Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Dad and Value

I am a Pricing Manager.  Most people don't have a clue what that means.  Sometimes I don't either, but basically my job is to set the prices for the products that my company makes.  I spend most of my time buried in data in spreadsheets.  I am one of those geeks that gets really excited when I learn how to do a new function in excel.  When I am not geeking out on my computer I am trying to educate everyone about value.  We all know from business school that people are willing to pay more for a product.  Sometimes that value is real and sometimes it is perceived.  Last week I had the opportunity to give a presentation at our Annual Sales Meeting. While I was giving my presentation it hit me that I had really been training for this job my whole life because I was Greg Little's daughter.  It is not an easy task to get Greg Little to part with a dollar.  I am not going to say that my dad is cheap, but my mom used to say that he was such a tight ass that if you put a piece of coal between his butt cheeks it would turn into a diamond.  I remember one time driving to Click on State Road to get light bulbs.  We walked around that whole store and dad was convinced that their prices were too high so we got back in the car and drove a few miles down the road to Gold Circle.  We saved a nickel on the light bulbs.  He was so proud.  Dad spent the beginning of his career in Pharmacy as a Director of Pharmacy but it was a natural fit when he moved into  Materials Management and Procurement.   I would have hated to been one of those guys calling on him.  Now, I have to say that Dad is always looking for a deal but he doesn't mind to pay a little more for something he feels has good quality and will last a while.  He has worn the same style of Sperry Topsiders for over 20 years.  He gets a new pair about every couple of years and the old pair becomes the weekend shoe for working around the house and yard.  You can tell how old the shoes are by the different colors of paint that are splattered on them.  (My mom likes my dad to remodel so they paint a lot.)  He has a Tilley hat that he loves mostly because it comes with a lifetime warranty.  Don't get me started on the beer.  I have a hard time seeing the value in an $8 bottle of beer.  When he buys something, he is going to buy something that lasts because he will keep it and use it forever.  A good thing when it comes to tools, a bad thing when it comes to polyester leisure suits that he would still wear today if my mom wasn't there to stop him.  So anyway, I learned from an early age that if I wanted Dad to buy something I would have to sell him on the value and that was not an easy sell.  I found out I was in good company when I was in college and had to have surgery.  I think it was surgery #3 so I knew what to expect but this time was a little different.  I knew many of the doctor's in town because Mom and Dad both worked with them and I got passed around as a babysitter through the Bristol Anesthesia Group so I knew them very well.  Dr. Smith was going to be the lucky one to put me under this time and I think he left me awake just a little longer than usual so he could make a point.  He looked down at me with his mask on and held up a vial of medicine.  He said "See this drug Meghan?  This is the drug that your dad says is too expensive.  This is the drug that will help you feel better and when you wake up you won't feel hungover.  So when you wake up and don't feel as bad as you did the last time you make sure you tell your dad".  Pretty sure that Dr. Smith would have been a really good salesman and pretty sure that Dad reevaluated his position on the value of that med.

No comments:

Post a Comment