Full Version: Snake oil

From: Michael [#8]
 7 Jun 2005
To: Rodney Gold (RODNEY_GOLD) [#6] 7 Jun 2005

I'm not infering anything.

I stated what the snake oil salesman told me. YOU have drawn the inference, not me. Why do you assume he's dishonest?

Here's another non-inference: I'm not as stupid as you are telling me I am.

Having an easy question answered IS a major issue. If the sales force/tech rep can't or won't answer the easy one, what's he going to when the box breaks and costs you thousands of dollars or, worse, the good will of your client?

Price IS important to me...as important as high quality merchandise and after-sale assistance. I buy the best quality I can afford. If you have a problem with my desire for prices, please tell me how I'm to know if I can afford to make a purchase? So, if you really think I'm just looking for the lowest price, you've made another very bad assumption.

It has been my experience that a sales person's attitude over a basic question (what colors are available, how much does it cost, etc) are indicative of how I will be treated AFTER the sale.

You show good sense when a caller asks such a generic question concerning engraving letters on stainless steel. In order to provide him good service you HAVE to ask those questions...what font, what size, etc. But what do you tell the anonymous customer that provides every bit of information you need to provide a quote?

When it is time to ask for prices, I ask. I ask prices on very specific items. In this case it was for a Laserpro Spirit model 30 watt laser engraver as listed ( also asked for prices on another model and for prices on both in 2 different wattages) on the Laserpro web site. He does not need to know my address, business name, or any other personal or professional information to provide the requested information. Whatever the price is, he threw away the sale because he told me I'm too stupid to know what I want or need.

How many sales have *you* tossed aside because of unearned arrogance?

I don't know if my indignation is righteous or not, but it is NOT misplaced.

From: Michael [#9]
 7 Jun 2005
To: UncleSteve [#7] 7 Jun 2005

I disagree with a lot of your views here, but this one time we *do* agree, and I want to say thanks for speaking up.

From: Michael [#10]
 7 Jun 2005
To: Dee (DEENA-ONLY) [#5] 7 Jun 2005

I have no problems with questions. I think I ask more than most sales forces care to put up with.

What gets my goat is being told I'm too stupid to know what I want or need (I want/need the price so I can decide if I can afford it). I get downright angry when the sales person refuses to answer such a simple straightforward question: how much do you charge for brand B, model Z, 3 gazillion watt output?

There are no variables to that. If there are addtional fees or recomended accessories, feel free to tell me how much, but a saleserson should not pretend he had been elected God.

The example you give is very valid where one question from either party would have saved a lot frustration, however, I disagree with your perception: the customer was not wrong...or no more wrong than you and your employee. But, this thread isn't to determine that. :-) 

Here's for everyone else reading and assuming I did not provide enough information for the distributors to provide accurate prices: All information was copied/pasted from their web sites. No tricks, no hidden or missing models or outputs, no gimicks like requiring a personal relationship before I'd let them tell me. DON'T ASSUME I DIDN'T DO MY PART.

From: Rodney Gold (RODNEY_GOLD) [#11]
 7 Jun 2005
To: Michael [#8] 7 Jun 2005

Heres a definition found on the internet

snake oil
A worthless preparation fraudulently peddled as a cure for many ills.
Speech or writing intended to deceive; humbug.

I don't think it leaves us in any doubt as to the meaning or the intent of your post.
If one of my customers had to say something like that about me in a public forum , I would be less than charmed and would consider some action against them.

 7 Jun 2005
To: Michael [#10] 7 Jun 2005

Hi Mike,

Been a while :) 

.....While I understand your frusteration, I can also empathize with someone that sells equipment as involved as laser engraving equipment. If I was a business selling this equipment, it may be worth having a few prerequisite questions to seperate the men from the boys so to speak. We all know how many pretenders are out there, and the fact that you feel snubbed to the point that you won't give simple business address or phone number information makes you look less like a real customer and more like someone that is bs-ing your way through their process. It may just be a way for them to evaluate the seriousness of the prospective client.

I do understand your frusteration in just getting simple pricing.......No one wants to jump through unnessesary hoops, but I do feel that I can understand why they would want to pre-qualify their customers when there is so much work in building a system for a customer.

I am not trying to argue the point of requiring what they do, just trying to find a meaningful explanation that they might have other than that they are "snake oyl salesmen" :) 

From: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#13]
 7 Jun 2005

WOW! Be thankful for the Constitution. Yea Free Speech......

Micheal, having not been there, when you were inquiring about pricing, I have no way of knowing how to respond, except that maybe you just need to work with those dealers that DID answer your questions.

Personally, I think it is important that questions be asked on both sides, like Dee said, perhaps the sales rep motivation WAS to find out more to make a better recommendation, or possibly assess your needs to give you the best VALUE. Value is very different from PRICE. The best price is not always the best value, and ond of the things that MUST be considered, ( and I learned this that hard way) is that AFTER SALE SUPPORT MUST be taken into consideration when talking value. When I bought my machine I THOUGHT was getting good value, until after the fact I found out I could not get some of the support I felt was necessary to MY success.

With all of that said, you have answered your own questions, and really simplified the whole issue. It is as simple as NOT dealing with those that will not answer your questions, or keeping their appointments.

Just my two cents..... want change?

From: Peter [#14]
 7 Jun 2005
To: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#13] 7 Jun 2005

Price is very, very important....

Nothing is more important than after sales service...

believe me in this industry....Nothing is more important..

so if you can buy a Universal or an epilog or a laserpro/pinnacle or other brands.......the 3 I mentioned are all great machines.

the difference is the same as the mid range Chev/ Ford/ Chrysler they all are basically the same...it comes down to personal preferance .

And what the after sales service is like..

The biggest variable is, the lasers will provide you with massive income and a requirement to service your clients...the problem occurs, not when you made a deal and saved $ 3,000, but when you lose $ 15,000 when your machine breaks down and the after sales service is non existant.

Buy on service



From: UncleSteve [#15]
 7 Jun 2005
To: Michael [#9] 7 Jun 2005

Michael, for the record, I do understand the salesman wanting to get at least your name and a company name for one reason only! If there IS another snake oil salesman in their company and you take the info and call back to place an order, it is the only protection the original sales person has to protect their commission. Been there, done that and got my rightful commission!

From: Michael [#16]
 7 Jun 2005
To: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#13] 7 Jun 2005

That's my intent. I just wanted to vent. It is more than disapointing that the majority of the people I've contacted take the stance that they know what I need and refuse to answer a simple question until I agree with them.

Value cannot be separated from price.

There is no free lunch.

Go figure.

From: Michael [#17]
 7 Jun 2005
To: UncleSteve [#15] 7 Jun 2005

They have my name and email address.

What, they are going to charge me more if I want the thing for non business use?

From: Michael [#18]
 7 Jun 2005
To: Rodney Gold (RODNEY_GOLD) [#11] 7 Jun 2005

By your own research you have proven there is more than one definition.

Why do YOU choose to infer the guy is dishonest?

Go figger.

EDITED: 7 Jun 2005 by MICHAEL

From: Harvey only (HARVEY-ONLY) [#19]
 7 Jun 2005

Message no longer necessary.


From: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#20]
 7 Jun 2005
To: Harvey only (HARVEY-ONLY) [#19] 7 Jun 2005

Then this message is no longer necessary either.......

Does anybody REALLY know what time it is?

EDITED: 7 Jun 2005 by C_BURKE

From: Engravin' Dave (DATAKES) [#21]
 7 Jun 2005
To: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#20] 7 Jun 2005


For you, it's time to head to the beach.

From: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#22]
 7 Jun 2005
To: Engravin' Dave (DATAKES) [#21] 7 Jun 2005

Again????? Sigh....... ok if I must......

From: basehorawards [#23]
 8 Jun 2005
To: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#22] 8 Jun 2005

When you go to the beach do you forward your phone to a cell phone or just let the answering machine take messages?
If you forward to the cell how do customers take to the sounds of the beach in the background?

From: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#24]
 8 Jun 2005
To: basehorawards [#23] 8 Jun 2005

All joking aside, the beach is a morning thing before business hours.

From: basehorawards [#25]
 8 Jun 2005
To: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#24] 8 Jun 2005

Well that's too bad.

I was wondering because I am a one man shop and have 11 and 13 year old boys who want to go to the pool. Mom works at a "Real" job with a regular paycheck so the boys are home for the summer with me. I do forward the phone to the cell when I have to go out on sales calls and such but was wondering about whether to do so when I take them to the pool.

From: Sei (SEIMA) [#26]
 8 Jun 2005
To: basehorawards [#25] 8 Jun 2005

Well, is it work time, or is it your kids' time?


From: LaZerDude (C_BURKE) [#27]
 8 Jun 2005
To: basehorawards [#25] 8 Jun 2005

If I were in your position, I would most certainly do that forward to my cell if it meant having some quality time with my boys.. I have a VERY FIRM belief in FAMILY FIRST..... without your family none of the rest of it matters......to ME missing time with you boys at the pool is far worse than any time missed working....life is short......

Sooo... were I in your shoes, I would DEFINITELY go to the pool (or beach) and forward to my cell.

Just my two cents worth. Want Change?

EDITED: 8 Jun 2005 by C_BURKE

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