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Meet the Customers

The office for Utah Business Consultants is located at 6465 South 3000 East, close by is a quaint little diner called Cottonwood Café. The owner built the small restaurant on 7146 Highland Dr after running the same eatery nearby in a dive location. My partner and I, along with others in our group frequent Cottonwood Café.  Why?  I think it’s the “Cheers” factor.  You’ve seen the show, the chorus of the theme song goes something like this, “Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name…”.  We go to Cottonwood Café because the owner Adam is always there. He greets us by name, always asks how the food is and wants to know how our day is going. Sure the food and service are great, but in addition, we are greeted and treated like management really cares about our experience – every time.  Cottonwood Café has a robust clientele, and from what I’ve noticed, the other customers are treated just as personally as I am.
Some of you might remember the commercial for one of the major airlines in which a business lost a major client because they never saw anyone from the company.  The president handed out airline tickets to the entire sales staff so they could go out and visit the customers.  When asked what he was going to do with the remaining ticket he replied that he was going to go see the lost client.  Studies reveal that customers really want contact with the business owner.  In fact, 83 percent of decision makers want personal contact with salespeople.
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These examples point out the importance of customer contact.  From the small shop owner to the CEO of a large company, meeting with the customers is still the smart way to go.  With today’s technology, it may be easier to text, telephone or e-mail a customer or client, but is it really the best way to contact that person?  Reflect on how good you feel when the owner of a restaurant or other business pays you individual attention and asks how everything is.  Nothing beats owner – to – customer contact!
Is your business resorting to just telemarketing and direct mail programs to contact your customers – both present and possibly future ones?  Perhaps it’s time to hire a salesperson to go out and meet the people. Perhaps it’s time to go out and do it yourself.  Why not go out yourself and meet or visit your important customers or clients?  If you own a retail business – go out and meet the customers.  Owning your own business is not a “back-room” or hide behind the business-plan business.  It is a “front-room” business – go out and interact with the customers!  You’ll be surprised what a difference it will make in your day-to-day revenue, and consequently the value of your business.
-Bradley G. Marlor MBA, CBI is a Managing Partner at Utah Business Consultants and a Certified Business Intermediary. Utah Business Consultants is a full-service Business Brokerage and Valuation firm.