Pre-season is over and we are now live on the world-wide web. Our customers, suppliers, and anyone connected to The Nailco Group (TNG) world can now read and post my daily blog.
I have an excellent story to share and it's one of those human nature stories that makes one wonder. Your feedback is certainly appreciated.
The Nailco Group has been servicing one of our best customers for many years. We moved them from Wella to L'Oreal some 7 years ago (at a substantial 40% discount) and as one of our best customers, they received discounts on other products.
During this period, we had both owners to many events, both company and personal. Their salon enjoyed being involved with Tiffany, Evening of the Stars, Fringe and so much more. We even went to a play that one of the owners was an actress to show our support.
When we lost L'Oreal January 2, 2008, we naturally asked for their support which they initially gave to us. Then mysteriously they changed their minds and stuck with L'Oreal but continued to buy other products from us.
Recently, they stopped buying their nail products from us because our competitor gave them a bigger discount (5%). When I asked why they switched for 5%, the response was "I'm only interested in the lowest price and they gave me the lowest price."
I asked him why the same competitor didn't give him a discount for the past 10 years and if they were going to give him a check for the lost discounts. He wasn't so interested in that comment but he did add that if we wanted to beat the price, they would move the business back to us.
The Nailco Group isn't the largest national distributor in the U.S. because we offer the lowest price. We aren't the only company in the industry that is ISO9001 certified because we offer the lowest price. And we certainly aren't in Gallup's 99th percentile of customer engagement because we offer the lowest price.
I am sure you have experienced a similar situation either personally or in business. My question is at what point doesn't loyalty and personal relationships matter and only the "lowest price" or some other transactional item count?
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