Anonymous Distributor

Our industry is in dire need of a new way of letting the public know what we do. Yes sir and ma’am, I said it, and I am sticking to it. Aren’t you tired of the same old stuff when it comes to selling your products and services? I know I am. We need a good shake-up to get the customers pointed in the right direction – and that direction is toward YOU!

To help prove my point, I Googled “Problems In The Lawnmower World.” Have you Googled “Problems In The Lawnmower World”? Some of the stuff I discovered is pretty funny; so let me share the fun.  Five Common Problems And Lawnmower Troubleshooting Tips. So here we are, learning ways to do troubleshooting by simply looking at the internet. What does this mean to you? Perhaps it means that you will become less relevant to some customers or at least would-be customers. Personally, I believe you are safe, but for fun, let’s look at each one.

The first was “The Starter Rope Is Stuck Or Is Hard To Pull.” The answer is that the problem is usually caused by the engagement of the engine flywheel brake. Hmmm, is anyone other than me scared the consumer will take our business away? Let’s assume that this is the problem. What will the consumer do with that information? In most cases I think they will bring it to you. Some will watch a YouTube video on how to fix it, but most will get it to you.

The second is “The Lawnmower Loses Power While Moving.” And the answer, please…”Dirty Filter Most Common Answer.” The author talks about replacing the filter, and that it is one of the least expensive parts to replace. So what do you hear with problem number two? Have filters in stock is what I heard. The author also says to clean the blade; check spark plug; or, if still not working, check the height of the mower and adjust the height of the mower to compensate for the length of the grass. 

The third is that “The Lawnmower Starts Smoking.” This is a problem usually caused from overfilling the oil chamber. But they go on to say that in rare cases, the smoke might be a sign of more serious problems. Call me a skeptic, but this is where I think you come in again.

The fourth is that “The Lawnmower Won’t Start.” Pretty simple, but the author is saying that the user should check for an empty gas tank or bad spark plug. They also recommend a certain fuel stabilizer. I am in this business, and usually if my lawnmower doesn’t start, I take it to you.

And finally, “The Lawnmower Loses Speed.” They recommend fixing a damaged belt. Okay, but then what?

Wow, I’m glad that’s over. The question remains, how do you fight that kind of internet stuff? My suggestion would be to educate on your own terms. Take out an ad in the paper and, instead of telling them how to fix it, tell them to bring it to you. Advertise on your webpage. Advertise the most common problems in your area. Maybe you live in a very dirty, dry area and know filters are dirty too. Have them in stock so they don’t need to go to an online reseller.

In a recent meeting, I learned that Amazon is still behind sales of the mass merchants but they are starting to climb. We have to find a way to slow them down. There is only one way to slow them down that I can think of, and that is to own your own market. Or, possibly more importantly, know your market. Do your homework to find out what makes people tick. I recently heard from a friend who said they were in a meeting where the presenter alienated just about everyone in the room. That is not doing your homework, is it? If you stock the wrong parts and nobody buys them, chances are you don’t know your market.

Let’s hear from the experts (which are you). Keep your minds and blades sharp. You can agree or disagree with me by writing to OPEMAGAD@gmail.com. I’ll write back. Or if you are into the Twitter thing, tweet me @OPEMAGAD, although I won’t have a clue what to do with it.

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