This is how free enterprise works. I share an affirming experience.
Last night I was watching television, leaping from channel to channel in no order or logical sequence. The Colorado Rockies were in the eighth inning against the New York Mets and seemed to have a lead that would sustain. I clicked on another channel. An advertisement for a Kia Optima automobile materialized on my small TV screen. The car looked beautiful, but all cars on TV ads look gorgeous. The cars are photographed going over mountains and forging across rivers and slamming around in deep snow with the agility of a panther.
I had never encountered any of those driving conditions. But, the entertainment value of the advertisements is high and I am pleased if there are least a few people who are able to get out into the wild and confront driving conditions presented in the advertisements.
While I was working late last night a pop up ad for a Kia Optima came on my monitor screen. What a coincidence. I clicked on it. I have no intention of buying a car now but I was curious to know the price range of the cars. I was directed to a website, www.WhyPaySticker.com, which site evidently directs the viewer to a limitless number of cars of every sort in every sector of the country. I had to give some contact information — phone number and email address — to access the pricing information of the Optima, or for any other car if I desired additional information on more cars.
I supplied a fax / phone number for my phone number, figuring no one would ever call and, even if someone did, I would not necessarily be bothered. I completed supplying the information on the website. Within minutes, four or five emails from auto dealers selling Kias poured into my In Box confirming that my electronic inquiry had been received.
This morning, beginning at 8:30, I received three phone calls from each of the three Kia dealers I had selected in the Denver area. The folks that called me were gracious, professional and courteous. They wanted to give me information about their cars. Thus, they were, in a sense, aggressive, but respectfully so. They wanted to engage in commerce. They responded immediately to the inquiries of a potential customer. They were offering their services and their expertise. They were competing with each other–competing on price and service. I told each of the people who called me that I would contact each of them when I was serious about buying a car. I didn’t want to waste their time.
This experience is an example of how the free market works. And it worked with dazzling efficiency with me. Whether free market responds more quickly than government institutions is a topic for another day, but the intimation is that the free market responds far more quickly.
The harmony of technology and incentive has created something unique and desirable for the consumer. And we are all consumers in everything we do. There are lessons here, to be sure.