By: Patrik Skjelfoss
June 15 2017

Why buying blindly is a thing of the past

Seeing is believing and believing helps buying. 3D visualization gives crucial feedback during the buying process that saves time and money for you and your customer.

The worst summer job ever?

When my friends and I were in our late teens and needed work, there were three options - flipping burgers at McDonald’s, a job in the family business, or a gig as a telemarketer. Most of us chose a  career, albeit brief, in telemarketing - selling everything from magazines to laundry detergent.

My friend Johan drew the short straw. He sold sweater subscriptions. He was literally calling people to sell a monthly supply of sweaters that they couldn't see!

Picture the scene...

”Well, sir, I am holding one of the sweaters here in front of me and let me tell you...it's blue...sort of navy blue...with some nice white stripes on the shoulders. It is 90% cotton and has soft, yet stretchy feel to it. It is a great looking sweater and I am sure you would look handsome in it. What do you say? Should we sign you up for a monthly subscription of these high-quality sweaters? Next month's will be green.”

As surprising as it is that someone thought it would be a good idea to market something like this over the phone, even more surprising is that he actually did manage to sell these subscriptions on occasion!

From sweaters to something more relevant

When it comes to clothes, being able to see what you buy is a given. It's also becoming increasingly important for build-to-order products. So, rather than sweaters, let me give you an example of more complex, configurable product that benefits greatly from visual configuration - the elevator car.

Elevator cars often have different measurements, interior finishes, button placements and so forth. Your configuration tool will hopefully make sure everything can be produced and will work together.

But a visual representation of the product during configuration gives crucial information and feedback that not only helps your customer to make that all-important buying decision, it also saves you and your customer a lot of time and money down the line. Let me explain.

In our example, the elevator is mainly used to transport boxes from the production floor to the delivery depot. The Production Department fills the elevator with boxes through the south end, selects the floor and sends it up. At the delivery depot, the elevator opens through the north end, where the boxes are removed and the car is sent down to production again.

Everything is as is should be, and perfectly fitted, but the elevator buttons are placed on the north (wrong) end of the elevator car causing production some logistical issues. They first have to walk in into the elevator, select a floor and then go outside to fetch the boxes, while making sure the elevator doors doesn’t close! This is something that wasn't anticipated during sales configuration.

Whose problem?

This kind of error is typical of something that causes a conflict between the customer and the seller. Whose mistake is it? And who carries the cost? Often the seller will resolve the issue by re-designing the elevator for free, or at a reduced cost, which of course eats into the profit margin on the sale. Not doing so risks a disgruntled customer. Whatever the resolution, the error takes time, costs money to fix and erodes trust.

The days of buying blindly are coming to an end 

With the help of a 3D visualization tool, this flaw would become obvious during the sales cycle, before the order is placed.

Not only that...seeing is believing and believing helps buying. 3D visualization aids your customer's understanding of your product, giving them confidence in that all-important buying decision.

For industry leaders, 3D-visualization of configurable products has gone from being a ”nice to have”  to an essential tool - helping sales to close deals, reducing order errors and creating up-selling opportunities.

You wouldn't expect to buy a sweater blind, what makes an elevator car any different?

 

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