'Smart Price List' Tells When Your Customer Is Reading It

By The Wave

Oct. 5 2004 - The Wave News Network - Ever since the first fishmonger there have been price lists. Companies large and small regularly send price lists to their customers in hopes of landing a sale.

But while other aspects of the seafood industry have kept pace with technology, the price list remains stubbornly stuck in the fax-and-pray era – meaning you fax out a price sheet and pray that your customers call.

Tom Richfield is hoping to drag the seafood price list into the 21st Century.

Richfield of Portland, Ore-based Trader Direct thinks his company’s product can make seafood sales and purchasing more efficient and effective.

Trader Direct has taken the price list digital, with a system that allows a salesperson to e-mail customized price lists to customers. The salesperson is then notified via e-mail when the e-mail is opened or the customer accesses a Web site set up to provide more information. Try that with a fax.

“Trader direct is a communications tool. It allows you put your prices more quickly and with more opportunities directly in front of your customers," Richfield said.

The program is Web-based, meaning you can update and send price list information from anywhere that you have access to Internet, whether you are on the road or in the office.

“This allows you to quickly get the information out. It puts all the power in the salesman hands,” Richfield added.

In addition to creating and sending branded price lists, the Trader Direct system allows a salesperson to manage his/her list of customers.

“We’ve been using it about a year,” said Ross Paasche of Seatrade International in Portsmouth, N.H.

Passche said the system has helped create a disciplined approach to selling, increasing the efficiency of the Seatrade sales team. He likes the fact that the system alerts him when a customer opens his electronic price sheet.

“For example, yesterday I noticed that a customer I don’t sell very often opened my price list. So I picked up the phone and called him. Though we did not do business [that day], it was a chance to talk to him.

Richfield thinks seafood sellers from both large and small companies could benefit by modernizing their price lists.

“We pride ourselves on how simple it is to use. We believe that both salespeople and customers are not interested in changing the way they work, but they are open to using new tools that let them do what they do best.”

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