PROGRAMS for REFRIGERATION & AIR CONDITIONING PROFESSIONALS by MISTRAL
Established in 1984, MISTRAL is proud to be widely considered the 'generic' software system provider for the refrigeration & air conditioning industry. In its domestic market, Mistral software is used by more than 85% of refrigeration & air conditioning contracting firms and programs have been distributed to more than 25,000 users in over 140 countries around the world.
"We have five application engineers but I'd like to ask two of them to join our sales team." said my prospect.
He continued. "I need two more sales representatives but would prefer not to recruit any more staff right now. I know two of my engineers are quite keen and would be quite capable in sales. Will your software allow just three engineers to do the job that right now needs five?"
I replied. "We could guarantee that with Mistral software you'd actually need less than two guys to do all your application engineering. Let alone three. However for the sake of logistical security I would advise you are best keeping on three."
He then said. "Good. So how much is your software?"
I replied. "For a company like yours, with over ninety staff, then the cost would be £1,125 a year."
"I'm not paying that for just a bit of computer software!" My prospect loudly protested.
I could see there was no point in remaining in his presence or even responding to his outburst. I closed my laptop, picked up my briefcase, stood up and with a smile bade him farewell.
"Why are you leaving?" The gentleman asked.
Now I was in my stride and had nothing to lose. "You tell me you are managing director of a successful refrigeration company with almost a hundred people on the payroll. I am offering you a certified Expert System Software product which even on your own admission will save your company at least £60,000 per annum in total in staff costs; at the same time as significantly enhancing your profitability in other ways. Through more contracts gained for example and less money needed for equipment and materials to complete each one successfully. Probably enhancing profitability for your company by more than a hundred times that which we are asking from you as an annual fee. Yet you aren't prepared to invest just £1,125 per annum to help you towards achieving all that. Less than five pence per working day for each employee. I can't help you any further. I don’t think anyone can."
My prospect went red in the face and then white. He paused for around five seconds then opened his drawer and pulled out a cheque book.
"£1,125 you say? OK. Here's our cheque. When can we start?" Came his reply.
This is an absolutely true story describing an incident more than twenty years ago. His company are still awarding us £1,125 each year. We haven't increased the fee and have no immediate intention of doing so. Despite his company expanding three fold and increasing its profitability six fold since that first interview.
Postscript. The gentleman featured in this story became a true and loyal friend of both me and all of my colleagues in our company ever since. We never will reveal his name though or that of his company; so please don't bother asking. The photograph is only an anonymous stock image included for editorial effect. Here are a few testimonials for you though, including the authors' names. Some of which you might recognize!
Bringing the benefits of computerisation to our industry - without the historically associated problems.