When I started my sales career at a Nissan automobile franchise in 1990, the sales manger that trained me, (Joe Stokar) wanted to make sure that I knew that selling cars was not about the price.
After a I had a scrape or two with customers that told me things like, “Joel, if you don’t give me your best price, I’m leaving,” I wasn’t feeling very confident about Joe’s statement. As a matter of fact, I didn’t believe him at all.
I’m not sure if Joe knows that he’s in my new franchising book, but he is. That’s because he was a great teacher. And we fought constantly. Heck, I didn’t even want to be in automobile sales. But, Michael and Tony Cuva helped convince me. Darn brother-in-laws. They’re both still in the car business.
Tony runs the used car department at Fred Martin Nissan. Michael is the part owner of Sunnyside Toyota.
I just leased my Red Chariot from Sunnyside Mitsubishi. (I like keeping things in the family.)
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If you thought that this post was going to be about, “The price you pay for eating high-calorie-high-fat content fast food,” you’re mistaken. I’ve written about getting fit and eating healthier already, and I’m done with that topic for the year. This post is about price.
Last night, my wife and I grabbed a bite over at Legacy Village. My daughter, (The Franchise Princess) didn’t want to join us, and instead, chose to hang out at The Castle with her boyfriend. (Boyfriend; that’s a very painful word for a dad…)
We told them that we’d be more than happy to pick up some fast food on our way back. They chose Wendy’s. So, we got in line at the drive-thru, and waited for our turn. Then we waited some more. After 5 minutes, we ordered, and edged towards the pick-up window. Actually, “edged” isn’t really the correct word. Let’s go with…”didn’t.”
My car didn’t move. 10 minutes later it did. Then, it didn’t.
It wasn’t a busy Saturday night at our local Wendy’s franchise. It was an agonizing Saturday night. My hopes and dreams were disappearing every 5 minutes. That’s because just about every 5 minutes, I thought my car would be moving towards my goal. And, this goal of mine….of quickly being able to buy and deliver dinner for the two lovebirds back at The Castle wasn’t getting closer. I was getting really aggravated, and my wife was too. I’ll admit that I’m the more impatient one most of the time. But, Jeannine was rolling her eyes in a horrific way, and I could feel my blood pressure creeping up ever so slowly. Something had to give.
By the time we got to the drive-thru window, I’m 100% positive that I wasn’t smiling when the Wendy’s employee said, “That will be $12.97.” Actually, she wasn’t either. The 5 employees that were walking around in the background? They weren’t too happy-looking, themselves. Now, I was in the restaurant business, and I know first hand that bad days happen. And they rarely get better once they’re up and running. You just have to get through them. But, no one even apologized for the wait.
This experience felt more like I was a customer at a bad operation, though. And, I won’t be back.
There were only 2 cars ahead of me the entire time. Almost a half hour in line. (Why didn’t you guys leave, Joel?)
I’d rather overpay at another fast food restaurant than go through another time-wasting, aggravating experience like the one I had last night. Again, I’d rather pay too much at another place in order to avoid going to the Wendy’s that I was at last night.
So, is it always about the price?
Or, was Joe right?
Over at Open Forum by American Express, I wrote about some interesting survey results concerning the QSR sector. (Fast food)
“While convenience and price are still important considerations for consumers these days, the annual consumer restaurant chain survey done by Market Force, a Colorado-based customer experience information firm, found that there are actually a couple of other attributes that truly reign supreme these days.” Read about them at Open Forum.
I’m curious; what have your experiences been like at your local fast food restaurant’s drive-thru window? Have they been good? Lousy? And, how important is price? Let me know in the comment section, below. It’s easy to do.