Saturday, July 2, 2011

A tale of 2 quotes...

...and two selling approaches.

As I wrote the other day, I've been in the market for a cafe blind for our back deck and as you know, I had a rather interesting conversation with one of the companies about getting someone out to Number 10 to provide a quote.

Well Wednesday was the day...two quotes, two very different approaches.

#1. At midday, the first person arrived armed with a working (sample size) model of the cafe blind we'd like. He had brochures, tape measure, samples of other material used in blinds and lots of information. I asked questions he answered them in a friendly manner. We had a discussion; a conversation about the pros and cons of the various methods used to raise and lower the blind. He told me we'd have to put a piece of timber down one of the posts to make it even with the other end. No problem. He knew what he was talking about

He measured the area, asked me if I was happy with it, wrote up the quote, we shook hands and he left
He was friendly without trying to be my friend.

Here's the side wall of the deck where the blind will be ... excuse the chaotic mess. My painting and refurbishment projects are there and everything's been moved closer to the French doors because of the rain and wind...It's an area approx 3.6 metres across, by 2.6 metres high.

#2. I got a call at 3pm to (yet again) confirm that a person would be here at 4pm. He turned up on time and carried a metal pelmet, (that covers the top of the blind) and a couple of pieces of different quality PVC. He also had a white metal thing but didn't really explain what that was used for.

He started his spiel....started explaining the virtues of the better quality PVC, told me about the different ways the blind could be hung and be secured. He wasn't rude or really pushy... he was simply doing what he'd been trained to do. We weren't having a conversation, I was simply there to hear about the virtues of his companys' products.

At one point he told me that if I ordered today he would "bump" me ahead of some other orders to make sure I got it installed quickly. I looked at him incredulously and stated he had to be kidding, that if he was saying that to me he was certainly telling other potential customers the same thing. He back tracked

He then told me that as he was leaving his office to come to Number 10, his boss had authorised him to offer me free installation (and something else, but I can't remember what it was).

That's when I asked him to please not "bullshit" me! He back tracked again

He gave me a price then tried to call his office to get it discounted, but apparently couldn't get gave me the discount anyway. The so-called quote he wrote was simply written on the back of a brochure. No measurements, no signature, no official quote/order sheet, just the price and the colour of the pelmet and trim on the back of the brochure

When I told him I was getting another quote and wouldn't be committing myself that day, he couldn't get out of here fast enough.

There were some other things said during his 35 minutes at Number 10...but he never did explain what that white metal thing was. It turns out it's the metal bracket the crank handle slips into so we can raise and lower the blind. I discovered that when I went to the store (from quote #1) to order and put a deposit on the blind.

So there you have it. Two very different methods. I guess there are some people out there who warm to method #2, but not me.

The new cafe blind will be here in a few weeks...can't wait!


  1. Seriously #2 blind man must think you were born yesterday. I enjoyed this tale, as I'm dealing with bozos ALL THE TIME!
    The other day, a flooring dude had great difficulty in locking in a time to come and do a quote when my husband wasn't home. He said he prefers it when both people are there. Mysogyny is rife in the building business. I laughed and wished I'd been quick witted enough to say "my wife Lucy is out of town, she trusts my judgement though".

  2. Ah yes, they do it to try to lock in a sale rather than be told I'll get back to you after I discuss it with my partner. It's an old selling ploy to get the deal done. Annoying. Very annoying!
    Actually a friend of mine was telling me she had arranged to get a kitchen quote with a large kitchen manufacturer and they wanted her "husband" to be there. She asked them what made them think her husband was a man?
    It makes you sick doesn't it?

  3. It's amazing how different the selling approaches can vary from company to company. I had such a wide range of different types of quotes and the knowledge of the 'quoter' from each company varied greatly. You could definitely tell who knew their stuff and who was just trying to make a quick sale, as is with your quotes. A cafe blind will look great where you're getting one. Have a great weekend x

  4. Absolutely Amanda. Some people just go through the motions and repeat what they've learned during training. Others really believe in their product and want to know it inside out.
    I, or should I say we can't wait to see the blind installed. It's going to be like having an extra room

  5. I hate getting quotes for anything. The nonsense sale tactics are so annoying! I hope #1 quote does a good job for you. xx

  6. Glad you went with the first quote. Number 2 wouldn't have even got through the initial phone conversation with me. The cafe blind is going to look fantastic. Make sure you show us! ;-)


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