Well, this issue I had planned to tell you about a Florida fishing trip over 50 years ago with my Grandpa, but something happened that I just had write about. Now. It was weird and very, very strange. So Grandpa will have to wait until another newsletter.
First, some background. Dixie and I love dogs. Big dogs. “Never own a dog another dog can eat” big. Specifically golden retrievers. We started with one golden over 40 years ago and now have 5, 3 of which are rescues. Somewhere around 1982 we discovered golden’s (we had 2 by then) love water. Not a little bit, but passionately. Obsessively. At about this same time our three girls were teenagers with lots of their friends coming and going, so we decided to have an in-ground pool put in the backyard of our 10 year old house. It would be fun for all and a good way to keep our kids “down on the farm” so to speak.
We chose a “liner” pool which means there was a vinyl (or some sort of plastic) liner that fit onto the sides and bottom of the pool (kinda’ like a big baggie). The pool installer (who had been in business a couple of years) said this was what we needed, so who were we to question someone who was an expert. We signed the contract and in no time we had a 20 ft X 40 ft in-ground pool with the requisite diving board, light, filter, cover, pool sweep, etc. Our kids, their friends, and the two dogs were immediately in heaven. And if they were happy, Dixie and I were ecstatic.
Fast forward 10 years. We sold that original house and bought a new (to us) house about 2 miles east of the old one. It was bigger, had more property, and only 2 years old at the time. We had more space but no pool. And now we had three golden retrievers. Our three girls were at college or living on their own, the youngest being 21, the oldest 25, but the dogs were with us. And they were bored. They missed their pool from the old house. So Dixie and I, being crazy people, set about getting quotes on installing an in-ground pool for the dogs(!).
About 60 days later we had our pool. This one was about the same size as the last one. Also another “liner” pool. We told friends we put it in so the kids could enjoy it when they came home for a visit. Our friends, who also thought us a wee bit crazy, knew better. This was obviously a pool for the dogs. Safe to say our dogs loved “their” pool. Dixie and I did as well, although we didn’t use it near as much as the dogs. We were just one, big happy family. Crazy, but happy.
Now “liner” pools are great and they really look good, but, being “liner” pools, those liners eventually have to be replaced as they age and develop cracks, etc. About every 5 to 7 years. So last year we once again were in the market for a new liner, which is expensive. Typically a liner for our pool would cost between $1,500 to $2,500 installed. We always opt for the thicker mil (read “more expensive”) liner due to now having 5 dogs and their claws in the pool most summer days. And we usually get a couple of quotes from a couple of the 9 or 10 pool install and supply dealers here the Evansville, Indiana area.
And so it was last year. We called 2 dealers. Ironically each had installed a pool for us. Both were asked to give us a quote on a new liner. One had put our latest pool in. One had put our original pool in almost 30 years ago. The dealer who put our last pool in got back to us within 2 days with his quote. The other didn’t. We called reminding him we needed a quote. Several times. About two weeks later we got his quote. He was the guy we really wanted to have install the liner since we bought most of our chemicals and parts for the pool sweep from him every year. But, he took 2 weeks and he was $400 higher than the other guy. Would he really be reliable and meet the install date he had submitted? After some discussion we reluctantly gave the order to his competitor.
Fast forward again to last week. The weather has turned nice. It got to 70 last weekend. The dogs are looking at the still covered pool with longing looks. Plus, they’re driving us crazy when they don’t get enough exercise. Just an aside here – every fall we “close” the pool which entails having a pool dealer come out to our house and drain off some of the pool water, flush and drain all the water lines, pour some chemicals in the remaining pool water, and put the winter pool cover on. It takes about a half day and usually costs us between $200 to $300 which we never question – so here are Dixie and I discussing when to open the pool this spring which usually costs about the same as the fall close does. It’s almost April so a hard freeze is unlikely. About as unlikely as either her or me jumping in the pool anytime soon. But the dogs are ready, so we decide the sooner the better. And it’s at this point that I begin “the story”.
Last Monday my lovely wife Dixie called our local pool guy – the one who didn’t get the pool liner order last summer. She tells him we need the pool opened. She doesn’t ask him how much, doesn’t insist it be done on a specific date. She just wants to have him open the pool as soon as he has an opening where he can do so (keep in mind it’s mid March and only “crazy” people or people who have 5 dogs open their pools this early).
This model of a businessman proceeds to tell my wife he won’t open our pool since we didn’t order last year’s pool liner from him. Furthermore, he doesn’t need our business as he has lots of loyal customers. Huh? Say again. Yep, he’s evidentially pissed off enough about the pool liner (and has been for almost 9 months(!) that he wants to “get even”. Now there are at least 9 other pool supply guys just like this one within 15 miles of his store. From my perspective this sort of belligerence does not belie someone who is known as a mental giant among mortals. Nope. It’s just about as intelligent and logical as getting a tattoo on your arm that says “my wife’s an ass” after you’ve had a fight. First, you’ve done something permanent that can’t be undone. Second, you have definitely pissed off the other party big time. Third, as time goes by you may actually want (or need) her companionship. Smart? Nope.
Now we’re not in the pool business, but I just can’t imagine this fellow doesn’t want any more business. That’s illogical. And if he does, well he had better figure out that keeping old customers is a far better strategy than always having to attract new ones. Both old and new customers contribute to a business’ growth. Not just new one.
When we started this business we knew we would never have ALL the business, but were sure as heck determined to EARN as much as we possibly could. From day one we knew that we were here only because of the good will of our customers. They were the reason for us being here. It wasn’t the other way around. They were not an inconvenience nor someone we kept score on in order to determine if they had earned our doing business with them. No, we came in every day hoping we had earned THEIR business. Frankly, my entire career has been one of listening to customers and doing what they want us to do when they want us to do it. Being, if you will, externally driven by our customers. So when this incident happened it was like standing me (and Dixie) on our heads in a different world. Totally alien. Totally wrong.
I guess I’m telling you this partly because it was frustrating and partly because I could believe just how “un-smart” this fellow was. Does he actually think we won’t tell anyone about this incident? Does he really think this is the way you run a business? Can he possibly have any “long-term” vision or business plan? Don’t think so. And I suppose because it happened to us we were, frankly, offended. We went somewhere else for the pool liner not because of price (this fellow is really the closest to us geographically) but because of a poor response time on his part. His company put in our first pool and we were still buying chemicals and parts for our current pool from him. I’m betting he never questioned WHY he didn’t get that pool liner order. If he had perhaps he would have figured out that, as Pogo says, “We have seen the enemy and it is us”.
Well, anyway, it was a real different situation and one we had never experienced before. Ever. I guess I just had to tell somebody. And you’re it. No need to tell you the company’s name or the owner’s for that matter. Just wanted to blow off. I know I’m “old school” and still believe in true customer service that listens to customers, helps customers, and treats customers with the greatest respect. I want to earn every single person’s business by giving them the best products, best advice, best support, and best service. Not sure I see how our “X” pool guy can do this. But it’s a new world and maybe I’m just outdated “old school.” Maybe not.
Wow, this is a really Special issue of our Newsletter. We have a RARE G. Loomis rod, A LIMITED EDITION Shimano Reel, and another RARE Shimano Reel we’re auctioning off to benefit the Red Cross Japan Relief. They are all items we know many of you would dearly LOVE to own, so be sure to take a look below for all the details. We also have a great new line of low profile Baitcasting reels: LEW’S. Be sure to see all the details. We also have some other news and tid-bits that we think you will be interested in.
Thanks for indulging me and this issues story. I can assure you every single one of you are so very much appreciated as both customer and friend. You are the reason we are here and why being in this business is so damn much fun! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
WATCH Our New Products VIDEO………..
Sometimes you really need to see something in person to appreciate it. And if you’re close to our fair city of Evansville, Indiana that should be a pretty easy (and pleasant) task. Just come by for a look and cup of coffee. If you’re not, we have a Great Video we just did where you can see LOTS of our Newest Products. Plus, you’ll get to see Brian Dolne up close and personal as he thoroughly explains these great items.
Here’s the link to our very first New Product Video: We’re sure you will enjoy this and very likely find some new products that will allow you to Catch More Fish!
What is Going to be This Year’s “Must Have”?………..By Brian Dolne
Every year there is a trend that takes the pro circuits by storm, therefore, causing pandemonium among tournament and weekend anglers alike. I typically give in to these trends myself and end up buying the “latest and greatest”. This year we already have one extremely popular new product, which is the Strike King KVD 1.5 Square Bill Crankbait.
As popular as that bait has already become, there has to be something bigger for the year. Somebody will win an Elite Series tournament doing something completely different than the rest of the field, and we will soon find ourselves paying twice MSRP on eBay to get in on the new craze. Maybe it will just be a continuation from then end of last year: the Biffle Hardhead. That is sure to be a very popular bait for 2011. Still, there has to be something more. Think about it. Look back at the past several years and think about all of the baits that were near impossible to get and now are commonplace in every tackle shop in the country. Here are just a couple:
The Original Chatterbait. As memory serves me, this bait exploded in popularity after Rick Morris had a very high finish in the BassMaster Classic fishing a Chatterbait. At the time, no one had any idea what a chatterbait was. It was some sort of cross between a jig and a spinnerbait, and the people loved it. I can remember people selling them on eBay for around $20.00. Keep in mind, these things probably cost $1.00 to make if that. Now, we look at them as a pretty normal lure in our box. You may throw them or you may not, but there are at least a dozen versions on the market today.
Basstrix Paddle Tail Swimbaits. There was much controversy around these small swimbaits. They were one of, if not the first of their kind. No doubt about it they were realistic, and the company sure was proud of them. Factor in the lack of availability (or perceived lack of availability), and the country was swept once again by a ridiculous craze that had people paying $20.00 for four soft plastic baits. As with the chatterbait, the paddle tail swimbaits are now a mainstay among many bass anglers. Almost every soft plastic manufacturer now offers some type of paddle tail swimbait.
Inevitably, a similar trend will hit this year or next year. It’s amazing to think about how tied up we get in having something that is tough to get our hands on. These instances had one thing in common: lack of availability. If there were hundreds in every store, people would have probably picked up a couple and moved on. Instead, they were hard to get and so almost every bass fisherman jumped at the opportunity to purchase some, oblivious to the price. But, hey, that’s part of what makes fishing fun. It’s always changing. And, after all, fishing tackle has to catch us before it can catch a fish.
So, what will this year’s craze be? Let us know what you think and send us an email with your thoughts.
Tragedy in Japan and Another Way YOU can Help……………
It’s now been 9 days since the tragic earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. The more we see the devastation the more saddened we are. It simply breaks out hearts. These are our fellow citizens of the world and they have been devastated by what has to be one of the worst disasters ever experienced by modern man. Both an unbelievably strong earthquake as well as a monster tsunami.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan. We know we can’t possibly understand what they are dealing with. I’m sure you too are heartbroken. We are introducing a program as of today where EVERY customer can help as well through American Legacy Fishing. After doing some research on ways to help we have decided that the best option for all of us here at American Legacy Fishing Company would be to contribute to the American Red Cross which is directly assisting Japan’s Red Cross Society.
Although we have already sent a donation, we want to give all of you a chance to participate as well. So, For EVERY ORDER of $100 or more we are donating $10 to the Red Cross. We will do this starting today until the end of April. This means that every time you order $100 or more from us between now and May 1st we will contribute $10.00 to the Red Cross’ efforts to assist Japan. This program is in addition to any donations we have already made, individually or as a company and has no limit as far as the size of our gift. That will be determined by you, our wonderful and caring customers.
If you want to contribute directly rather than through us you can go to this link:
Once you click here just check the top box (Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami) and then hit the “Continue” button which will take you to a page where you can make a contribution using a credit card. Your donation will then be directed to Japan Earthquake Relief through the American Red Cross.
We know we are a small company and the needs of the Japanese people are great, but if we all pull together and help in whatever small way we can then we CAN make a difference. We ask all of you to keep the people of Japan in your thoughts and prayers.
Be Sure to Take a LOOK at our Trade-In Rods and Reels………
Lemme see…we offer 10% to 20% higher trade-in values for used premium rods and reels over the last 30 days. That would mean that we have, lots of fantastic, almost new rods and reels that have been traded in. Better yet, our selling prices are usually very, very attractive. Even better yet, every rod and reel has a 30 day warranty plus whatever manufacturer’s warranty is still left.
Need some more rods or reels? Look at our trade-ins. Want to get your son or daughter into fishing? Look at our trade-ins. Looking for that no-longer-made rod or reel? Look at our trade-ins. Want to piss your wife off by bring home a bunch more rods and reels but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Look at our trade-ins!
Don’t Forget ~ OUTFITTING SERVICES Now Available at American Legacy Fishing Co…..
Starting in 2011 we are announcing a special service to all of our customers, especially those outside of the USA. We know finding hard-to-get fishing gear can be very frustrating for many of you outside of the USA. You read a USA fishing magazine or visit web sites that feature some highly desirable gear only to find out that manufacturer does not offer the product ion your country. Or, you find what you want only to be told the dealer will not ship to you.
We now offer our exclusive “Outfitting Service” that will purchase the items you need, create an invoice for you, allow you to check out using a credit card or PayPal, and Immediately Ship Your Order WORLDWIDE as soon as it has all been received by us. Even if we don’t carry a brand we will locate it and purchase it for you. In many instances we can sell you what you want at the low USA prices due to our volume. When this is not the case a small service fee will be added which we will let you know up front.
Why? Well we have always promised to go “above and beyond” for you, our customers. We feel by offering you this service we are keeping our pledge to be the best fishing gear dealer in the world. Give us a try and we think you will be very pleased. How? It’s simple. Just email us a list of what you need to [email protected]. We’ll get back to you with prices and availability and in no time you will get what you need when you need it. Try it, you’ll like it!