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  1. #1
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    Default I Feel Sorry for Grant Winners

    Tomorrow when the grants hit the FEMA website all I can say is you better have an answering machine ready. Salesmen should be calling you like crazy. Just as much as everyone on the Fire side has been waiting for grants to start. Salesmen and companies have been waiting too. I am afraid the calls are going to be crazy these first few rounds. Especially since everyone has had to wait until August.

    Guess what, I am one of these hot shot apparatus salesmen who also has almost 20 years of fire service who will probably dive in just like the rest of em and try and contact everyone.

    Volunteer Chiefs, if your work number or home number is what is posted in the Safety Source book, you better warn you employers or spouses, it could get real crazy.

    Paid Departments, don't forget to warn your secretaries. You might be well to take the day off tomorrow of be completely out of the office.

    Tips for dealing with Hot Shot Salesmen:

    1. Pick out the top 3 you may be interested in and meet with them only.
    2. Never give them your Cell Phone unless its the one you plan to do business with.
    3. Invite them to communicate via email, this will save a paper trail and its easy for you to decipher.
    4. Have a pre printed bullet list of items you would like to get.
    5. If your very confident in you choice of equipment or apparatus, go ahead and tell them, they should back off some if not completely.

    If a salesmen is good and represents good product and good prices, getting around those guards should be easy for him or her.

    Remember were just trying to do our jobs and make life easier for you.

    Have a great day and Congratulations to winners and good luck to those who are still waiting for the infamous 10 questions.

    Chris


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber ameryfd's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse

    I wouldn't do this for some items. SCBA, TIC, Exhaust Systems, Compressor Systems, etc. You should look at the entire market. Give the guy at least a chance to show his product, you may find something that is better or less expoensive that you didn't even know existed. I say look at all of them upfront, narrow the list to the top 3, and then take a second look at them.

    .
    Great point. Last year we were awarded SCBA and PPE, and way before we were awarded we had pretty much decided on a particular brand. However after we were awarded the grant we had several different reps come in and demonstrate thier stuff, and in the end went with a brand we had never even considered in the beginning.

  3. #3
    Forum Member 4caster's Avatar
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    Default

    For us, we were about ready to purchase, and then, another company wanted to show us their stuff. We figured there was no harm in looking, and we are SO GLAD we did. There was a day/night comparison in quality, quantity, and service. So, never settle before looking at all options. It might surprise you.
    BAClair

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smokey240
    Tomorrow when the grants hit the FEMA website all I can say is you better have an answering machine ready. Salesmen should be calling you like crazy. Just as much as everyone on the Fire side has been waiting for grants to start. Salesmen and companies have been waiting too. I am afraid the calls are going to be crazy these first few rounds. Especially since everyone has had to wait until August.
    Chris
    A hot shot apparatus salesman that does not already know specifically what vehicles, age/mileage/condition (replacement needs) of every dept in his sales territory? That was not previously working with you to find a way to replace a truck that needed to be replaced? That was not there to help you write your grant app? That does not already know you? What the heck has he been doing? Why should you bother talking to him only now that you have a gift from the taxpayers? He was not interested in you yesterday, why are you interested in him today?

    There is a difference in a salesman and an ordertaker.

  5. #5
    FH Mag/.com Contributor
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    Default

    Always, always shop around, unless you aren't replacing an entire set of something, such as SCBA or PPE where you'll be keeping in line with the same manufacturer by necessity. In most cases, you'll be making a complete overhaul so this won't be a problem, but if reserves or extra sets might not be compatible with the new equipment, just make sure you know that and have a plan for when some of the new stuff is out of service and you have to go back to the old.

    Hose is hose, couplings are couplings, no worries there.

    And if a salesperson didn't have the time to spend making up a quote for you at application time, guess where they're going to be after they have the money from the order? Gone. Service and warranty work are vital components of excellent overall service, it's not just about price. So pick someone you know will still be around when you need them.

    And most importantly, congratulations!

    - Brian

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smokey240
    Tomorrow when the grants hit the FEMA website all I can say is you better have an answering machine ready. Salesmen should be calling you like crazy.
    Heck, this is a great problem to have. Much better than using our 15 year old SCBAs and steel tanks!

  7. #7
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    Default

    Also, I did hear recently that on the vehicle winners this year, as discussed awhile back, there will not be a posted total showing up anywhere. So, Chiefs & Shoppers, don't feel you have to 'give them any totals' or anything other than the specs you're looking for.

    I know departments from previous years on trucks had problems with company's marking up the trucks over the awarded totals, knowing what the awarded amounts were off the announcements. Just because they could. Hopefully, this makes sense. And, when those 'pesky' sales people call, at least they will have to ASK what kind of vehicle you were after and can they 'pretty please' bid on it...
    Alana Tomlin Denton
    Freelance Grant Writer/Consultant

  8. #8
    FH Mag/.com Contributor
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    Firehouse.com didn't post Vehicle award amounts last year, but DHS does. I think DHS has to since it's public information. Being as it's tax monies and all, they have to disclose the amounts.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Default

    Guess what, I am one of these hot shot apparatus salesmen who also has almost 20 years of fire service who will probably dive in just like the rest of em and try and contact everyone.
    Well guess what? You wouldn't be one of the ones that would be getting our grant money, I can tell you that much!

    If you want to do business with us, you're in it for the long haul, not just the part where you take our check. Pre-sale and working with us during the application process to explore options and different quotes, to support after we've received the product. If you can't do that, then I guess you can't have our money either.

    It's all or nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

  10. #10
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    From what I understand DHS will not be posting the amounts of vehicle awards either (not even on their site, as it was last year). APPARENTLY, (since it's coming from several sources) the departments were complaining to DHS about hearing of vendors jacking up the truck prices quite a bit because they could see what the total funding dollars were on the website. With a large purchase like a truck, the departments were stuck, because the vendors were all seeing the total, and could adjust their price to match whatever the bid needed to be. (Or in most folks case, OVER)

    So, what I have heard, is that there will not be a published list from DHS side of the vehicle totals. You may see individual states release that info, or a politician. But, just preliminary what I've heard, along with what was said in workshop in winter, this has been a big complaint. Mostly on the vehicles. On SCBA and other items everyone sticks pretty close to the prices obtained when writing the application, typically.
    Alana Tomlin Denton
    Freelance Grant Writer/Consultant

  11. #11
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    If your dealer was changing their price after they gave you a quote without a good reason, then it means it was time to go somewhere else. I know steel prices have gone up which will account for a base price increase for every manufacturer, but if that didn't happen between your quote for the application and your announcement, take your money elsewhere. Cash shoppers always get discounts, and thats what you are after the award.

    And since all of the congressional releases I've seen have the dollar amounts and what is being bought in them, I don't see much reason for DHS to try and hide it, the facts have already been published. I see the reasoning behind it, but like I said, if your dealer is that greedy and they can't show you a reason for any price increases, start going somewhere else, the price will change back before you hit the door.

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