Saw guide sales: beware of these 4 tactics

Udo Jahn, GM of Modern Engineering, Canada who spoke at last year’s WoodTECH 2017 event in both Australia and New Zealand has added another blog – this time an entertaining and informative look at just what sawmillers should be looking for when selecting and purchasing saw-guides.

You wouldn’t BELIEVE what happened to me the other day. I’m still shaking my head. A customer called me up saying, “Udo, I just talked to a potential vendor who tried to sell me on their saw guides. He swore that they were state-of-the-art saw guides, the best in the industry—what do you think?” PLEASE. If you know me, I’m sure you can imagine my response. While I love a good rant, this really blows my mind. But there was something about this conversation that struck me. It reminded me of a story (more like a cautionary tale) one of our salesmen told me years ago—a story that is both funny and not so funny.

So, this salesman—let’s call him Bill—was out pounding the pavement and managed to get an appointment with the head saw filer/ QC person at a rural sawmill. Bill is an enthusiastic guy, to say the least. He sat down and do you know what he said? I’m still cringing. He said, “We make the best saw guides in the industry!” The crickets are still ringing in his ears. The saw filer just stared at him with a disgruntled look on his face before shooting back, “Yeah, you and the last hundred a**holes who walked through my door.” Now that’s what my customer should have said to that salesman!

When I heard this story, I roared with laughter. What reaction did he expect? We’ve all had salespeople walk through our doors and launch into a well-rehearsed speech proclaiming how amazing their products are. Have you ever bought into it? Yeah, me too. I’m still kicking myself. So when I say these products are sub-par at best, I know what I’m talking about. And let me tell you another thing—when it comes to saw guides, I know how to spot a doozie.

So, how can you tell if the product a salesperson is pushing is “the best” or “overwhelmingly average”? Is their hair greasy? Are they smoking a cigar? Wearing a cheap suit? Wait. That’s all of them. So, besides an excess of oil and musk, what are you looking for? Pay attention to these tell-tale signs: More>>.

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