Turning competitors into a revenue sources
Pay-N-Pak – No matter what people may have perceived of the store’s selection it was one of the most tightly run ‘ships’ I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with; I learned a couple of important lessons in the position early in my career.
A casually dressed couple standing near were looking at bath tubs. I approached and asked if they needed any help. They politely responded, “No we’re just looking.” I went back to what I was doing, checking for stock shortages, and thinking about what I just did/said I shook my head at myself. Recognizing my mistake I went back and apologized for interrupting their discussion and asked what they were working on. Turned out they were not looking for a bathtub; they were looking for two because they were doing an addition, and wanted to upgrade the other to match the quality.
Explaining I’ve had a private tour the Kohler plant in Wisconsin. I explained the quality differences between Kohler and Eljer, and the other products that made up the bathroom, and closed the sale with a total of 3800 dollars. Never underestimate anyone was a lesson I still firmly believe in.
Pay-N-Pak had a reinvestment program very similar to what Lowes has. The CEO David Heerensperger
“…the partnership between Thurman and Heerensperger soured as Pay ‘N Pak ran aground. Folks in the home-improvement industry – which I wrote about for five years at National Home Center News – still argue about who killed Pay ‘N Pak. In a lawsuit that stretched into the 1990s, Heerensperger was officially absolved of responsibility. But the bad feelings between Thurman and Heerensperger remained.” – Puget Sound Business Journal by Carol Tice Date: Sunday, July 22, 2001, 9:00pm PDT
The court ruled in favor of Heerensperger however questionable. He did use the stock options which are similar to Lowe’s to create a cash flow situation that the company couldn’t recover from.