Comments From a Massage Chair Customer

I received a letter from one of my massage chair clients last week and I thought I’d share his letter and my response with you:

Hi Dr Alan,

My chair arrived in good time and good shape.  It was easy to assemble as you described.  
That said, your emails are clearly part of your sales deal, you’re using a lot of sales pressure to move the chairs that are actually shipped from the supplier, not your showroom or stock.  Maybe you’re confident that it works on Americans, but I’m not sure that I’m to confident that all of your repetitive emails to interested parties are actually doing you a lot of good.  I automatically resist sales pressure as soon as I detect sales insincerity or generic email reminders that sound like you just wrote them but are obviously rehashed.  
I only bought from you, almost reluctantly, after doing some significant online research.  I actually found the chair $900 cheaper than the price I paid you, cheaper than the websites that I sent you to reduce my price, but didn’t trust them or the lack of information that they gave.  The $900 was probably worth spending if your word is as you say it is…  I really don’t understand why you aren’t still a practicing chiropractor after spending all that time training and learning such wonderful knowledge.  People need your abilities if you’re any good at it, someone else could take the call from the office.  Any sales person can sell chairs.
Looking at the list of published satisfied customers, I can’t really be bothered adding further comments apart from the fact that the Panasonic chair I bought works well, it’s used up to an hour a day and is working well in keeping this aging ex-pat Australian rancher in Texas functional.  It’s not as good as a similarly priced machine that I rode in Australia but this isn’t Australia.  That seemed to be a machine with much more finesse for the same money, but then, my impression has to be subjective.
So, Dr Alan, “you can talk about anything you want. The chair, the customer service, anything you want”, do I get my lollipop for being honest?  I’ll be seriously impressed if you use this comment as it is written, unedited…

 

Regards, 
Ralph
(completely unedited, by the way)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Hi, Ralph

Thanks for your feedback. I love feedback, whether it is flattering or not. I’ll address a few of your points below:
“…your emails are clearly part of your sales deal, you’re using a lot of sales pressure to move the chairs that are actually shipped from the supplier, not your showroom or stock.  Maybe you’re confident that it works on Americans, but I’m not sure that I’m to confident that all of your repetitive emails to interested parties are actually doing you a lot of good.  I automatically resist sales pressure as soon as I detect sales insincerity or generic email reminders that sound like you just wrote them but are obviously rehashed. “

 

Once in a great while I get a complaint about my email campaign, but it is very, very seldom. I use one campaign for folks who are shopping for a new massage chair and have downloaded my free report from my website. I use another email campaign to follow-up with clients who have purchased a massage chair from us to keep them updated as to delivery and chair care. Frequently, I have people call me 1-3 years after downloading the free report saying that they decided to buy from me because I stayed in touch with them…both US and international customers, by the way. But, I get that some folks, like yourself, don’t care much for that. That is why we have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each of our emails so that subscribers can opt-out anytime they choose.

 

The purpose of those emails is to keep my name in the shoppers consciousness, which is crucially important for an e-commerce business, so that when they are ready to buy they will think of me (not everyone who visits my site is ready to buy at that moment!). I know that you have an e-commerce business too, Ralph, and you might consider using a newsletter, e-course, or some sort of email sequence to stay in touch with prospects so that when they are ready to buy…they will buy from you simply because you have stayed in touch with them. The follow up emails are very much appreciated by the buyers, too. They feel good knowing that I haven’t forgotten about them after trusting me with so many of their hard-earned dollars.
“I only bought from you, almost reluctantly, after doing some significant online research.  I actually found the chair $900 cheaper than the price I paid you, cheaper than the websites that I sent you to reduce my price, but didn’t trust them or the lack of information that they gave.  The $900 was probably worth spending if your word is as you say it is…  I really don’t understand why you aren’t still a practicing chiropractor after spending all that time training and learning such wonderful knowledge.  People need your abilities if you’re any good at it, someone else could take the call from the office.  Any sales person can sell chairs.”

 

Thank you so much for this comment. I really love educating people in the buying process so that they make the best choice for them. I also love working with people. If you send me the link of website with the $900 less price I will take a look at it. That would bring the price of the chair, compared to what you paid, to much, much less than my cost. I am not sure how that other online retailer can afford to charge that amount as we all pay the same amount for the chairs. But, I’d be happy to look at it.

 

The primary reason I am not in chiropractic anymore is because we struggled financially for each of the 19 years we were in the profession. I pride myself on being a great clinician and technician, but not a great chiropractic businessman. I am not an extravagant man…we buy used cars, own no “toys”, live in a modest home, and have 6 children to clothe and feed. We just couldn’t make ends meet for so many years. It was a very difficult thing for me to see my wife suffer from that lack for so long. There were times when we didn’t even have money for groceries…no joke. My wife, to this day, says the reason I failed at the chiropractic business was because I was too honest.So, I started a website business thinking that I could maybe make a couple of hundred bucks each month to help with the mortgage. Well, it turned into so much more than that. We  knew we had something special here.We had to choose one or the other, so we went with the website. I absolutely love what I am doing now. I might mention that within a month of selling my practice, back in 2008, my lower back pain, shoulder pain, and wrist pain were gone! (maybe I wasn’t going to the chiropractor enough!!). I am still able to use my knowledge when consulting with shoppers and clients. Most of them have some sort of musculo-skeletal complaint for which I can give some advice. I still use my chiro knowledge almost every day in the massage chair business.

 

Well, Ralph and the rest of my readers, thanks for the feedback and the time you took to read this. I hope you didn’t mind me getting a little personal about my life and family and I also hope that you gleaned something of import from the letter and my response. You will have to come to the showroom for your lollipop, though 😉