine relationship with my primary supplier and if I had been surveyed they would have received high marks. But as they say “get it while the getting’s good” and right now it seems the distributors are listening, so maybe it’s time they hear you and maybe it’s time they begin to shine.