Monthly Archives: January 2008

The Top-Secret, 100% Sure-Fire Method to LOSE customers!

I wanted to share with you an experience I had today of a long-time business relationship going sour.

I have been having an issue with one of my ears, so I made an appointment with my doctor, who I have been seeing for over 5 years. They said the only time slot they had available was 12:15 PM. Sadly, this conflicted with another appointment I had for a conference call. Thus, I had to cancel my conference call, which was at 12:00.

I got to my doctor’s office at 12:05, to make sure I was on time.

12:15 – still waiting

12:30 – still waiting

12:50 – I finally get called. By now, I am slightly annoyed, since I could have made my conference call if I had known they would be late.

The end result was that the doctor saw me, diagnosed the issue (kind of), but it was not something that she could simply write a prescription for. She then told me that I could see a specialist tomorrow (and pay for another appointment), or wait another 30 minutes, because she didnt have time to help me right then.

After another 30 minutes wait, she tried to fix my issue. She couldn’t, and referred me to a specialist anyway.

The end result is that I wasted over an hour of my time simply waiting for her. She spent a grand total of about 25 minutes with me, but could not fix my problem. She charged me $150 to NOT solve my problem, and I still have to pay a specialist tomorrow.

Needless to say, I will be seeking a new doctor.

For any doctors who may be reading this, I have a suggestion. If you were to market your practice as beingĀ  the doctor that sees patients ON TIME, you will be FLOODED with patients.

Until next time.

Helping you in this war we call BUSINESS.

Brent Allan C.S.H., C.C.S.


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Do you tell your customers that you hate them?

OK, I know this title is going to sound a bit weird.

Basically, what I am asking is, what message are you conveying to your customers?

In the past month, I have had several bad experiences at stores. The first was at Best Buy. I went, I bought something. Two days later, the item goes on sale, and they have that “best price guarantee” thing. So, I go back to get the refund. The customer service guy actually gave me a hard time, and essentially acted like I was wasting his time and was an inconvenience to him. In fact, what he did after the transaction shocked me. I had brought a printout of their website so I had proof of the sale. After the transaction was done, he swept the sheaf of papers off the counter towards a garbage can, but did it so violently that they flew over the garbage can and scattered everywhere. I just walked away.

Fast forward a few more days. I have to go back to Best Buy to buy something new. I could not find what I was looking for, so I used my secret technique for getting help. I put on my best “lost and confused” face, which usually brings a salesperson running at any store. I wandered up and down the aisles, looking hopeless. Nothing. Nobody.

I did run across two of their floor associates, but as I approached them, I could tell they were deeply engrossed in a conversation over a video game, so I left them alone. I was on my way to the door when someone finally approached me and helped me out. Whew.

Now, to0 contrast all of this cynicism, let me tell you a story of excellent service I just received tonight. I was strolling through the mall and wandered into a little shop of eclectic oddities from Morocco and other far-off lands. I had walked in, taken about 10 steps, and the person working there greeted me and asked if I had visited before. When I told him I hadn’t, he proceeded to welcome me and thank me for stopping in. He told em a bit about the store and their products, and left me to browse with the instructions that he would be nearby if I required anything.

The people at Best Buy made me feel like a nuisance. The guy at the Moroccan store made me feel important and valuable.

So, what do your actions and attitude say to your prospects and customers? When you answer the phone, are you warm and friendly? Do you thank them for their business?

On another note, if you have not yet signed up for my FREE small business marketing newsletter, I strongly suggest you do so. C’mon, it’s FREE. What have you got to lose?

Helping you in this war we call BUSINESS.

Brent Allan C.S.H., C.C.S.

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Are you ignoring your best prospects?

Marketing a small business is difficult. Trying to acquire new customers in a world where they are bombarded by marketing messages from your competitors can be tiring and frustrating. But are you ignoring the customers that are most likely to buy from you?

I am referring, of course, to your current and past clients. Do you capture their contact information and contact them frequently? Now, I don’t mean you should spam them with correspondence every day, but you could have a monthly newsletter, or you can send them coupons and special deals periodically. They have already bought from your company, so as long as you did even an average job and did not alienate them, they are likely to buy from you again. But you don’t want to settle for an average job. If you do a fantastic job, then they are probably already waiting for an opportunity to come up to buy from you again. Sending them a special deal may be the tipping point and gets them to ring your cash register again.

If you are not already doing something to capture the contact information of your customers, make sure you do so. Offer them a free gift or a special discount for joining your FREE “Solid Gold Customers Club” or whatever you want to call it. Make them feel special, and they will be back.

Brent Allan C.S.H., C.C.S.

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Can you make history in 2008?

Just a few days ago, the New England Patriots made history by being the first team to go undefeated in the regular season since 1972, and the first team to ever go undefeated in a 16 game season. (The seasons were shorter back in ’72.)

They accomplished this monumental feat by holding themselves to high standards and going out there and working hard each and every day.

These are the same kind of high standards that a small business owner must hold himself and his company to. An entrepreneur has to work tirelessly, but the rewards are worth it. And one task which must be continually done is marketing your business.

In the Chinese calender, 2008 is the year of the Rat. Some of the characteristics of the Rat are:

  • Hardworking
  • Ambitious
  • Passionate
  • Adaptable

These are all traits that entrepreneurs need to have. Many of us have these attributes naturally, which is why we are entrepreneurs in the first place.

My first piece of advice for you for the new year is to set your goals high, work them every day (ok, you can take a day off or vacation occasionally), and adapt to take advantage of current events and trends. If you accomplish those three things, 2008 can be a history-making year for you and your business. Good luck!

Brent Allan C.S.H., C.C.S.

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