Thursday, January 05, 2006

They killed the salesman in the name of Wal Mart.

Listening to a fellow who is the VP of Forrester Research.

He was talking on the radio about the giant tech show being held this week. (if you click this link, pay close attention to the comment to the Globe story provided by a reader).

He states manufacturers and retailers are not doing their job in providing support for all the gadgets they are manufacturing and selling.

i.e., people own HDV tv's without HDV services.

MP3's, no support and you are lucky if the consumer can get it to work nevermind use all the functions.

He went further, suggested device manufacturers, need content to be interesting and the consumer is not happy if consumer has to make it work with little or no support. Gee. Sounds like relationship eh. hmmmm.......

Ok. come closer. this bit is free.

You (manufacturer) killed the salesmen and you'd best be bringing them back to life.

In your bid to cut costs so you could get your product onto the largest retailer shelves, you forgot about something. The consumer. You see, this is a threesome. You, consumer, and retailer.

Manufacturer's, to save money, stopped spending money on little things like, the knowledgeable salesman.
Retailers, are left with little information to pass on to the consumer.
Further, the consumer, expects the cheapest price (i.e.,Wal Mart's price) but also want to be provided with all the education to operate the gadget. The price of the product has been driven down so cheap there is no room to support the consumer education factor.

Consumers are forced to buy at Wal Mart (cheapest price) then lie to those retailers they didn't purchase the product from to gain hands-on knowledge about the product they purchased elsewhere. (this happens to my company daily, we provide the information and hope that customer comes back to buy something eventually. Our numbers are not supporting that theroy however.)

Manufacturer's today, go straight to the consumer market, no sales support.
The retailer is stuck with educating on it's own so it can support the consumer.

It seems this is catching up with the manufacturer, it's bitting them in the ass.
They are losing sales. go figure. As the sales drop, the desire on behalf of the Wal Marts of the world to keep the product on the shelf wains.

My bit of advise is worth millions and millions of dollars to manufacturer's everywhere.

Bring back the salesman, build the price into the product and fuck Wal Mart and their driving down the price so far that you can't support your product with knowledge and education to those selling your product and in turn the consumer.

Don't do it manufacturers and it will be the loss of billions in sales. Take your crap out of Wal Mart if you have to, sell it to retailers who will provide a level of service for your product ( do it under contract if you have to, see Apple) and you will gain billions in sales.

Take my word for it.

(p.s., you are going to have to offer me some super spiffs to get your stuff on my shelves...I have manufacturers trying hard to get their stuff in my store....because, I support the product for them, make them look good, really good and those manufacturers support me. gee. seems like that is how business used to be. go figure.)

(p.s.s., reported today "Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, said sales in the US last month rose 2.2 percent, the smallest December gain in five years, as it cut prices to lure holiday shoppers" hmmmm.)

Comments on "They killed the salesman in the name of Wal Mart."


Blogger JustDevin said ... (9:56 AM) : 

I worked at Ultimate Electronics briefly in 2002 (a story in and of itself), and one of the reasons I really enjoyed the company was their level of commitment to training their floor staff on how the audio and video equipment worked. We didn't just focus on stats that were useless to the buyer -- we learned why one technology was different from another and how to figure out what the buyer WANTED instead of trying to foist the latest, greatest flibberdy-jib on them.

They relied on the expertise of their staff and price points to get headway in the market, and I was hard pressed to figure out why it wouldn't work.

Of course, they expanded too fast in the Dallas market, and Best Buy just killed 'em. A pity.


Anonymous Leemer said ... (3:32 PM) : 

I love (sarcasm) how WalMart always gets singled out when there are several other "big box" retailers out there doing the same thing...

Thank you, Dev, for calling out another.

Sorry. Sore subject.


Blogger Xxaatm said ... (7:24 PM) : 

Wal Mart opened in my community of 18,000 one year ago this month.


Blogger Xxaatm said ... (8:51 PM) : 

oh and.
Dev. I'm so blushing that you read my blog. You all fame and stuff and I write like crap. well, welcome anyways, pardon the clutter, ramble, and somesuch-whatnot.

and Leems. I'm so sorry if I have offended you.


Anonymous Leemer said ... (4:42 PM) : 

No offense taken, babe... Trust me. 10+ years helps develop thick skin.

And, don't get me wrong, there are things the company does that drives me effing NUTS but overall I am very pleased with how I have been treated and how things are run.

(Especially by you. kiss!)


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