Why do equipment dealers hide their prices

A lot of dealers post their equipment online, but hide their prices, asking "please call for price".
I want to know why exactly they do it.
Is that so that they can find out about the customer, to base the asking price on how much money the customer has?
Or is that because they do not have the product but are just web spamming for leads?
i
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Ignoramus30459 wrote:

This is it 99% of the time, the "how much have you got?".

There might be some of this, but i expect it's a fraction of a percent.
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OK, just what I thought.
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On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 14:49:43 -0600, Ignoramus30459

They want you as a prospect, above all. They want to qualify you (salesman's term) and to find out what you really want. If it happens to be the machine you're calling about, they'll start negotiating.
They don't expect to sell you that machine. But they expect to sell you something -- if you're qualified.
This is not what savvy advertisers of new machines do, but it's nearly universal among used-machinery dealers. Savvy advertisers know the research, and know they'll get more calls if they include a price. It may be high, but that's a qualifier, too.
--
Ed Huntress
(former U.S. Sales Manager, Sodick EDM)
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On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 16:12:33 -0500, Ed Huntress

P.S. If you want a full description of "qualified," just ask.
--
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ask
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No... ask the dealer! <G>
The reputable dealers will even ship a machine "on spec", with the condition that you pay shipping both ways.
It's a great ploy, because shipping on "real metal" is usually pretty high, and the potential buyer has a great incentive to fix whatever's wrong with the machine, rather than ship it back.
Lloyd
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On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 15:50:08 -0600, Ignoramus30459

Ok. There are several parts. It's easiest to explain the steps they go through. This is not absolutely universal, but in any decent size operation, it's like this:
When you call, the sales person has a "lead card" or "lead form" in from of him (or her). They want your name and company. It goes down on the form. Now you're his customer and he's "protected" from other salesmen at his company.
They respond nicely to your inquiry about XYZ machine. They'll often give you the asking price at this point. Then their questions and qualification start.
They want to know when you're planning to buy a machine (within 30 days, 90 days, one year, or you're just fishing.) If it's 30 days, you're qualified as "hot."
They may ask then how you plan to finance it, or if you want to finance through them. That's the first step in qualifying whether you're really able to pay. If you have a Dun's number, they'll know it, maybe even while you're on the phone. <g> They want to know how well your company pays but they don't need to ask you about that. They have it from their Dun's report. If you don't have a Dun's number, they'll put that aside and continue with the qualifying.
They'll ask what you're using to do the job now. From that, you'll be qualified as an upgrade, a replacement, or new-project, if you're not actually doing the job at present.
From that they'll decide what they really want to sell you. As often as not, it's not the machine you're inquiring about. If you sounded stunned at the price they gave you at first, and if they have something cheaper, they may redirect to that. If you're still stunned, your qualification has just cooled down. <g> Or they may have something better and they'll test you with that, to see how you respond.
All the while, they're trying to determine how serious you are. If you're serious, they'll hang on like a shark.
They'll have many negotiating points, which they'll use to get the price down without sounding like they're just dropping the price. Delivery time. Transformers and power. Tooling and accessories. Etc. Before they go very far with negotiations, if they're nearby, they'll do their best to get you to their facility to see the machine. If they don't really have the machine in their possession, they'll keep going and asking "qualifying questions."
Qualifying question examples: "Do you have your own rigger, or do you want us to handle that?" "Regarding financing, shall we get your information down now so I can get you an answer today or tomorrow?"
These can also be constructed as "closing questions," which are more blunt: "Shall we have it painted in your company's colors (if you're GM <g>), or will you handle that? When do you want to schedule a runoff?" "We can offer a variety of tooling options. Which of these three packages works best for you?"
They're called "closing questions" because a positive answer from you on one of them means you're sold. You're closed. Those questions are not open-ended; they give you specific options. If the salesman doesn't screw up, he's now counting on a sale.
The qualifying, then, determins if you're serious; if you're really able to buy; how quickly you need the machine, and if you're under any pressure to get it installed quickly; which machine is the one you really want or need; and similar things. You're "qualified" at one of several levels. The sales company may even use an "A, B, C, D, forget about it" scale. This is all info for the sales manager to manage his staff.
So, when do you want your new EDM, Mr. Chudov, this Friday, or will next Wednesday be Ok? NEVER ask that question, as a salesman, without providing specific options. The sales manager will kill you if you do. Those are closing questions, too. <g>
If you're qualified but you aren't going to buy now, that salesman will hang on to you as a ranked lead, and you'll get mail, or e-mail, or phone calls, or all three.
--
Ed Huntress (who hasn't done this for 20 years, but probably still
could if he had to)
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who the hell has time for all that nonsense?
I send a list of what I want, my zip code and how I like things shipped. Suppliers gives me a price or they're out. They're welcomed to ignore me too, I'll be making a purchase, just not with them.
There's the ocassional item where you're stuck with one supplier due to "territories" and other obsolete relics from the past, but there's always alternatives to those obnoxious places.
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On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 23:59:30 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader

That all happens in around 15 minutes. And I never sold a new machine tool for less than $70,000 -- most over $200,000. I've sold a few used machines, never for less than $25,000 that I recall.
That's the way it's done. If you don't go through those steps, you don't get a sale.
The "RFQ, best price wins" buyers, like you're describing, get a quick quote and move on to the next one. The ones like you are not very common in the machine tool business.
How in the hell do you know what you're buying?
--
Ed Huntress

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If you get a reply, you're at least dealing with a seller that is responsive. Prices and options can be worked on from there.
I recall having to weed out the clowns when helping select an office phone system years ago. It was a medium sized install of about $40,000 for the switch, heandsets and wiring.
the level of assholery from the vendors we had bid was incredible. You could tell they were checking off reasons to take us for a ride like how snazzy the office looked, what big deal clients we had etc.
The honest vendor would start off with questions like how many employees, what system do you have now, is there a system you like, what timeframe.
The scum would start out with how much money is in your bank account, how big deal of a company are you etc. People like to brag at this point, which is also a mistake, because it always gets the sales people excited and they start to add on stuff you don't need and extra zeros in pricing.
The other obnoxious thing sales folk do is provide some vague non-itemized quote.
One funny one I saw recently was $4000 to rackmount one server. This only came out when the itemized quote was demanded.
Most of this crap can be avoided if you, as the potential customer drive the process.
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On Fri, 15 Feb 2013 18:21:00 +0000 (UTC), Cydrome Leader

I thought you said you just ask for a price, and they're up or out?

"Questions?" I thought you didn't have time for that nonsense.
Those are the same kinds of questions I described above. Most salesmen, if they don't know your company, will try to qualify whether you're a genuine potential buyer or not, as early as they can. You can waste enormous amounts of time with tire-kickers.
But if it doesn't fit into the conversation, you can just as well start off qualifying them on the basis of their needs. Which is exactly what you describe, and what I was talking about when I said the salesman has to get a handle on what machine is best for you.

If I put your two different responses together, it sounds like you give them an RFQ, and then, if they give you a quote, you start negotiating, right?
If you're specifying machine tools and you know exactly what you want (government agencies always pretend they do; so do academic institutions -- it's in their purchasing rules), then by all means, give them an RFQ and sit back. But you know, and everyone in the business knows, that doing so is little more than a pro forma exercise. All you have is a starting point, at best.
Most small- to medium-size buyers, such as job shops and very small manufacturers, don't have a formal RFQ procedure. They call and start talking. Or a salesman sees them regularly and starts talking with them when they need to make a purchase.
Iggy was asking about used machines, IIRC. You really can't write a sensible RFQ for them. Again, smaller and medium-sized companies, and dealers, handle substantial used machines about the same way they handle new ones. You make contact, you start talking, and you put your heads together to figure out what's really available and what you really need.
The salesmen you're describing don't sound very good. I could have fixed them, maybe, back when I was managing sales in the machine tool business. d8-)
--
Ed Huntress



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This makes sense for run of the mill cheap items.
Not so much for higher priced items.

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Sounds sensible. Do you know of any book that I can read that teaches how to be a good salesman? I am the salesman at my company and, while I am able to sell, I would like to be able to sell more.
i
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wrote:

prices,

the

web

percent.

happens

nearly

It

go

on

They

stunned,

they

any

do.

Hard to sell from an empty wagon.
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Look up the name "Willy Loman", Ig. <G>
Lloyd
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On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 20:27:57 -0600, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote: >>> Sounds sensible. Do you know of any book that I can read that teaches

LOL!!!!!!!!!!
Gunner
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On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 18:23:24 -0600, Ignoramus30459

That's a good question, and a good attitude. I know some old classics but I think there's much better stuff out there now. I'd peruse Amazon and read some reviews. Otherwise, there are associations, like the American Marketing Association (watch the AMA abbreviation-- it's doctors, too). They have book lists.
If you can't find what you want, check back. I wrote the sales manual for Oakite years ago, but if you aren't selling soap and cutting coolant, you probably want something else. d8-)
--
Ed Huntress
>
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What were they using as an emulsifying agent back then ?
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On Thu, 14 Feb 2013 23:05:56 -0800, "PrecisionmachinisT"

Ya' got me. I just helped them sell it.
I know what the original Oakite powdered detergent was, though: 100% TSP.
--
Ed Huntress

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