Regular readers seem to appreciate my boating storylines, at least as confirmed by my sophisticated empirical research. I recently searched for a towing pad eye, to tow one boat with another, both safely and over long distances. The definition of a First World problem, I’ll admit.
But, we are in the First World, and we solve First World problems for, primarily, First World customers.
Smaller boats tend to come with very simple D-rings that bolt through the bow of the boat. The D-ring works fine for its primary purpose, securing a smaller boat to a trailer. Those who tow boats over distances know that the D-ring will eventually either pull out or damage the towed boat; that is not its purpose. There are pad eyes designed more specifically for this purpose.
First World Solutions For First World Customers
When checking around to find a pad eye designed for our exact boat and purpose, the search was more difficult than I expected. You can buy some fairly generic brackets that fit multiple hull forms; however, they look terrible. They may work, but they don’t look like they belong.
I have mentioned before that Fort Lauderdale is a yacht and superyacht capital of sorts. You would think there are many providers of this type of product, especially in Florida.
Luckily, the boating community is pretty open with sharing information. Word of mouth works through online forums, marina gossip, and industry chatter. I heard the same company in relatively short order, and the same name at the company, “Joe at Broward Machine.” “Joe’s the guy.” “Check out Broward Machine.” So I did.
Think of it, I had expanded my search globally via the internet to see what was out there, and the universal response was the same, “Joe.”
Like many of us do, I looked at the company’s web site. It turns out most of us have moved pretty far down the path toward a purchase before we ever walk into a store or make an online purchase because we can check so thoroughly in advance. We have tools to learn a lot before we meet a vendor/supplier/provider.
Your customers are doing that with you.
Joe’s website is informative but not over the top. They do make what I need. I call and get voice mail. The voice mail says, “If you need specific service, please text this number.” So I did.
Within minutes I had a text back from Joe himself. He was on another job. We talked through what I needed.
While we were on the phone, he texted me photos of completed jobs similar to my request. We were clearly on the same page. He understood why I needed what I needed, knew the challenges specific to my boat, conveyed his experience in making custom products, and offered to send an estimate.
Within 30 minutes, I had an estimate for a custom made towing pad eye.
His solution was engineered well, looked like it could have come with the boat, was proven across multiple types of boats, endorsed by the boating community, and it commanded a premium price.
Joe asked good questions about usage.
He wanted to know that I had thought through and had the other requisite hardware, tackle, and towline to use his product correctly. Yes, he was up selling, but he did it through a lens of concern for our safety, the safety of the tow, and to assure that a tow using his pad eye system wasn’t going to break away someday—thereby hurting his positive reputation.We have tools to learn a lot before we meet a supplier or provider. Your customers are doing that with you. Who is writing or speaking of you, without your knowledge? Find out how to set your reputation with first-world solutions: Click To Tweet
Joe is doing what we all want to be doing with our clients:
- Producing highly specialized solutions to exacting specifications.
- Recognized as “the best.”
- Proud to offer fast and reliable customer service.
- Fortunate enough to benefit from a universally positive reputation.
- Command a premium price in exchange for very high value.
So, you’ve read this far. What’s Gene’s question?
Who is writing or speaking of you, without your knowledge or remuneration, the way I just did of my new friend, Joe?
“It’s what people say about you when you’re not there” – Alan Weiss
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To get a copy of Pitching the Big Top: How to Master the 3-Ring Circus of Federal Sales, or information on federal sales, visit Capitol Integration.