Devil’s Advocate.comAllow me to play devil’s advocate for a moment regarding the Internet and the companies who are relying on the .com behind their names to give them exposure and, more importantly, sales.
Componentassemblies.com has been selling direct online for the past seven months. We have been advertising our site consistently at trade shows, in magazines, by direct mail, and on many websites.
The result — only seven online sales! One sale a month does not a business make. We have plenty of innovative hvac products and offer specials every month to our customers; however, the response we are receiving is very disappointing.
We entered this endeavor cautiously, but with much anticipation, for the Internet is supposed to be how people are doing business today. So where is everyone?
After several months of experi-menting with this, I have come to one conclusion — we are ahead of our time.
First, many people have access to the Internet, but the majority of people are utilizing it strictly for e-mails, news, stock quotes, and general information. Secondly, there are the people who have a computer, but with all the new technology, theirs has become obsolete. Lastly, there are the people who do not have access to the Internet.
I have researched this and spoken to a plethora of people around the country and it seems there is still a need for human contact, a desire to see the product before purchasing, and the want of immediate feedback. I believe we may be a good five years away from this really taking off. Too many people are just not comfortable with online buying yet. Customers crave the personal visits and phone calls. They like to feel as if they are cared for and appreciated, something the computer cannot provide.
In conclusion, I have two words of caution to anyone who is contem-plating relying on online sales to advance their business to the next level from a company who tried adding .com to its name: think twice.
Executive Sales Manager
Think Local, NationalAs I was reading the concluding article (August 7, Views and Opinions, “Series Conclusion: There’s Room for Improvement — Period,” page 39), I was amazed that Mark Skaer didn’t pick up on the caller/contractor’s question as to why The News doesn’t mobilize the industry. Leadership, local, regional, and national conferencing through MIX Groups and seminars and growth methodology and recommendations are, and always have been, available through the national, state, and local ACCA chapters/organizations.
As a director of a local chapter, I can assure you that “your” ACCA group will openly welcome all interested contractors with open arms. We want more contractor input so that we all can become better.
Keep up all your interesting articles.
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Central Ohio Chapter (COACCA)
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Publication date: 09/04/2000