From the Owner’s Desk

22 Jan

As I reflect on our business today, I think about how many things have changed since I rejoined BPI in 1990. Then I think, Have things really changed?trust

Back then, manual drafting was still in full swing (whatever that means), but computer aided design and drafting was getting more and more attention in trade magazines, i.e. hard copy, a.k.a. today’s blogs. BPI, at the time, had a little known pearl in the corner of our show room: a Mutoh Pencil-Pen Plotter.

Back then, the Mutoh cost $7,000-$10,000–a significant purchase when it was a “new” technology. (Pencil: a new technology. Imagine that!) Much has changed since the 1990s, but much has remained the same–especially when it comes to large-ticket items.

It appears that the world is continually moving faster, thanks, in large part, to technology. However, when it comes down to spending money–big money–everything seems to slow down to the speed of human decision. It is that decision process that, for the most part, remains the same. Granted, there is more input to review prior to each purchase.

I suggest that in more than a simple majority of cases, the final decision on a large-ticket item is influenced significantly by trust–specifically, trust in the vendor. There is a very real and worthwhile reason for this. When buying any product, we all prefer to buy from someone we trust. And when spending a large amount of money, we want the added confidence that if there is a problem with the purchase, our vendor–or, dare I say, our trusted vendor representative–will stand with us and be counted when the problem needs to be rectified.

That begs the question, How, in today’s ever-changing, fast-paced playing field, do you find someone to trust when making decisions about new technologies and increasing expenditures? The same way you did in 1990–through people in your industry that know people who can help you. In other words, you build trust based on people you trust.

Today, when we’re looking for help, we often look for a common denominator among our acquaintances, a process which has been significantly augmented by social media. Using Facebook or LinkedIn, we can make contacts in less than an hour. Twenty-three years ago, it would have taken us a decade to make those same contacts. Yet, regardless of the time taken, when we believe a recommendation from a friend or we have developed confidence in a manufacturer, vendor, or (God forbid) a human salesperson, the likelihood of making a significant purchase is increased with trust.

Yes, even in the 21st century, the most basic human instinct of trust is still a part of all of today’s major transactions. Without it, all of commerce and industry would likely come to a halt.

Trust is your greatest asset. Don’t waste it.

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