Every day I see it and even experience it. Businesses that are so hungry for more business and more revenues, but that are at the same time turning their backs on it.
It baffles me all the time. But every day I see it and experience it. Usually several times a day with a multitude of businesses of any industry.
Here’s a couple of recent examples:
I recently bought a new home and moved in. Along with the move you go through all the things you want and need. New updates, painting jobs, changing out carpets or installing hardwood floors, changing rooms, altering for taste or updating styles or just upgrading old appliances and what not.
So one of the installations my new house has, is that of a full blown sprinkler system in case there’s a fire. Kinda neat and a first for me to have in a private home. It’s especially nice since the sprinkler outlets are “hidden” and therefore don’t look industrial and awful. Now, the sprinkler system is of course hooked up with sensors and an alarm system that goes to nearest fire station and the sheriff’s office. Kinda cool too.
Since the system is already in place and already has all communications and sensors to it, it feels natural that you might want to expand upon that to include everything for your personal safety too, such as a personal alarm (handy for when the wife is home alone) or for burglary alarm systems etc. for when nobody’s home.
As I took over the house I had to go through the motions of getting all accounts turned over to me and registering me and my family with all the relevant suppliers and vendors. It also meant that I had vendors come out and check everything was fully function-able and this gave me the perfect opportunity to explore more possibilities, system upgrades and updating equipment where necessary.
For the sprinkler system that was the same too and a very nice gentleman came to our house. We signed the papers and he went through the entire installation and checked everything was up and running perfectly and as it should.
His visit gave me the opportunity to explore what else could be done now that we had the system in place and we quickly found that we could in fact expand the system to include alarms and applications way beyond the sprinkler system with relatively little fuss and just a bit more investment, which of course would lead to a nice monthly increase in the revenue to the supplier company (a revenue stream that then would go on and on for probably a long, long time)
Now the house does have a separate alarm system, but joining the sprinkler system with upgraded alarm system would enable us to drop one of the systems and drop an expense, saving us a monthly costs, while yet as described above leave the supplier with increased revenues.
The visit from the sprinkler company concluded with the agreement that they would send me a quote for upgrading the installation to my requirements and wishes and I was all set for it. The costs up front would be bare-able and the monthly expense going forward would be less than running two installations and the end solution would provide more security and not least a greater provision of these elements for the family.
But here’s the thing. I never heard back from the representative.
Now, I could easily follow up and get this in motion again, but I’m too busy on other things or simply forget to do so when phones are open or whatever. It doesn’t really matter what my excuse is. And of course, between you and me, I’m kinda like, if they don’t care more about me as a client then forget it, I will place my money with someone who do care.
For a situation like this, I’m a relatively eager and easy customer and all you would need to do is to place in front of me a decent and fair offer and I would probably put a YES to it straight away and give you my money.
The other example I wanted to bring you is that of a printing service. Along with our moving it just happens that I also started a number of new businesses. For one of these I was seeking a printing service that would be able to make me a very nice upscale stationary and the like. To perform this task, I wished to source a local vendor to support the small local town. I explained everything I was looking for and they went to work.
And then they didn’t.
As I customarily will do, I invited about 3 different vendors to bid for the assignment and to come up with a solution. One hardly responded, which quickly left them dropped out of consideration. But even the others left me wanting. I had to call upon them too many times, instead of them trying to reach out to me to get the order. The final runner up eventually couldn’t really find a solution that would serve what I was looking for and pretty much just gave up.
But a solution is out there and I know where I can get it. But the point of the matter is that they (the vendors I invited) will not be getting the order, nor the order for the 5-6 other new entities for which I also need stationary.
So when I hear businesses that are whining and crying for more business I usually say they need to start by looking at all the business they are turning away already by their actions or if this is the case their in-actions. Usually their whining and complaining are uncalled for if only they would shape up a little.
I could come up with numerous more examples, like the two companies I dealt with in search of new hardwood floors, who also missed out on opportunities dues to lack of follow through and like opportunities I presented to more than one builder for potential add on to the house and the AV companies that didn’t follow through either.
You may be thinking, when reading this, that I might be a terribly difficult customer. But the fact of the matter is, that I’m actually a relatively easy client. I will give space and room for mistakes, delays and what not as long as it’s within reason. I will tell things pretty straight so that you as a vendor will know exactly for what I’m looking for, by when and to what standards and if offered a decent price and good delivery, I will accept and pony up. And I have been known for paying lots of money for solutions and sometimes chosen the more high end route for pretty much anything. So in fact I would venture to say that I’m not just a relatively easy client, I’m actually close to a perfect customer.
The conclusion in all of this is, that there’s so much more business and revenues to be had out there for all sorts of companies. But are you grasping these opportunities? Are you following through? Are you delivering on your promises and even simple deliveries?
If you are still wishing for more business, start by looking at the opportunities you already have and have had. Did you live up to the bare minimums that could have been expected from you?
Better yet: Are you over-delivering and going the extra mile?
If you can answer YES to the last question, then my bet is you can even ask for premium prices and that you can have a very performing business if you don’t already.
I shall discuss the last bit in future post soon for this is another important issue that I find too often people are struggling with. It has to do with pricing. I shall also come back with a discussion of the times when one of my own companies totally failed in its performance due to complete lack of understanding of what needed to be delivered. This one was a service company and the service lacked. It almost cost me the entire company too. But as I said, we shall return to that in future posts soon.
For this post here, I’m curious to learn about your experiences and your views. What do you think? Please comment and engage in this conversation. It would be interesting to see where our conversation together might lead us.