Letters to the Editor February 2020

June 20, 2022

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I just finished reading the December 2019 AMSOIL Magazine. The letter titled “Certification Program” by Joe Tatro caught my attention and rekindled my displeasure with some of the certification policy changes that have occurred. Similar to Joe, I was T-1 Certified and Commercial & Fleet Certified. I started using AMSOIL products back in 1974 during my motorcycle racing days. I became a Dealer in 1984, as that was the only way to purchase product at wholesale back then. A few years later I became a Lifetime Dealer, which was cheap then, as a way to save money over time. I remember very vividly back then that when one became a Dealer through a sponsoring Dealer, it was highlighted that there WERE NO minimum purchase, sponsorship, certification or website-hosting requirements and one was free to use their Dealership as a business or just for personal use as one saw fit. Even though I became a Dealer as a way to get product for my own use, I also wanted to learn and have enough knowledge about synthetic lubricants so I could talk intelligently with anyone that wanted to know more about them, thus the reason I took the time to become certified. Then one day new policies came out trying to turn everyone into a full-time business, and in order to stay certified, one now had to meet new monthly sponsoring and purchase requirements. “NOT FAIR,” I say. I have absolutely no issue with the company doing things to encourage growth with those that CHOOSE to use their Dealerships as a full-time business. But in this case, fairness would have been the company using the time-honored practice of “grandfathering” for us long- time customers that don’t want a business, but were proud of our certifications. Of course, today there is the P.C. Program for someone like me, but back then there was no such animal. In closing, AMSOIL would do well to remember the type of customer that made them a success during the early days of the company and not hold them to standards that did not exist then. One wonders what is next; will personal-use Dealers have to convert to P.C. status? Will commissions be eliminated for personal- use Dealers? I know one thing; if anything along those lines happens, I will be history!

Harold W Noll

First off, I’d like to thank Joe Tatro for his letter to the editor in the December 2019 AMSOIL Magazine. What I don’t like is the typical corporate response he got. He hit the nail on the head for what all of us struggling Dealers are thinking about the new requirements for getting any kind of help from corporate in building our Dealerships. Yes, I know there are tons of videos and information in the Dealer Zone for us, which I’ve been through. That’s one reason I love AMSOIL, for all the information we are provided compared to anyone else on the market.

I have been a Dealer since 2006. I know our products, and I’m very familiar with our programs for Retail, P.C. and Dealer. I’ve yet to work with any commercial accounts, but it’s very similar to retail, so I’m sure I could help them out also.

I have yet to see anyone sign up via any of my links with my ZO# attached or via my website hosted by Empowerkit. I know this because of my reports that I check every day for new customers. While I am getting new customers assigned from AMSOIL, that doesn’t help with my requirement to maintain my Customer-Certified status. The four customers that I have so I could be Customer Certified, I had to practically beg and convince them to sign so I could get some help from AMSOIL in growing my customer base. Luckily they were friends that understood my dilemma and I didn’t look like an idiot in front of a stranger, begging for business. I don’t beg; I give people the info they need and hope they come back.

I was going to bring this up after the DJ Convention, but I’ve been busy. You know, trying to find customers. I understand that DJs and above have the biggest customer base and bring in the most money for AMSOIL, so of course they get some special treatment. It looks like some good info was passed down about products and programs. I don’t know for sure because all I know is what was shared on social media from those that were there. Evidently the new info was a secret. Don’t you think everyone would benefit from anything corporate has to put out? I’m sure there may have been some kind of link emailed out, but those get lost so fast in the Dealer Zone and buried. I’m wanting to know when AMSOIL is going to start holding some actual training for those of us that know the products and programs, but are struggling to build our business, and serious about it. I attended the last two regular conventions in Superior and was able to get in on the last AU in 2014. It would be nice if some sales training would be held around the country, not in Vegas, where us lowly Dealers could afford to go. Also, the hotel “special deals” shouldn’t cost 3x as much as a normal hotel. I understand the reasoning that a lot of Dealers are “in name only,” but a lot of us are not. We have our vehicles wrapped, wear shirts and such everywhere we go, hand out cards and are trying to no avail.

As it is now, with the program and the way Joe and a lot of us Dealers that are actually trying to build a business, we aren’t as important as we are made to feel. Pretty soon, the only Dealers that AMSOIL will have will be the handful in the back of the magazine each and every month. Yes, a few new faces are lucky enough to make the cut, but most of them have been in there for years and years. Some of us little guys that have been doing this for 15 years, and can’t seem to find enough people to say “yes” to be a new account or buy, are going to drop off due to frustration and then where’s the Dealer network? The only Dealers getting “help” from corporate to grow are the ones that already have new customers coming in hand over fist each week with their web links and social media and being lucky enough to be in an area wanting to spend the money on AMSOIL. They don’t need any more help, but are being handed new customers left and right.

I’m not saying the big timers don’t deserve extra recognition for their accomplishments; I hope to get some recognition some day too. What I am saying is pretty soon us little guys that are struggling are going to say “forget it,” even though our passion runs deep for the product and what we already have in it with our current downline. I am not willing to drop my Dealership, let down the few customers and accounts I do have and let my upline have them.

One last note: I have recently started going to networking events to try and reach out to more people and get some more training on sales tactics from others. Even though the networking and sales training events are good, we are a little different than other sales in our product and approach. I always have to explain and tailor the information a little. It would be nice for AMSOIL to do that training again.

Thank you for your time.

Scott Carr

While reviewing the December 2019 AMSOIL Magazine, I came across an interesting letter from a Dealer who was expressing some disappointment with the new Certification Program. After reading both the Dealer’s comments and your response a few times, I thought it may be helpful to provide you with some feedback.

While I have been a Dealer for some time, I have not yet taken full advantage of the business side of the AMSOIL opportunity, although I have recently taken steps toward additional certifications (you get credit for that). With that in mind, it’s my opinion that I see AMSOIL pivoting clearly to a new direction of encouraging and supporting an active Dealer community through a variety of methods. New products, new programs, new features and a host of new communications show this new direction, and even though I lack activity in this area, it is exciting to see such commitment.

To in no way diminish the perspective of this Dealer and the changes to the Certification Program’s impact on his business, I would offer that you are spot-on with your rebuttal. The changes just aren’t that big a deal and you make that politely clear when you remind him of just what is being asked: $10 every six months and four customers a year? Egad!! You could have certainly hit us harder than that. (I especially liked the “we’re handing out free money” response.. good stuff).

Even if I were as disappointed as this person is with the changes, I would still have to defend its apparent unfairness with the numerous ways that AMSOIL addresses each of these concerns with numerous videos, documents and other training resources. Want to make sure that you earn that $10? Here are some ways to make sure you do that (I even liked how you gave us examples of how “not” to do it!). Want to make sure that you have the traffic to bring in four extra customers a year? Here are a number of proven methods to do that. Want some goals to go with that new level? Here are a number of ways to do that as well. Want some help? Here are a number of ways to get it. You leave no portion of these new expectations unaddressed and/or unanswered.

Change affects everyone differently, or so I’m told, and this is no different. To my thinking, the Dealer community was correct when it properly graded itself as lacking when it pointed out that uninformed or inadequately trained Dealers are a PROBLEM. Personally, at this point, I have no business recommending fluids for large gensets, but at the same time how would I feel if one of my Dealers gave out some bad advice to a customer that cost them an engine/transmission/gearbox? Not only would our reputation as Dealers suffer, but so would the AMSOIL reputation as a company and as a product. That’s a better example of unfairness to my way of thinking.

Please keep up the excellent work with all that you are doing and even if this person’s perspective doesn’t change, you can always borrow mine if you need some balance.

Thank you for all that you do.

Randy Williams

I would like to encourage AMSOIL to reconsider the certification requirement of four new customers each year and replace the requirement with a smaller number (perhaps two new customers each year). I think the end result of encouraging Dealers to continue to grow their business will be the same with a more attainable goal for maintaining certification with less frustration.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. Also, thank you for what you do.

Wayne A. Edgerton

I felt I must respond to a December AMSOIL Magazine letter from Mr. Joe Tatro. I would have to agree, in part, with this letter. I have been a Dealer for almost 8 years, and did all the courses and all the other requirements to become certified. Then, all of a sudden, the rules changed. Although I’m not currently certified, and apparently not considered “knowledgeable and active” by AMSOIL, I generated over $16,000 in sales in the past year. Yet, I’m not deserving of an “assigned customer” that very well could have come from my own website. Doesn’t sound too fair to me!

Jim Anderson

AMSOIL: Thank you, everyone, for expressing your feedback on the Certification Program. Please see the “From the President” column on pp. 6-7 for a personal response from AMSOIL President & CEO Alan Amatuzio.

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