“Leave a Nickel on the Table”

In the late 1980’s I was fortunate enough to be employed as an outbound sales rep for the then Canadian distributor of Dual Turntables, Ortofon Cartridges, Sherwood electronics, Marantz and Proton. As a sales rep, working with retailers was a different kettle of fish, particularly since I had recently moved from being a retailer to now working with a wholesaler. The person who hired me for this position was a rather stubborn bone-headed kind of guy – rather like myself – who specialized in taking fledgling reps like myself and turn them into great salespeople who worked with a retail operator to make sure they experienced success with our products.

As an example, in Canada for both Dual and Ortofon, sold more of these products per capita than any other country in the world. We actually outsold the U.S.A. in both products period! How did we do it?

In the marketplace, there were many options for either product. Technics, Denon, Akai, Pioneer, JVC, were all mainline companies seeking #1 marketshare for turntables while Shure, Audio Technica, Grado, AKG, Stanton, plus many others were vying for marketshare in phono cartridges.

Our secret of success, created by our leader Ron Langworth was not just to sell our products to a dealer but to help them market the products offered by us through clinics. Our Dual Turntable clinics were famous Canada wide as we encouraged our dealers to promote a FREE Clinic open to whoever owned a turntable. These were held annually to ensure the presence of the dealer in their area. This was a fantastic promo, that gave our dealers a huge competitive edge. You might think that the success of our promos would lead to insisting on dealers being “loaded” with product, but in true Ron Langworth fashion, the dealers were encouraged to purchase enough to ensure all models were shown but to make sure the dealer was not overstocked with too much inventory.

Ron’s favourite expression was to “Leave a Nickel on the Table”, to make sure the dealer had enough left in his bank account to purchase other products essential to making his business grow. Ron left a huge mark on me for his incredible loyalty to the dealer base.

Forward to 2011. When All That Jazz was conceived, the first thought was to ensure that All That Jazz offered the same level of support to all of those of you folks who were willing to trust us with your business and support us. In Langworth fashion, we offer turntable set-ups using good quality gauges and tools. Our alignment gauges alone are worth over $500.00.

  1. Turntable set-ups – No newly purchased turntables leave our store without a proper set-up.( The large dealers and many of the small simply hand you a box) and we do this at no charge.
  2. Cartridges are set-up and aligned before the table leaves the store – even if the table is from a different outlet.
  3. Demo cables are available for you to take home and test how they sound on Your music system. Why? Thes devices are expensive and your system, room etc all have different characteristics from mine.
  4. When you purchase any player, we outline the possible “hot-rodding” you can do with your product. Anything from “Bluetack” resonance control to additional feet or special cleaners.
  5. Good quality lines from competent distributors.
  6. We are extrememly loyal to you, our customer and more often Friend.
  7. Our prices are not the least expensive, but our knowledge makes up for it. 

Early this week, an individual contacted me re: pricing on a well known CD Player. The player in question usually sells in the range of $550. while the price the gentleman suggested that he could purchase it for was about $7.00 below my cost. Obviously for good reason as I am not in the habit of selling even close to cost. I recognize that with the internet it is quite possible these days to get low ball pricing on almost anything but my question is what is good value.

To be frank, I would have suggested that he purchase a unit below as it is pretty much the same sonically and he would have had room left for good interconnects and perhaps the option of “hot-rodding” his product.

To be frank, hopefully without being arrogant, why should I give my knowledge on this product when the customer in not willing to pay a price that I can live with. (my normal price on that unit was $479.) I am sure that none of you out there work for free (although most of us complain about doing so – me too!).

If a price is too low, often this is a sign that the dealer is either dumping the product or preparing to cease business. Sometimes the price is low as the product is coing from the U.S. Buying from internet retailers in the U.S. is a gamble as there will usually be no warranty repairs should the product fail. In addition, the dealer can tell you how to plug the unit, but his real concern is to get the unit out the door not advise options.

“Leave a Nickel on the Table” has long been a watchword for me personally. I market the product at a price that I can afford, back it up with service based on your needs and have plenty supporting advice, knowledge, accessories, use my knowledge and experience to pick good product lines and offer add-ons that allow you to enjoy your products to the nth.

I encourage you to visit our man-cave, check our selection of new and used products and accessories, Our great selection of new and used vinyl and cds and simply enjoy a smidgeon of relaxation in our “crazy, mixed up world”!

gord@allthatjazzhifi.com