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Marketing rules?


Mr. G. is a steady writer to this column. If he does not have a problem, he has an idea to share. And, if not an idea, he has a question. Recently he wrote, "We abide by the Metz Rules for manufacturing our furniture. How about some marketing rules? I am sure your readers would not only appreciate some guidance at this particular time, but also we could avoid making some mistakes."

I can't say that these few suggestions are "rules" as such, but call them what you will.

Number One: Always do your own thing. Do it with quality first and with close dealer cooperation. Get suggestions that may help you improve upon what you do best, but don't let anyone tell you to do something very different at a certain price unless it is right up your alley. Remember, anyone can make a worse product at a lower price. My dad used to say this, time after time. I do not believe in copying a product at a lower price. It inevitably leads to a battle and nothing is gained. If anything, the reverse happens.

Number Two: Don't press your sales people. Don't make them feel they are inadequate. Give them a lot of personal assistance - dealer visits, phone calls, birthday cards, you name it. Add the personal touch. Ask for advice on design, finish, etc. Present a complete picture to your customer's sales people so they know the product in detail, and do it in such a way that it is stimulating and interesting. Ask them, also, what suggestions they may have. Flatter them a bit, encourage them and, by all means, keep in touch with them. Also, be sure that your sales people watch the selling area to make sure that your product is well displayed and the advertising is enticing.

Number Three: Furniture and cabinet makers need not go into something very different unless they find it sorely needed, but they must show new and smart things as additions or replacements in their main line. This is done best by holding pre-show meetings with the cadre of customers who are eager to help and will ultimately claim they designed the successful new additions. Super! This is exactly what you want. Usually, one group or setup is sort of a mainstay. Additions and deletions on a regular basis, with help from the "cadre," makes for an interesting gain all around. In my book, this is where Ford has it on the others, not to mention our friends across the sea, who practice it to perfection.

Number Four: Always provide quality and service. Keep your scheduled promises. Ship on time and don't drop ship. If, for any reason, a promise cannot be fulfilled due to something unforeseen, call the dealer immediately and do everything to satisfy him and his customer. Write a note explaining the reason after the phone call, so it can be shown to the consumer.

Providing quality includes giving maintenance instructions and a bit of interesting background details on the design, perhaps the designer, the finish, etc. Make the sale interesting; give the dealer a satisfied customer who, in turn, will relate his satisfaction to others. This is all a part of service and it leans heavily on quality.

Number Five: Please, Mr. President and Mr. General Manager, leave as much office detail work as possible to a trusted soul and be a rolled-up-sleeves-in-the-plant man. Work for a true teamwork setup and close cooperation, striving daily for ways to not only improve production but also quality. We want that product to literally "sing," to help the marketing picture measurably.

Number Six: If you would like to add a "rule," let us know!
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Consult Jerry Metz
Author:Metz, Jerry
Publication:Wood & Wood Products
Article Type:column
Date:Aug 1, 1991
Previous Article:Holz-Her U.S. Inc.
Next Article:NEOCON 23 spotlight is on 'Responsive furnishings.' (National Exposition of Interior Contract Furnishings)(part 1; includes related articles) (column)

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