|Screening your tech salesman|
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 02:00
Who we buy from is sometimes as important as what we buy. Joel Kopping gives advice on how to choose a technology supplier.
Buying a new high-tech goodie is easy. All we need to do is pop into a shop or go online, find the cheapest price for the desired product, pay and off we go.
But often, when reality bites, usually shortly after we`ve just unpacked our new piece of equipment and hooked it up, we find that it doesn`t do all we expected it to, or even what the sales brochure or salesman said it would.
Welcome to the world of advertising hype, overstated specifications and the quick buck.
While there are many people who are tech-savvy enough to be able to determine which products will do what they want them to and suit their individual requirements, most of us need a little help when it comes to buying gadgets that don`t fall into our area of expertise. So what we want is a supplier that will sell us what we need, without filling our heads with loads of nonsense.
What follows is a short guide to choosing a supplier that will sell you a good product at a good price. But before we get to this, we want to mention a few reasons why salespeople don`t suggest the right item all the time.
Firstly, some salespeople simply don`t care enough about you. All they care about is getting a sale. Besides, they are possibly only working in the store until something better comes along. The next reason, and this is one of the dark secrets of sales, is that sometimes there is an incentive for a salesperson to sell one product over another. They make more money selling this brand of TV or PC than another, so naturally it`s the best (for them, that is).
Now let`s move on to listing a few things to look for in a technology supplier.
If they listen properly, they will hear that you want a monitor for gaming, or for editing pictures, or one that is simply used to browse the internet. They`ll then be able to point you towards the right monitor for that specific application.
A clever sales person may even ask what graphics card you have, as some older models might not support the resolution of the monitor you`re going to buy. They may make a little less commission on the one sale but if they look after you, you`ll be back.
Looking for a new PC or laptop? Once again a good sales person will listen to your requirements and advise on what`s best. There`s no need for the biggest, fastest processor if all you`re going to do is browse the net. But how would the salesman know this if he didn`t bother to ask?
Size does matter
Similar rules apply when buying a new TV, although here the salesperson should be able to demonstrate the difference between the ber-expensive model they want you to buy and a lesser model. If they can`t demonstrate the difference, why should you spend it, right? This applies to cables too.
A good supplier will also ask what the TV will be used for, and this isn`t quite as obvious as it may seem. If, for example, you`re a sports junkie, you will want a TV that is good at displaying fast-moving images. Always remember that it`s important to see what the TV will look like with broadcast media (DSTV, SABC, eTV). Many TVs look great when a DVD is playing in store, but may have terrible picture quality for broadcasts. If the shop can`t illustrate this, go to one that can.
Size is important too, and if a shop assistant doesn`t ask how big the room is, they won`t be able to offer proper advice on how big the TV and loudspeaker system or how powerful the A/V receiver should be. A good shop, staffed with trained salespeople, knows it has to look after the customer, if it`s hoping for any kind of repeat business.
A poor store cares only about how much money it can milk out of a current sale.
Remember, value is not directly related to the price you pay. A product that is cheap but wrong offers no real value. The more expensive product that delivers exactly what you need it to will be cheaper in the long run.
As they say, "goed koop is duur koop", and a fool and his money, etc, etc.
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