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A letter to the Manager at the Lakeland Power Tool shop in Croydon.

I came all the way from Faversham to Croydon to do business with you, after receiving nothing locally.

Let me tell you the story.

I have been looking for a Stihl Kombi system for a little while now.

I tried to buy locally.

I visited 2 stores locally, and spoke to the sales people in the shop.

In one of the stores, one of the salesmen called out to me to see if I needed help. He was behind the counter and out of sight to me, due to machinery in the way. I found this somewhat off-putting, so didn’t reply.

Finally he came round from behind the counter and walked over to me and said again, “Do you need help” I explained what I was after. He then showed me the Stihl Kombi system.

I took him name so I could either talk to him again, or if I rang, I was hoping he would remember me.

The systems he was offering were quite expensive. £308 with them v £258 with you, for the Stihl KH94 motor. However, I am happy to spend a little more if I can receive value and build an on-going relationship.

I am a little wary about purchasing something like this on-line, hence I went to the stores initially. I am tactile and like to see and feel the goods before purchase, where possible.

Even so I went back by phone, to one of the local stores as I believe in value and buying locally, and would have paid a little more if they had given me service and value.

On the phone I asked if there was anything he could do price wise, as I said I had seen it far cheaper in another store and on-line.

He came back at me and said, “I s’pose you have been dealing with (name withheld) “

I replied “ No, Britannia tools actually”

He said, “There’s nothing I can do”

So I asked, “Is there any type of deal we could do, as I want to purchase a couple of items for the Kombi system, and would prefer to stay local?”

“Nope”, he said, and hung up.

Wow, I thought.

So I rang you at Britannia Tools. (Also known as Lakeland Power Tools) I had obtained your name by looking on the website.

I spoke with Dean.

I let him know what I was wanting.

Every step of the way Dean reassured me that if I purchased “on-line” there was a full back-up and guarantee for the system I was purchasing.

This was 2 weeks ago.

Having done my research, it seemed price and value from Dean and Britannia Tools was excellent. (There was a cheaper option on-line with one of your competitors by about £15, but as I said, I felt comfortable with Dean and wanted to give him first option.)

I rang Dean back 2 weeks later.

He said he recalled our conversation.

I asked him if I could come up to see him and view the Stihl Kombi system. I had a meeting in Dartford on Thursday afternoon, and would drive across to Croydon after the meeting.

Dean replied “Of course.”

He said he would have the system ready for me to see.

My intention was to purchase just the KH-94 motor and the hedge-trimmer only.

I arrived at your store in Croydon at 1630 hrs. You close at 1700 hrs.

I asked for Dean.

He came out and said he remembered our conversation and had the system ready.

He took me out the back and showed me, and demonstrated to me the system, and how it worked.

The hedge trimmer he first got out “didn’t sound right to him”. He said it made a clunking noise, so he got another one. Wow, I thought, this IS SERVICE. I didn’t hear the noise. Just this bit alone was the value I appreciated of a face to face purchase, rather than buying on-line.

Dean then showed me the Blower and the Brush-cutter that also goes with the KH-94 motor. This was an ‘up-sell’ but done subtly.

I smiled as I knew it was a subtle upsell and not in my face. This is good salesmanship.

It’s giving me the opportunity to say no, but I could say Yes.

It made sense.

The whole service value and transaction was excellent and I saved as well, by purchasing from you. We didn’t finish the transaction till after 1720 hrs – 20 minutes after you closed.

Now here’s the kicker. I still need the Pole pruner, Pick tine, Bristle Brush and Extension shaft. The value here for these 4 items is about £550. Guess where I am coming back to, to make this purchase. And guess where I will come back to for my servicing!

As I said, I came in to purchase the motor and the hedge trimmer. About £422.

I left having spent £746 – so a great upsell by Dean. Another 43% he earnt the company.

I appreciate all Dean did for me, and Dean’s professionalism and courtesy was just amazing.

He is an asset to your business and to your company.

He is making you money.

That is what a good employee does for a business.

The business then prospers and grows.

Thanks again for a great customer experience and service. Please thank Dean for me. I look forward to speaking with him again soon and doing more business together.