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If It Hurts When You Do That, Stop Doing It

If It Hurts When You Do That, Stop Doing It

Small businesses usually don’t fail because of poor products or services (in fact, the owners usually work themselves to exhaustion). They fail because of stupidity.

My air conditioning guy, with whom I’ve spent thousands and to whom I’ve sent referrals, never showed up last season for a preventive check (which I pay for) despite three phone calls. I told him if he didn’t call me by today, we’re through. He won’t and we are.

The local Bentley dealer and his larger campus, from which I’ve purchased millions of dollars in cars over the years, fired or transferred all the people I trusted in sales and service. So I bought a $400,000 Rolls in Massachusetts, where my service manager wound up. And they now service my Bentley and will sell me my next one when I’m ready.

On our very affluent main street, some shops come and go within 90 days. My wife can walk in and tell me if they’ll last after five minutes of looking around. One coffee shop, for example, had a kid employed who kept his face in his phone, and didn’t stock trays to carry the take-out coffee!

They—and you—need to stop focusing so much on your products and services, though that seems counterintuitive, and focus primarily on common sense and customer relationships. I will give you the benefit of doubt on an error, since we all make them. But I won’t for rudeness, inattentiveness, or stupidity.

And that’s the common sense you need to consult with them or anyone else.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 2

  • Pat Ferdinandi

    April 17, 2017

    Just happened to us at a new restaurant. lost 5 different tables because of their inability or desire to customer relationships.

    Opened 10 minutes after they said they would open. Sat their drinking their coffee drink while seeing 5 different families wanting to eat Easter dinner at this new (open about 3 days). When they finally opened the doors, without a hello or welcome they said: only open for drinks. restaurant not open for another hour.

    Lost our business as well as the other 4 families.

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