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Extraordinary Opportunity: Crowd-sourcing Can Help Sell Big-Ticket Items

Posted on in Growth Strategies

By Scott Sergeant, VGM Marketing

TrackMaster ChairThe town of Rising Sun sits on the western bank of the Ohio River in southeastern Indiana, about 20 miles southwest of Cincinnati, Ohio. The folks living in and around Rising Sun are your typical Midwestern types: hard-working, quick with story or a laugh, and when one of their own needs help, they’re ready and willing to do what they can.

Ann Miller is not a native of Rising Sun, but she’s one of the town’s own nonetheless. When Ann needed her neighbors the most, they came through and changed her life forever.

Joy then Heartbreak

Two weeks after giving birth to her daughter Alanna in 2006, Ann suffered what was first diagnosed as a massive stroke. Ann’s husband Rick was given very little hope that his wife would recover. Ann was transported to University Hospital in Cincinnati where Rick, a Rising Sun police officer and former EMT, insisted on a second opinion. While Ann was in an induced coma for weeks, a final diagnosis was made: posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, or PRES. A very rare condition, PRES mimics stroke and is characterized by headache, confusion, seizures and visual loss.

“I wasn’t able to take care of our new baby,” said Ann. “I couldn’t walk and had to re-learn how to do everything.”

Ten years later, Ann is still struggling, facing days filled with challenges and frustrations. She has little to no feeling or movement on her left side and has neurologic blindness that seriously limits her vision. Short-term memory comes and goes.

Still unable to walk, Ann has used a wheelchair as her primary source of mobility. Watching Alanna grow without being able to fully participate in her activities took an emotional toll on both mother and daughter. A simple walk around the neighborhood together had always been out of the question.

Life-changer Just Down the Street

The Miller family found an answer to their prayers virtually outside their front door. T.G. Underwood LLC, manufacturer of the TrackMaster power mobility device, also calls Rising Sun home. Owner Travis Underwood’s original concept for the all-terrain, tracked chair was to provide second chances for wounded veterans.

Travis figured if his product worked for vets, why not folks like Ann. So, Travis loaned Ann a TrackMaster for her family’s trip to her hometown in southern Mississippi earlier this year, where she hit the beach, did donuts in the sand and fished off the pier – all bringing back memories of her childhood.

Rising Sun Folks Rise Up

The TrackMaster Ann used in Mississippi was still a loaner. She needed one for her own. TrackMasters are built specifically for an individual, and the price tag would be heavy. It was time for the citizens of Rising Sun to step forward.

And, they did. On Sept. 24, a benefit was held for Ann, and $17,000 was raised, allowing the Miller family to purchase Ann’s own TrackMaster.

“To think she has her very own,” said Rick, in an interview with Cincinnati television station WKRC, “and thanks to the community, friends, people everywhere that have donated and made this happen. Words can’t express the feeling of her having her mobility.”

Ann’s able to smile now that Rick expects her to shoulder more of the chores around the house. “He’s going to have me shoveling snow and cutting the grass,” Ann jokingly told WKRC, “and I don’t mind a bit because I’ve wanted to be able to help him do things around the house, and now I probably can.”

Selling Big-ticket Items

A TrackMaster definitely fits in the category of a big-ticket item. Have you been deterred from selling big-ticket items because you thought your customers couldn’t afford them? If so, VGM’s Digital Content Strategist Lalaina Rabary has some advice for you. Please join Lalaina for her one-hour webinar, “How Crowd-sourcing Can Help Sell Big Ticket Items,” on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, beginning at 1 p.m. CST.  Lalaina will discuss how crowd-sourcing, the process of getting funding (usually online) from a crowd of people, can be an effective tool to get your customers life-changing equipment while opening up significant business opportunities for you.

Sign me up!

U.S. Rehab has an exclusive contract with TrackMaster. To view the pricing structure or to learn more, visit the TrackMaster portion of the U.S. Rehab website. Not a U.S. Rehab member? Contact Member Services at 800-642-6065 to discuss membership.