In 1975 I wanted to open a window blind shop but my biggest concern was that I was not a great salesman. I did not have the skill to sell something to a person who didn’t want to buy it, which was OK because I didn’t want to do that anyway.
I still went ahead and established Northern Window Blind Co. because I had been managing a window blind manufacturing business for a year and knew the blinds were good and could sell themselves if prospects were given the best advice backed up by excellent products and service. Once the business was up and running, selling mainly domestic windowblinds to householders, I attended many courses and read a lot of books on Sales and Marketing.
When I was in a person’s house measuring to give a quotation, I would mention the various types of windowblind options but without any sales pressure. My worst fear has always been that I will sell someone a product that they do not want.
Fast forward 13 years to 1988 and my newly re-named company Solar Solve Ltd. trading as Solar Solve Marine. Established to sell a very different type of product to a vastly different market. SOLASOLV anti-glare, heat-rejecting roller screens to the global marine industry. How am I going to sell them?
I was still not a slick salesman and so I had to keep using the technique that had served me so well up to that time……. Show prospects the products, make them aware of their features and benefits, tell them the prices, give them my expert advice and suggestions….. then sit back and let them decide. I only want delighted customers that are pleased with their purchase and my company and its products.
Fast forward another 19 years to 2007. For most of that period we tended to stick with the original Ten Good Reasons for buying SOLASOLV, that were established when the product was developed and launched. They included…….. Easy to install, Easy to use, True colour rendition, Instantly retractable, Rejects up to 93% of glare, Rejects up to 87% of heat, Rejects up to 99% uv light, Reduces eye strain, etc. But by now Crew Fatigue Management had established itself as one of the main objectives of caring shipowners and we realised that most of our products’ features and benefits had not been expanded to include their main benefit of stress reduction.
It can be logically concluded that one of the main consequences of stress is fatigue…. Or maybe it’s the other way round? Since 2007, as Fatigue Management has become more and more of a concern, we have included it as a major benefit of Solar Solve products, occasionally creating special promotions such as our current FATMAN 2020 VISION initiative.
At Solar Solve we do not think that Crew Fatigue Management can be over-emphasised as an essential Health and Safety objective for all shipowners.