Sunday, April 28, 2013

Easy Money or do you make things difficult?

We all want Easy Money don’t we? Then why do we make it difficult for people to give us money. I went into a Chinese Restaurant in Seattle and since I was on a low carb diet I ordered the beef and asparagus special. Then I said no rice please just add some extra asparagus. The owner told me NO She Couldn’t Do That. What she really meant was that she could not or would not do that at the same price but I never mentioned price. I looked at her and said, “You have food, I have money, so all you have to do is tell me what it costs and then make it.”  The confused look passed from her face and said "Two dollar more". Then she made me a great dinner. Think about it, I walk in as a paying customer and she refuses my order. I understand why but does it really make sense. We all do things that make it more difficult for our customers to give us money.

Don’t Assume I Known What You Do
My friend Stephen Dusty Roberts cleans rugs. His business is called Luv-A-Rug and when you go in it has rugs all over the place. Dusty also cleans Boat Sails but it is a small part of his business. One day one of his long time established Sail customers told Dusty, “I didn't know you did rugs too”. This man made checks out to Luv-A-Rug not Luv-A-Sail but it completely escaped him for years. We may think it was obvious and he should have known but here is a bigger question; how much money did Dusty lose by not telling him “hey, we do rugs too”.

Make It Easy To Call You
One of the things that drives me crazy it hiding your phone number on your website. I am not going to embarrass my friends by naming names but many of you don’t have easy websites. Your phone numbers should be at the top of the main page. It should also be at the bottom of every page with your address. If I have to search for a contact page you probably lost my business. But worst of all is if I get to the Contact page and all I get is a form for on-line response screw it I am going to your competition. Seriously I am not twenty something; I am old enough that I watched prime time in Black and White I have no interest in filling out your online form and no it is not damn likely I want to Chat either. On-Line forms are OK for some customers but offer a phone number and address for the rest of us.

Make Your Website a Good Experience
Tell me your name. I assume that if you do not say who you are you are either stupid or hiding something. Maybe I am a cranky old man but can you really afford to write off all the business from cranky old people.

Make sure it loads fast
Not everyone has a hot cable modem like your web guy has. I do not care about your pictures and graphics if the page is slow. Many of us go to our second choice when  the pages are slow. Keep in mind bargain basement hosting companies can be very slow. Don’t assume, test it yourself and also ask your customers what they think about your website.

Don’t Be a Wiseguy
I regularly run into businesses where the first person (and often the last) is more interested in being a wiseguy then in finding out my problem and making it easy for me to give him money.

Don't Scold Me
I walk into some businesses and instead of welcoming me they scold me. I don’t care if I came in the wrong door or put my rug in the wrong place or that it is closing time or anything else you want to scold me about. You are not my mother.  I am there to give you money. You are there to take my money. That is your job and it should be your goal. When I used to help out at Mark Keshishian & Sons a busy Chevy Chase MD Rug Store and Rug Cleaning company we used to watch the parking lot and as soon as somebody made a move to get something from their trunk or backseat we assumed they had a rug to come in and we went to help them.

If I Call I am Not Taking a Survey
If I call assume it is because I have a problem. If I start by asking the price it is only because I do not know what to say. Your job is to find out why I really called and offer a solution. We deal with this in detail in RugLover Marketing.

I will probably think of more of the stupid business tricks people do and I will let you know about them. Some people completely miss how difficult they make it for people to give them money. I know one west coast rug cleaner who trash talks his customers to anyone who would listen. To hear him talk his customers are stupid eBay pickers who bothered him about rugs. He is argumentative, arrogant and rude. I will grant he has a reputation for great technical skills but I know the rug biz was so rough that he went out and bought a Truck Mount so he could do in home carpet cleaning. Doing great work is not the way to make money in the Rug Washing business; it is just the first step. 

How easy do you make it for people to give you money?