Your business will run smoothly when you match your customers and vendors to fit well with the center of your company’s ability by Gary Shotton #000285
Shoe Doesn’t Fit
By Gary Shotton
Hello! my name is Gary Shotton and I’m here as a part of Inspiring Better Business. We are so happy you are here with us today; I’m going to call up the talk the shoe does not fit. I use that because we had discussions with our Africans Brooks and one of them, I believe was from Congo and they were describing the situation and asking us questions and they asked this question and told us the story they said, you know we were selling shoes new shoes children’s shoes, and we were buying them from a wholesaler. We are selling them retail and we are you know making a living anyway and all of a sudden the guy were buying him from the wholesaler he starts selling retail also in other words he started competing with us well that happens all the time and I said you know in reality, if anybody’s in business and you think you don’t have any competition you better think again. Because if you are any successful in any way you will have competition right away so you better be planning the competition right from the start.
Now, how do we answer this person I said well tell me more of the story well, once again we talked about it and they are buying shoes bulk from an Asian source probably China and you know I said let’s talk about it here. Would you consider a change of both your customers and your supplier in other words, if you are buying bulk from a foreign country like Asia and the boat comes in and a whole bunch of people go down to this supplier and buys all the same stuff whether it’s pots and pans or plastic ware or shoes or whatever you are in there trying to reach a customer that I call the bottom dollar. The lowest and cheapest price and so in my opinion and I told them I think you will never really make much money doing this. Because you are always competing for this customer that is cost conscious I don’t care what it costs is. I want the cheapest so I ask do you have anybody that makes shoe who’s there it’s East Africa and there’s some shoe copters. I said what would you think about asking them to specialize and make some children’s shoes well. Their response is they’re going to cost quite a bit more than I get from China we know that, but now you have to be able to explain that to your customer does this shoe fit meaning.
Can you explain that to a customer in a way that’s going to not just sell them but service them you know the service selling is not selling, its serving and you’re serving them by explaining if you buy this set of shoes. I noticed you have four children and you can pass those shoes on down and they will still be good, if you take care of them any way at all and you know these Asian made shoes they are going to last maybe six months by the way I got to mention this that the Asian and Chinese manufacturers they do know where your shoes are going. So if they are required to make a shoe for us in our store here in the US we all know if the Africans all know you get a really good shoe, why because someone’s specifying controlling it and requiring the manufacturers to make at that level. But if they know that products going to Africa or third world country it just got to look good and it’s going to anyone from East Africa or Africa will confirm that,if you buy some China made shoes they last about three months four months and they are all tore up and you got to get another set. So that’s a given so you’ve got to be able to explain that to your customer and snow the value so you have not only support changed your supplier to a local supplier, that is going to charge more you’ve got to also become a finding that customer.
If you are changing customers to that customer has to see and understand this is the best buy buying the cheapest is not the best buying, this higher value quality part is the best let me apply it to my business. I have videos and teachings on quality how important quality is and we had one of our biggest customers decide they were going to sit a family of parts to Mexico ordering country for us and you know they wanted me to reduce my price 25 percent and I say there’s no way, I don’t make that kind of margins. I might be taken to be able to take off just a little bit and I offered to take off just a little bit the customer the person inside his company didn’t agree and so here goes 750 thousand dollars of business per year, goes to Mexico well we were all sad but we sucked it up and we went on and we filled our machine shop with other parts and we’re all kind of halfway betting know that this is coming back. Well it’s about 15 months later you know what happened we got the call from this customer and all the orders coming from the Mexico supplier and by the way Mexico can make a good product but in this case we’re fortunate they didn’t and there was more to it than they thought and all of their orders were bad and they cannot put up. Because this is a quality company they moved back to us in other words we have a quality customer, interested in quality we are a quality vendor we can charge more than somebody else, have a reason to be able to defend it but we are in business with quality customers and quality vendors and we’re a quality company.
They all go together that’s how you got a thing especially if you are in this market when you’re competing on price get away from competing on price just get away from it as fast as you can. Because you will never win you’ll never be happier customer will always go to the next place just a little cheaper. If I could give several examples further but I want to make it clear that as a company, we evaluate our customers to see whether they fit and match our company not everybody that wants us to do work is a match for us and we don’t go out after all kinds of work that doesn’t actually fit. What do I mean by fit well our machines have certain sizes and we have a way we do things and if we go outside our normal ability then we’re going to find ourselves in trouble to give a little more detail when I bring in disc the possibility of bringing into our company a new customer we have what we call a pre-production meeting and we evaluate from all angles from the quality standpoint from the production standpoint from the, price standpoint and say is this really a customer that we want? Because if we can’t do a good job for them we don’t want them and we are very serious about having a good match therefore does the shoe fit is very important to us currently in our machine shop well hope this helps Inspiring Better Business the topic is does the shoe fit both in having the right customer and have the right vendor supplying new materials thank you.
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