Date: November 30, 1998
From: John Leistritz <>
Subject: AMS-Forum Discount Reply
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Regarding Chris' question as to who or what is to blame for rampant discounting in the moving industry, I think we only need to look as far as the industry's "mirror" to find the culprit, the charges being:

1) Industry failure to pay serious attention to the value of public relations as a consumer education tool. Most movers' publicity efforts are blatantly self-serving puff pieces, and even the NMSA/AMC/AMSA has failed to mount a serious effort in that regard. The result is that we have essentially yielded the field to those media outlets that see us as a vulnerable target.

2) Ownership that concentrates on revenue instead of profit, resulting in overloading the system. The hope is that somehow all these people will be properly serviced. The reality is that the service is, at best, spotty, even from the best of us.

3) Ownership that insists on paying sales reps on commission only, and then can't understand why customers are lied to to get the business.

4) Ownership that doesn't see the value of, and isn't willing to spend money on, training for their sales staffs. What percentage of the moving industry's sales reps have even been through the AMSA's CMC program, let alone the CPM course?

5) A pricing method that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a mover to know whether he's making money.

The one party that can't be blamed is the consumer. If we're willing to let them believe we're scum, if we're willing to make every sales call a grotesque version of "The Price IS Right", if we blindly pursue revenue figures to boost our corporate egos, if we're determined to maintain an archaic and byzantine pricing structure, and if we continue to regard sales training as a sometime thing, then we have met the enemy, as Pogo said, and he is us.

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