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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    384

    Default Buyer Survey

    As I have posted before about buyers who aren't really buyers or who spend time looking at every horse on the farm only to say they are looking for something else (like a Friesian), I decided to design a survey for potential buyers so I can help them focus their search. I would love comments on the survey to make it as useful as possible. Check it out here -

    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YD5RJV6
    Cindy Bergmann
    Canterbury Court
    559-903-4814
    www.canterbury-court.com



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    836

    Default

    Nice survey. Good specifics. I have ideas:

    How about ranking breeds in order of preference? Dutch Warmblood, Hanoverian, TBx, Friesian?

    When recently contacted by a buyer who was vague: I want a 1-5 yo that can get me over 3rd level. Doesnt matter if its started. How can you take this person seriously? I asked them for more specifics to help narrow it down. What does their ideal horse look like? What were the deals breakers? What would make a horse stand out over another; choose one horse over another?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    7,773

    Default

    Interesting exercise. I'd reorder it a bit. Get the general questions up high on working with a trainer or not, ready to buy now or later, etc.

    Add "no preference" in color and markings sections.

    I think people will downplay their budget out of fear of being taken advantage of.

    Perhaps add a question on how long have you been looking.

    An observation. People come to breeders for young stock and to trainers for going horses. So I'd reconsider the details on levels of competition.

    Good luck with this.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Posts
    3,124

    Default

    Maybe ask if they've ever raised a foal if that's what they're looking for.

    Also, dressage and achieved are spelled wrong on page one.
    Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
    Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
    'Like' us on Facebook



  5. #5

    Thumbs down

    As a buyer ~ I would move on ~ too many horses out there. Everyone is a potential buyer until they say no thanks.

    As a seller ~ I would not have anyone take a survey.
    ~ Bill Rube ~
    http://www.bydesignfarm.com
    Check us out on Facebook



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Posts
    3,124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverBalls View Post
    As a buyer ~ I would move on ~ too many horses out there. Everyone is a potential buyer until they say no thanks.

    As a seller ~ I would not have anyone take a survey.
    Personally, I agree with this. Dealing with tire kickers is no fun, but dealing with a potential buyer's questions firsthand will help give you a feel for that person, help you decide if they're serious, and help you match them with the best horse.

    That said, if you want to have them do a survey, that's your choice.

    Edited to add:
    Having looked at your website, I can see why you'd want to do a survey. You offer horses of all ages, several disciplines, and at varied levels of training. It's a large selection of horses! See how the survey works for you. If you don't like it, maybe consider a paragraph or two on your sales page that includes your questions and politely states that these are the same questions you'll be asking when they contact you.
    Last edited by RunningwaterWBs; Jun. 30, 2011 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Looked at website
    Kendra -- Runningwater Warmbloods
    Home of EM Raleska (Rascalino/ Warkant) and Donatella M (Furstenball/ Jazz Time)
    'Like' us on Facebook



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,388

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hansiska View Post
    Personally, I agree with this. Dealing with tire kickers is no fun, but dealing with a potential buyer's questions firsthand will help give you a feel for that person, help you decide if they're serious, and help you match them with the best horse.

    That said, if you want to have them do a survey, that's your choice.
    I agree with hansiska and SB. No matter how well intentioned, your survey will put off many people. Also, you can gain much more information from a phone conversation with the buyer IMO and it is worth taking the time for one with any potential buyer.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2000
    Location
    Nokesville, VA
    Posts
    36,233

    Default

    If you care that much about the rider's experience, just ask for the USEF/USDF/USEA number and look it up yourself.

    You need to be able to select multiple ages. There are plenty of times I might be looking for "1 - 4" or "3 - 6" or even "any age"

    What is the point in asking about discipline if you are going to ask the same questions regardless of what was selected. I did NOT select "breeding" but was asked questions about "breeding".

    You need a price range below $5000- I have, multiple times, bought quality horses from breeders for under $5000- in each case there was a reason why the horse needed to be sold NOW, but nothing wrong with the horse.

    The answers to when I am able to buy, and whether I need to sell my current horse are often dependant on how much I like the horse I am looking at. I may be PLANNING to wait until I sell my current horse, but if I see a horse I like well enough, I might take the plunge before that.

    You don't ask what sort of BREEDING I am looking for.

    With young stock, the "level of training" is irrelevant- it is pretty much "none" or "ground work". What you care about is what they are bred for, or show an inclination for.

    For instance, am I looking for something that will develop into an amateur-friendly all arounder, or am I looking for a horse that has legitimate potential to be a grand prix horse?

    Or am I planning to select the discipline based on what the horse is good at?

    I agree that the survey would put me off.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2004
    Location
    Still here ~ not yet there
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Home Again Farm View Post
    I agree with hansiska and SB. No matter how well intentioned, your survey will put off many people. Also, you can gain much more information from a phone conversation with the buyer IMO and it is worth taking the time for one with any potential buyer.
    THIS! Count on Home Again to hit the nail on the head.

    A simple "What exactly are you looking for?" during your first phone conversation usually does it for me....

    Think of it this way -- when you walk into a computer store or car lot, they have just as many "selections" but no one asks us to take a survey.

    Why? Because part of selling anything (including horses) is the Art of Selling. That's why many breeders with great stock may have them sitting in their pasture for years, while other breeders sell everything they've got almost as soon as it hits the ground.

    It's SELLING. Part of that "art" is to establish a connection with your buyer. This isn't a con-job (or it shouldn't be) -- it's an actual true desire on the seller's part to match the buyer with a horse that fits them in terms of breed, size, temperament, price, discipline, color, etc.

    It's funny how often COTH has threads about how annoying buyers can be -- like what a terrible BURDEN it is to deal with these people who want to give us money. Boo Hoo....

    If you had this sort of attitude as a salesperson in any other area you would be booted out in a heartbeat....

    Speaking for myself, if I saw this "survey" as a substitute for an actual person talking to me, I'd just go to the next website. This world is not lacking in horses for folks to buy....

    BTW, I wouldn't be having someone come to the farm to look at every horse on the place -- phone calls, emails etc. will have narrowed the search down to a handful (in your case) of possibilities that fit what the buyer is looking for & can afford. Then pics & videos will narrow it down even more. Even price is discussed -- is the price firm or am I open to negotiation? After all this stuff is worked out, THEN the prospective buyer can come and I will show them ONLY the horse(s) we discussed.

    The worst thing you can do is say, "Well, why don't you stop by and see what we have..." Leaving it so loose and open is asking for trouble and wasting you time.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2006
    Posts
    202

    Default

    I have to agree with those that say you can get a lot of this information by simply asking what exactly a buyer is looking for. Most conversations (email or over the phone) that I have with potential customers usually go something like this:

    "I'm interested in such and such pony."

    "Tell me what you are looking for and we will see if he or she is a good match."

    At this point buyers are usually more than willing to fill in their, or their clients background and I can get a reasonable idea if what I have might work for them.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
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    Default

    Well, my initial reaction was negative., too. But Cindy's been a breeder for a very long time so I filled out the survey as if I was shopping. I would not send a survey to someone who called me. However, I do get queries off Dreamhorse in particular and I do respond with the question of what are you looking for.

    It's not unusual to get no response to even that question.

    Remember that sporthorse breeders alliance that was hatched to do marketing as a collective? It fizzled. Or stalled. If it hadn't, this questionaire could be of use if shared among fellow breeders.

    I've only had one true nut case who took up 2 hours of my time, including paid helpers, looking at a 15.2H horse, then sayin she was looking for 16.2h.

    My horse hated her so much, he wouldn't even accept a carrot from her.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Thanks for the input. I'll be making some changes when I get home tonight. I thought that titling it as a "Horse Wishlist" would make it more welcoming to people but perhaps not.

    I should have made it clear that the survey is not designed to give to callers or to people who have emailed me. I am delighted to talk with them and spend a lot of time on the phone discussing things with them. It is for people who get on the website and start looking for horses. It is designed to help them focus their search for a new horse. There are people who are able to process things visually much better than they do aurally. Only three of the questions have to be answered so the potential buyer can pick and choose what they want to answer. Often just seeing a question will help them make a better decision about what they want.

    I view this survey as being like the advanced searches you see on equine sales sites. If I don't have something suitable I may well know someone (including COTHers) who has their horse.

    Of course I don't think this will help me with the client who wants a 17 hand black spirited horse that she and her never been on a horse husband can ride who ends up getting a 3 year old 60 day under saddle 14.3 paint. But maybe...
    Cindy Bergmann
    Canterbury Court
    559-903-4814
    www.canterbury-court.com



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oakstable View Post
    Well, my initial reaction was negative., too. But Cindy's been a breeder for a very long time so I filled out the survey as if I was shopping. I would not send a survey to someone who called me. However, I do get queries off Dreamhorse in particular and I do respond with the question of what are you looking for.

    It's not unusual to get no response to even that question.

    Remember that sporthorse breeders alliance that was hatched to do marketing as a collective? It fizzled. Or stalled. If it hadn't, this questionaire could be of use if shared among fellow breeders.

    I've only had one true nut case who took up 2 hours of my time, including paid helpers, looking at a 15.2H horse, then sayin she was looking for 16.2h.

    My horse hated her so much, he wouldn't even accept a carrot from her.
    Smart horse. Is he available for buyer screening?
    Cindy Bergmann
    Canterbury Court
    559-903-4814
    www.canterbury-court.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2002
    Location
    Redlands, CA
    Posts
    7,773

    Default

    Cindy,
    He'd be a good screener. Very reserved and not easily seduced by a silly carrot.

    BTW, this woman asked to come in my house to use the bathroom. I told her there were commercial establishments about 10 minutes away. She insisted she couldn't wait.

    I had her use the small bathroom off the kitchen.

    Be careful about letting a stranger in your house, especially if you keep your jewelry in your personal bathroom.

    Sally



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
    Posts
    8,704

    Default

    I don't know about the survey, I experienced so much weirdness when I was shopping that nothing surprises me anymore.

    I will give you some feedback on your website however, since I tried to horse shop on your website a long time ago. I can't for the life of me figure it out. The menus on the side and the pictures keep changing from page to page. I ended up getting really frustrated.

    Here is a wonderful sales page. It's so wonderfully laid out, all on one page with a little picture and YOB/Pedigree. No hunting around trying to guess what is for sale and how old it is. A website doesn't have to be this fancy, but ONE page with all the listing and general info with links to individual pages is so much easier to use and wont drive buyers away screaming...
    http://www.hilltopfarminc.com/sales_...offerings.html



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 26, 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default

    I like the idea of a survery that can help a buyer focus on what you have for sale that fits their needs especially in the web based environment. It would also be good for a potential buyer if they can complete it anonymously.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2004
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    Still here ~ not yet there
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canterbury Court View Post
    It is for people who get on the website and start looking for horses.
    Ah, well, then it's a search feature. That makes more sense.

    HOwever, PP does have a point, regarding your website. You have so many horses of various ages, breeding, disciplines etc. one can get lost pretty quickly.

    And the pics of your stock can be confusing as well -- for instance, when I was looking at pics of what (I thought) were foals (because the pics was of a baby trotting at mom's side), I thought $18K was pretty pricey for a weanling! Then when I clicked on the pic, it turned out that "foal" is now 4 yrs old!! BIG difference.

    However, as a buyer, I might have just kept going when I saw that price because the horse's age wasn't listed in the first pic. And the price wasn't listed on the other page!

    Again, your stock is very lovely, and you have some beautifully bred horses, but critiquing it as a buyer, it can be confusing. Perhaps if you re-vamped the layout of your website abit you wouldn't need a survey OR a search engine.

    I agree Hilltop's sales page is very good example. Clean, crisp and easy to navigate. One or two excellent pics (and RECENT ones!), with the stock divided per age. Just really need 3 groups: Young stock, riding horses and broodmares.

    Again, I have to say your animals are truly lovely...it's just the way they are presented....
    Last edited by Kyzteke; Jul. 1, 2011 at 05:57 AM.



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