Every day small businesses are suffering from what I call the “silent kiss of death.” The silent kiss of death is when a prospect tries to do business with a company and the owner doesn’t even know it! If someone calls your company during business hours and gets voicemail rather than speaking to a person, you’re taking a chance of losing that prospect. Many prospects (like me) will hang up and forget about it or call someone else. It doesn’t matter if you have Caller ID. By the time you call me back I’m probably off to other things.
If I walk into your store or restaurant and no one is there to greet me, guess what? Some customer types are going to turn around and walk right out. The sad thing is that many times these are the types of clients you want. People who are decisive.
I was reading one of John Maxwell’s books, and he shared a story about a time when he and Margaret were in the drive-thru at Krispy Kreme. They love Krispy Kreme when they’re hot, but when they drove by the “hot light” wasn’t on. They decided to drive through anyway; and to their surprise, the doughnuts were piping hot. When he asked the person at the window why the light wasn’t on, she replied, “We get too busy when the light is on, so I didn’t turn it on.”
If you’re like me, I can’t imagine how people could think that way, but they do. And it is up to us to train our people. We must train them why it is important to capture as many customers as we can when things are hot. This gets us through the lean times.
Profitable sales cure all other business evils.
We need to close as many sales as possible because we are not only squandering the time, energy, and money that was invested in marketing, but we also want to make sure we have reserves for the “evils” that come our way—when we have to pay more tax than planned, something gets damaged, an employee costs us money, some- one doesn’t pay his bill, the economy tanks, or any other number of things that are completely out of our control. As my friend and author of The Facts of Business Life Bill McBean says, “Planning is not predicting the future, it’s preparing for it.”
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