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Microphone advice from a salesman
Old 13th June 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Microphone advice from a salesman

There is another thread here that got me thinking about this. I worked for a major mail order music company a few years back. There is something called a "Spif" which is a kickback directly from the distributor to the salesman. You could get cash per sale for certain mics (and other equipment as well). I'm not sure if I should mention brands, but they were major brands. They were the only mics any salesman recomended, In fact, there was one salesman who managed to sell a guy 6 "kick drum" type mics (think of the coin with GW on it, there are that many cents in the name) to mic his entire kit with. I believe he was paid $150 in cash by the rep.

I'm not sure if this is still done, and I'm not sure why this is never mentioned, but I will NEVER ask advice from a salesman about a microphone.
Old 13th June 2006
  #2
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizzleboy
There is another thread here that got me thinking about this. I worked for a major mail order music company a few years back. There is something called a "Spif" which is a kickback directly from the distributor to the salesman. You could get cash per sale for certain mics (and other equipment as well). I'm not sure if I should mention brands, but they were major brands. They were the only mics any salesman recomended, In fact, there was one salesman who managed to sell a guy 6 "kick drum" type mics (think of the coin with GW on it, there are that many cents in the name) to mic his entire kit with. I believe he was paid $150 in cash by the rep.

I'm not sure if this is still done, and I'm not sure why this is never mentioned, but I will NEVER ask advice from a salesman about a microphone.
thanks. that is what I was assuming with my GC thread.
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Spif's are as common as atoms.

The funniest is how many kickbacks the crappier of wine & spirits
companies have to offer.

I could've made a couple hundred bucks off of pushing bum wine
on my customers, in the long run, selling the $300 bottle usually worked out
best in the end. heh
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I used to work as a home installer for Tweeter/Sound Advice... Spifs were out of control and we had to deal with installing some of the worst **** in peoples homes and lied about how good it was just to save the salesmans ass. Glad to get out of that line of work....
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by daryllh
thanks. that is what I was assuming with my GC thread.
Spiffs are not allowed at GC, for precisely this reason.
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Jam
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Jam's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm not aware of many sales driven businesses that aren't based around commission.

Not saying it's right or wrong, it's just a fact of life.

And having worked in a music retailer I can confirm spiffs exist, but it runs much deeper than that.

So you own the business and Line A yields a profit of 25% nett and Line B yields a nett profit of 50% what do you encourage the salesman to sell ?
So in a zero sales commission environment you could still get the same bad ( financially motivated ) advice. It just wouldn't be the salesman who earned the extra.

You could even imagine ( or have lived through ) a scenario where the two products yield the same profit and get financially motivated advice.
If the business owes the bank ( business loan or overdraft ) and it has ten of compressor X in stock costing 6% on the loan and one of compressor Y in stock. There can be the same pressure on the sales staff to recommend compressor X over compressor Y.

Which is why the wiser heads on here recommend doing your research and trying before you buy.

Caveat Emptor

Jam
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
This is precisely why it is imperative to do your homework, and find a salesperson you trust implicitely. I deal 99% with any of 4 sales people in the world, the rest I don't have time for...

One of the measuring sticks I use to determine this trust is when a salesman can recommend a product for a certain application he/she does not carry...but can give information as to who does. Another yardstick if you will is when a sales person will talk me OUT of buying something, and offer a different technique or solution to a problem at hand.

I really don't care if the sales folks get a kickback, spif, whatever - their financial arrangements with manufacturers is not my concern...their honesty, integrity, and looking out after the specific needs of the customer are...such sales folks are out there...and I have no qualms about making referrals offline to the honest ones I deal with....

Just another opinion.
Old 17th June 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jam
I'm not aware of many sales driven businesses that aren't based around commission.

Not saying it's right or wrong, it's just a fact of life.

And having worked in a music retailer I can confirm spiffs exist, but it runs much deeper than that.

So you own the business and Line A yields a profit of 25% nett and Line B yields a nett profit of 50% what do you encourage the salesman to sell ?
So in a zero sales commission environment you could still get the same bad ( financially motivated ) advice. It just wouldn't be the salesman who earned the extra.

You could even imagine ( or have lived through ) a scenario where the two products yield the same profit and get financially motivated advice.
If the business owes the bank ( business loan or overdraft ) and it has ten of compressor X in stock costing 6% on the loan and one of compressor Y in stock. There can be the same pressure on the sales staff to recommend compressor X over compressor Y
Which is why the wiser heads on here recommend doing your research and trying before you buy.

Caveat Emptor

Jam
Great post.
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #9
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtGarceau
I don't know which GC you are working for, but Spiffs are all over the place there! i.e. Sell the most BBE Sonic Maximizers and win a Blue Sky sub. Sell the most DBX compressors and get a $50 Amex gift card.

Not to mention that GC employees only sell what pays the most GP no matter if the product is junk.
I don't work for GC.

In a previous life, I worked for an independent manufacturer's rep company and GC would not allow their employees to receive spiffs from any of my companies that offered them.

FYI-Your examples above are actually 'sales incentives,' contests, etc. They allow those.

Spiffs are cash. They don't allow that. Unless things have changed...
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
gsilbers's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i hate that. why the hell it shouldnt be the way all business mesure price -supply and demand!!

a company makes a product that cost them X and they should add some profit over that, then they give it to the distributors which should be a fix price or established by the ampunt of the demand.

but no, now you have crappy shove-into- marketing companies like maudio backed up by avid deep pockets that makes crap out the door. so they invest in marketing, Spiffs, etc intead of making a better product.
while a small company that has a good product, from a good idea from a group of people that know what they are doing cant afford shelf space, spif etc
most people at maudio dont know jack **** about music products engineering, they dont even know much about pro tools hardware. except the product specialist.

oh.. and i dont wanna get started with monter cable.. just google monter cable bad business practices see if u find the articles where monster sues everyone with the same name even outside the music industry like a mom and pops cybercloth shop.

but those assholes give tons of spif. thats why in Gc and other stores theyll mention that you need to get the monster cables like 20 times making you feel guilty
that you are compromising the audio quality.. psssss
ask him a trick question to see if he even knows about engineering or even quality of cables.


like; should i apply 3db or 8db of ratio on that EQ?" or will this cable remove the hum at 40db?


so i just go to GC to check guitars, new equipment etc but then buy everything online where i can see the real price. and even get something cheaper at ebay.
you know they wont have it cheaper at the stores.

i am sorry for anyone in this forum who works in this types of stores but basically i think they just sell lies and try to screw musicians in a world where musicians are being ****ed by everyone so they can follow a dream.


those stores should just sell a fix profit from every product that is calculated based on rent to pay, employees and utilities and shipping.
that thing of haggling makes me feel i am in turkey buying a "gold" wrist chain from a thieve.
plus the demo rooms suck so bad how the hell can you know if you like the mackies or the gelecs better! or a preamp from another one when the rooms are in bad shape, there is tons of sound polution everywhere, cause everykid that goes there needs to play the electric guitar all the way up cause thats its will sound when they become famouse in the near future.

people that really know the difference between preamps , guitars , etc will never work there cause their talent will be soo wasted.

ok, time for my calming beer
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #11
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7 Hz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlandmorgan
find a salesperson you trust implicitely.
Huh?



heh
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #12
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
this type of marketing would lead one to believe a product that sell the best must be the best.
and they say people can not be led like sheep.
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 Hz
Huh?



heh
Not sure I understand your confusion...if you don't trust a salesman, then why are you giving him/her money? Trustable people are out there, not everyone in retail has only the bottom line as their only measurement...

If product XYZ is not available from a salesperson you trust, only available from internet pages or phone bank sales reps, then use something else....I
d rather buy a product rated as an "8" from a person that rates as a "10" than the other way around.

Yeah, I know its old fashioned, but customer service is still a key factor for our shop...moreso than price.
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