Don’t Make This Mistake In Your Business Ralph Made


Today’s email is a sad mistake I have seen over and over again. And I do not wish it to happen to you.

It is a true story which happened over the weekend.

This time it has cost Ralph, 753 customers.

The incredible loss of customers started this way.

Here is Ralph’s story.

Ralph is my hairdresser.

I have been using Ralph to bring my black locks back to life for 11 years. His hairdressing chairs are situated inside a shopping centre. Ralph sub-leases from a National clothing chain.

So to get to Ralph you have to park in a shopping-centre complex, walk along the internal malls past seven other hairdressers, enter the clothing store, side-step the clothing racks and tables and eventually you find Ralph and his co-worker standing, smiling and gleefully attending to customers without a care in the world.

I like Ralph.

He tells jokes, has a laugh and he cuts my hair and puts gooey stuff in it about once every 5 weeks.

It is an enjoyable experience.

Let me quickly take you back to November 2012.

Back then Ralph said to me, in amongst his continuous hairdresser poor-quality jokes, ‘The new extensions to the shopping centre will be starting next year.”

I said, “Wow that should be good for business yet it may be hard for people to get to you with all the work going on.”

Ralph replied, “It should be OK. I can’t see them doing anything until June/July next year.”

“OK.” I said. “Have you got the details of your customers in a database though?”

“I have been coming here for years and I have never given you my details.”

“What would I need them for?” he asked. “People know where I am.”

Kurt’s Sidenote: Now I shouldn’t really need to answer Ralph’s question for you should I? – But just in case.

“So Ralph, you can let them know about the renovations or offer them something special or even have them in case you need to move.”

Ralph answered, “I have been here 25 years. I have about 1000 customers.
I will be OK.”

I uttered again, “Ralph, start grabbing names, phones numbers and email addresses now. It is fundamental in business to have a database of your customers.”

“Yeah maybe I can get my daughter to draw up sheet for me” “She is good at that stuff.” He unconvincingly replied.

Now let us now go back to Thursday last week.

I ventured in for my usual five week haircut, although I must admit it probably stretched out to seven weeks.

After navigating myself to Ralph’s hair salon, I dis-covered Ralph cowering over his appointment book looking rather bewildered.

“Come in buddy.” He anxiously expressed.

“Mate I am in a mess.” He immediately pronounced.

“The clothing store told me yesterday they are not renewing their lease. The protracted renovations will affect sales so they are out of here. I have only a week to find another shop to go to.”

“Can Centre Management help?” I inquired.

“Yeah, they are looking for me.”

“Ralph tell me you have been taking contact details of your customers like we spoke about last year.” I feverishly responded.

“I got about 247 names but I know I have about 1000 customers.” “Mate I have been here 25 years.” “I have been on the phone to the customers on my list to let them know I have to move, but what about the ones I can’t contact?”

“Yeah, Ralph. I can see it is a concern.” “Take my contact details now will you so you don’t lose me.”

Now Ralph cut my hair that day and put in the usual amount of Gloop to make me feel vibrant for a couple of hours. Or at least until I get home and my sons laugh at me – again!

Then it happened.

Saturday, last weekend.

The call I knew I would get. It was Ralph.

He told me he is out of the shopping centre, Centre Management could not help him, even after being there for 25 years.

Ralph told me he has leased a ‘chair’ in a suburban hair salon some four kilometres from where he was.

Lucky for Ralph he is coming four kilometres my way. So he will get to keep at least one customer.

I said, “Ralph you have a big job ahead of you today.” He said, “Yes, I am phoning everyone on the list now to let them know.”

Have you got the point of this email.

What about the 753 names he didn’t have. What about the loss of business he is bound to have after 25 years.

You see…
For most business owners… their Inner Salesman is fast asleep. And flabby.

They rely on customers returning to them. They are what we call reactive people.

As Stephen Covey said in his best-selling book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Habit #1 “Be Proactive”

If you haven’t started grabbing all the details of your customers in your business then, DO IT NOW.

Don’t Make This Mistake In Your Business, Ralph Made.

Believe In Yourself

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