Size Matters

Two different sized Piggy Banks on SeeSawBy Tim LaBorde, Induron Representative and Consultant for Petrochemical Industry   

Many years ago, I attended a sales meeting where a senior manager said one of the silliest things that I’ve ever heard. He said, “You need to go out and sell our new system even if it’s not as good as some others, because customers have been waiting for it and we’re one of the ‘biggest’ paint companies in the U.S.”

Unfortunately, he really did believe this nonsense because of years of internal brainwashing. Even more unfortunate is that customers oftentimes fall into the very same trap of believing bigger suppliers are better.

Being too outspoken, I asked the manager, “When you get a haircut, do you go to the biggest barber shop in town?” This question flew over his head. I then asked, “When you go out to buy a steak, do you go to the biggest restaurant in town, or to the one that provides you the best steak for the price?”

I think my points are obvious. The challenge for sales reps is to make our customers realize the value of what we bring to the table. Big is not bad, but “big” isn’t necessarily better. In fact, there might be some distinct advantages to being smaller.

Induron is a great example of the benefits of being smaller. They have zero conceit about being the biggest, and therefore don’t automatically assume they’re the best. Customers are earned and respected, because Induron knows there are many companies out there competing for the business. Induron is not burdened with a large bureaucracy that limits its ability to react to customer needs or opportunities. Normally, you are able to call in and actually speak to the president or to a real decision maker. Lastly, the focus of the company is much more geared toward great formulations, quality and customer service. There is a high degree of confidence in the products and solutions that are offered because being small means you can’t afford to arbitrarily mess up, and if/when you do, you only have one opportunity to make things right, because reputation matters.

For existing Induron customers and prospects, remember that size does matter. The benefits of working with a company that’s been around for about 70 years and managed by three Hood family generations are many.

Leave a Reply