Friday, July 24, 2009

Penalising the folks who market or deliver for you...

That is not a good business model.

The people who work for commissions or who deliver stuff for you? If the product or service [or process] isn't that good enough, the marketer may anyway not come through with the sale. Or, if there is no clear need for the customer, even a good product or service will not sell through.

I think companies need to direct their effort in improving their products *and* training the folks who market them. The burden of making the sale must be on the marketing department and the people making the product as well [they're the ones anyway getting paid the big bucks]. Not on the final end-man who is at the end of the straw reaching out to people.

I recently had some one from Eureka Forbes come over. He asked if I wanted to see a demo of a new vacuum cleaner that came out. Even before he started, I mentioned I wasn't interested. He anyway explained the features. I then paused, told him politely that I did not  need a vacuum cleaner then. He was equally polite, did not push for a hard sell and then left after thanking me. I was wondering about his day. He has to go through the routine the entire day, the entire month [can't be impolite even for tiredness or frustration]. Some might agree to take the demo but eventually do not buy [which probably doesn't count on the company's book]. The conversion rate will probably be 4-5%. So if the salesman needs to sell 10 of them, he might have to visit 200 to 300 houses. And if his primary income is commission, it would be a stress filled job. It doesn't sound fair for the salesman to bear the burden of a product's quality/expense.

On a related note, some time back, I got a note stating that the pizza delivery guys who fail to deliver within 30 mins (remember the "30 mins or it's free ad"?) end up paying for the pizza, and not the pizza company? That sounded very unfair. Later, a Domino's pizza pamphlet said they did not penalize pizza delivery folks for delay. That forward must have created a furore. Anyway, if it is happening now [or even it *was* happening], it is not right. Needs to stop. Those folks deliver for a living. Not for the pizza chain to make more money. If the real focus is piping hot pizza for the customer and the 30 minutes is a quality parameter, it needs a separate process work flow on how to make it happen. You don't handover the pizza box to the delivery boy and say "You pay for it if you don't deliver it in 30 mins" and send him from ICF to Perambur in peak traffic!

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