By Moe Lastfogel
Director of Sales and Marketing for The Retail Observer
Let’s face it, most of you are involved in the appliance industry in some way as a retailer, distributor, designer, contractor or manufacturer, plus other loyal readers not mentioned. What is the common factor that these groups all share? FOOD!!! You’re selling, specifying, servicing or installing cooking and/or cleaning products and this is why your customers call you.
What is your level of culinary education? Can you boil water? Do you know how a microwave works beyond the 30 second or popcorn buttons? When is it the right time to change the temperature in the oven when you are using convection, and is time a factor? What temperature should red vs. white vs. sparkling wines be held at? How does scraping or non- scraping plates effect their cleanliness from the dishwasher? At what temperature does ketchup come out of wool in the laundry? If you don’t know these basic answers, I suggest getting some help from your peers.
Let’s face it, you wouldn’t purchase a stock portfolio from a lemonade stand or lemonade from a stock broker, right? So, who wants to buy appliances from someone who just reads a spec sheet and has no concept of why or how these products work? People relate to food, because without it, well, you know...
Anyway, your culinary knowledge beyond take-out menus is a must. Ask your manufacturers and distributors if they have programs available that can build your knowledge, DVR some cooking shows or take some classes at your local community center. “Why,” you ask? Because if your customer asks why they should purchase the $6,000 wine cabinet rather than the $200 cabinet, you’ll want to be able to respond with something more informed than, “Because it looks so much more impressive.”