URGENT!(this is meant as dark humor!)
We just read a couple articles in the industry trade magazines, that very strongly emphasized that sellers of ANY products should attempt to inspire urgency in customers, because they will not buy your product otherwise.
One of the articles emphasized that a customer's fear and greed should be manipulated to cause him to buy your product. We're supposed to create a "buying frenzy". Tell them about your "Going out of business sale" or some other disaster to inspire their greed in wanting to take advantage of you. Create fear by harping on things like the Y2K "the sky is falling" images, and fears of massive power outages or fuel source disruptions.
Then, the article stated that customers have very limited attention spans, and that you have to push, push, push them to buy your product, today, NOW!
The other article explained that you should act in whatever ways necessary to get the customers to like you, because then they will trust you, and then you can get them to be generous to you, by buying your product. The article continued with implications that you should play on their sympathy or anything else, to make the sale. And that you have to be aggressive in asking the customer to buy now, today.
Is this REALLY the way that sellers envision their customers? As a lower form of life that must be manipulated to cause them to buy a product? If so, that's a really sad statement on our society!
We have long known that there were SOME salespeople who acted this way, but to find out that they are now being universally TAUGHT such things?!?! Don't people usually start suspecting anarchist plots when such things are found???
I hope these concepts might cross your mind the next time you're in a big store talking to a salesperson. There is apparently a good chance that that person was trained to "manipulate" you and to treat you like you don't have a brain! But just smile, because there isn't a lot we can do about the way American companies do business! And then they wonder why we are so cynical about their offers to give us millions of dollars and free cars and free everything. Oh, did we mention out that we just doubled the prices of all of our products, but for YOU, we're giving a HUGE 50% discount? What a joke!
A few of those companies even feel that they are being above-board and ethical. There actually ARE people who win $10 million just for buying some magazines. But the company might point out that you are at least thirty times as likely to be killed by lightning than to win that money. So, in a technical sense, they ARE being truthful, but they are still attempting to mislead customers. Isn't that some category of deception???
Of the 25,000+ of our JUCA fireplaces sold over the years, there are probably only a handful where our personnel have ever even nudged a sale along! In general, we are a remarkably patient bunch. Sometimes, customers mulled over a decision for YEARS before deciding to get a JUCA! We don't see this as a problem. If and when anyone ever gets to a point of needing one of our products, we expect to be here to provide it for them!
This web-site has well over 1,000 files in it. Hundreds of specific subject presentations are offered, to help inform a potential customer about whatever aspects and subjects are important to him or her. But, we're pretty sure that NONE of the pages have any reference to trying to get you to actually BUY one! We don't think it's necessary, or even appropriate, to push a customer to make a purchase. We credit our customers with intelligence to be able to judge for themselves whether they actually should buy our stuff!
We find dark humor in the fact that an occasional customer clearly expects us to make the moves to attempt to close a sale, and that we just don't do that. If there is enough uncertainty in their mind that they need an outsider (and, probably a BIASED outsider, at that!) to push them to make a purchase, then we don't believe it's our place to do the pushing. Sometimes customers like that just walk away, looking stunned. I remember a guy once, whose pocket was clearly packed with a bunch of dollar bills ready to pay for a JUCA woodstove, walked away like that, after we didn't push him to buy it. After he left, a salesman friend of ours, who had happened by and witnessed the situation, was literally shrieking at why we didn't try to "close" the sale because the guy clearly wanted and expected to buy one. He probably had some good points. We probably induced some unnecessary stress in that customer, in wondering if we doubted our own products, since we didn't seem interested in "pushing" them! (A few weeks later, he came back and bought one!)
We can't even give you the excuse of an impending price increases! Door manufacturers generally make any price adjustments once a year, usually in the Spring. And usually those increases are fairly minimal.
SOOOOOOOO, take your time, read all the stuff you want, not just from our site, but from all available sources. You will probably get some quite diverse points of view, since each product vendor tends to be very biased in what they tell you, to try to make sure you buy their stuff. I mean, this IS America! You've probably already noted that we have tried to avoid that sort of thing, because, as far as we're concerned, the CUSTOMER'S needs are paramount, even if it means their not getting something from us after having learned from our site. We don't even want to try to dump guilt on you! We actually LIKE the idea of you learning stuff from our site and then going to buy products from local stores! Support your local economy, right?
As to that "not influencing you", we eventually found it appropriate to make two exceptions regarding door choices. (1) With well over 2,000 choices available, even after you use our Door Selector to qualify it down, you may still be looking at a list of 90 door choices. It's tough to choose from 90 choices! So, we put yellow backgrounds behind ones that we particularly like! If your tastes are really different from ours, that may be useless information, or if you had already had a specific preference. But, in a way, that could be perceived as trying to influence your choice, even though we don't mean it that way; (2) Again, related to having to deal with far too many choices, we eventually found it reasonable to add some comments about the various door manufacturers in our list (in the links of the manufacturers, usually), that reflect our personal experiences with them and feedback from our customers. You will have to decide whether our personal opinions on such things have any value! Other than those two exceptions, hopefully the information we present about the many doors is accurate and useful and unbiased.
Digest all of what you learn, and then make the best decision FOR YOU and your circumstances. As long as you do that, and if you can benefit from our web-site, then we have done our job, whatever your decision is. If it happens to be to buy something from us, cool! If not, almost as cool! Surprisingly enough, there actually ARE decent competitors out there, and for people who are nervous about dealing with a distant company, there are VERY likely to be fireplace shops near you where you could buy these very same doorsets. In our experience, it seems rare for any fireplace shop to offer any discount, and they seem to usually then add the cost of freight, and then of course there's sales tax, so their total may be a little higher. But we encourage you to be loyal to local stores! We have NO interest in trying to take any business away from reputable fireplace shops. So, if there is one near you, even after you learn lots from our site, please consider buying the doorset from them! (We're pretty odd, aren't we???)
However, there are apparently a few dis-reputable fireplace shops out there. We have heard of some that tried to charge people as much as $500 ABOVE list price for pretty standard doors! We wouldn't feel bad at giving customers an alternative source in such cases!
As the years proceeded, we had more and more door choices available for the buyers of our fireplaces. By 1997, there were around 1,100 choices. In 1997, we created a web-site on that "new-fangled Internet thing". Actually, we thought that was great, because it permitted the FEW people who HAD the Internet to see pictures and descriptions of all the door choices. IMPORTANT: We never wanted to or intended to sell doors separate from our custom-built fireplaces!
It wasn't long until it somehow got on some search engines, because people were soon asking us about buying doors, and we would always say no. After many months of that, a guy from very northern Idaho called us, and, as always, we told him that we did not sell doors separately. He called on five consecutive days, and on the second or third, he described that he had recently driven two hours to get to the nearest fireplace shop, only to be shocked by being told that a PW TrimFyre doorset (list around $500) would be around $1,000. He even considered buying it, because he had driven so far. But he didn't think he could afford it, so he drove the two hours back home. Out of desperation, he looked on the Internet, and happened across our extensive presentation of doors, and specifically that we noted the TrimFyre list price of around $500. That's why he called us! We had several company meetings during that week, and we all agreed that such an unethical fireplace shop should not be allowed to gouge their customers like that.
During our meeting on the fourth day of his calls, we agreed that we should try to help him, as a public service, if nothing else. Since selling fireplace doorsets is NOT our central business, we quickly decided that we could even offer him a discount, and we determined that we could afford a 15% discount for him, in addition to paying for the freight to get it to him. When he called on the fifth day, I happened to answer the phone, and he was clearly expecting the usual no. When I said OK, he asked me to repeat! When I then told him about the discount and the free freight, I could tell that he was so happy!
Well, around here, for the following two weeks, we all had big smiles! It wasn't that we did anything BIG, but we knew we had done something good! It wasn't long before another meeting came up with this conclusion: We would never 'promote' our door presentations, but if people managed to find them, we would agree to sell doorsets to them, from our point of view, as a public service.
Now you know how we got to where we are now. It might clarify several things. Like why we never try to "manipulate" you into an order (as we are apparently supposed to be doing!) Like why we don't have the equipment to process credit cards (because there is actually no call for anyone to want to put the purchase of a built-in custom-built fireplace on a credit card!) And why we not only do not feel "competitive" regarding local fireplace shops where you should be able to find (and buy) these same doorsets, but we actually encourage you to patronize local businesses!
Oh! Let's see! We should now have the hypnosis section! Please stare at the following word for an hour or so: .
This probably comes across as a cynical attitude about American business. We hope that's not so! We are proud of America and the American approaches to business, which have been instrumental in enabling our country to grow to what we are today. But, if businesses (or society) is to ever remember earlier ethics and principles and morals, it is probably helpful if there are some examples of companies that try to behave properly. That's all we try to do. Are we perfect? Not EVEN close!!! But we try!
Considering the modern business environment, we are definitely an unusual company! The distressing thing is that, a hundred years ago, no one would have noticed anything unusual about us! Sad, isn't it?
The JDoor Home Page is at: http://mb-soft.com/juca/info/doors/firedoor.html
E-mail to: JDoor1@mb-soft.com