Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How Well Do You Know Your Product?

My wife sent me into one of the big hardware stores to look at a product for refinishing cabinets. Rust-Oleum has a simple 4-step process that restores, changes, or simply transforms your wooden cabinets without having to strip and sand and labor for weeks.

Sounds good to me.

Our only concern was that our cabinet doors are recessed. They close inside the frame, not on top, and it's a tight fit already. Would this product work on such a tight fit?

The guy at the hardware store said yes. Reggie said no.

My wife wasn't convinced by the guy at the hardware store. She sent an email directly to Rust-Oleum. And in less than 24 hours she got the following reply...


Shannon,

Thank you for contacting Rust-Oleum Product Support.

Thank you for your interest in Rust-Oleum's products.  Unfortunately, we do not recommend using this product on this type of frame.  The paint will chip or rub off.

Thanks,
Reggie

Whew! That saved me a few hundred bucks and a lost weekend... and lost cabinets, and another lost week or two fixing the problem, and another few hundred (thousand?) bucks replacing the cabinets, and a few choice words my boys don't need to hear, and a bunch of times telling people how much that hardware store sucks, and...

You get the point.

But do you get the lesson? Your sales staff needs to know the products just as well as the company (if not better). You need to know when to say no to the sale. You need to be comfortable enough to realize when your product won't solve the customer's problem.

I have far more faith in Rust-Oleum now because of their honesty in saying no, their product won't help me. I won't forget that, either.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS The only thing they could have done better is recommend a product that would help me - even if it wasn't one of theirs. Your first goal in delighting a customer is to solve her problem. Do that and you earn the chance for another transaction.

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