Thrilled to do business with you!

My last post elicited some interesting comments. The comment from greenfred is interesting for a couple of reasons. Greenfred say's he worked for a national seed company. He claims that if I, "truly want to sell this product to your customers, may I suggest spending a weekend building a peg-board display to hold the packs? Or perhaps try your hand at bending and welding wires and pipes together to fabricate your own metal spinner?" Excellent idea greenfred! Just what I wanted to do with my weekend. He continues, "The notion that a supplier should be 'excited' that you 'want to sell their…' is beyond condescending. And in today’s retail climate, your promise to 'be selling their seeds for years, helping build their brand…' is a joke. Suppliers today operate knowing that a huge percentage of their customers today may not even be around next season, let alone 'for years.' Why would I expect any supplier to be excited about selling me their product? If they are not, then I wont be selling their product. That's exactly what's so wrong about what greenfred has said. Yes, you should be thrilled to be selling your seed through my store. Greenfred continues, "This seed supplier has decided they need to charge you for your rack so that they can maintain their profitability. If you disagree, buy your seeds somewhere else."

Here is the bottom line greenfred. I am not carrying the seed companies seed that required the rack be paid for. Period. You want me to do business with a seed compnay because the,"seed they supply you costs them money to produce. But the packaging they design and print to hold the seed also costs them money. And the freight they pay to deliver the product to your store costs them money. And the marketing they do, and the display rack on which you mount the seed packs costs them A TON of money" So, because it costs the seed company money to stay in business I should want to do business with them? How about the costs I incure to run my business?

I am the customer! There are plenty of seed companies to do business with. I use Lake Valley Seed, and it's displayed on a rack I got from them so long ago I cant remember if we paid for it or not. I wanted to carry another rack, but since I decided not to pay the freight on the rack I guess Lake Valley Seed gets the sales floor for now.

My last post was more about how to get the customer (me) to create a long term relationship with a business (the seed company). Like most customers I believe the world revolves around me and my needs.  Satisfy those needs and we will do business forever. Whine at me about the costs of doing business, or how grateful I should be that your company exists and I am gone. Give me a spinner rack with your logo on top where my customers will be seeing it for years. Watch as we sell, year after year your seed. Just as Perry said, "From their perspective, if they send the rack out, they know that they aren’t likely to see it again, and they aren’t likely to get paid for it either. Ask them how much volume of business it would take to get the rack for free. Then… ask them if they want that only in one year, or over all the years that you intend to buy their product. Ask them for some other incentive to offset the cost of the rack (free product etc.) If they aren’t bright enough to take an exclusive deal with the ability to get more over time, they might not be there later anyway. Ask them if they recognize that a 1/2 loaf is better than no loaf at all. With things the way they are… can they afford to be starving? It’s their choice to make."

To say that, "the notion that a supplier should be 'excited' that you 'want to sell their' is beyond condescending." Condescending? Yes, greenfred, every supplier should be very excited to sell me product. They should provide me with all the tools needed to sell their product, spinner racks, handouts, etc. They should constantly remind me just how pleased they are to be doing business with me. Yes, they should be thrilled to be doing business with me or we won't be doing business for long together.

Here is the bottom line greenfred. We had better start getting a clue who is important here. The customer! There is no one more important in my store than the customer. We will just about do anything to satisfy our customers needs. If we don't they will shop elsewhere, and we may or may not ever know they could have been a regular customer. The small retail garden center is also a customer of the wholesale nurseries and suppliers. They should treat us just as we treat our customers. If they don't we shop elsewhere. Right now Lake Valley Seed gets all my seed business, and you know, that's o.k. Seed sales are great and I am not so sure now if I really need or needed that other seed rack from that other company. I'll just order, and re-order more from Lake Valley seed. No big deal, except for that seed company that could have gotten their seed in my store while we are growing our business.