Small Business Small Mindsets
I am an advanced stamp collector (stop snickering), and have a quite sophisticated US collection. I’m constantly looking for those rather expensive issues I’ve not yet acquired.
In a national publication, I found a stamp dealer online in my home down, specializing in the US! I send an email, asking if he had three issues in particular I was looking for. Here’s what he wrote back:
Hi Mr. Weiss,
Received your note looking for some staionery (sic) items. While we do handle back of the book material, we tend not to have very much in the way of stationery. Unfortunately we do not have any of the 3 items you asked for. Thanks for thinking of us.
Can you think of a dozen other ways to respond to this, such as:
1. Sorry we don’t have this, but I can look for them among colleagues or put you in touch with people who probably carry them.
2. Sorry we can’t help with this, but tell me what other needs you have that we may be able to fill.
3. Sorry we can’t help with this, but we specialize in X, Y, and Z, which a collector like you would probably find valuable.
When a prospect comes to you, don’t simply say you can’t help. Either offer alternatives of help or ask what other help may be needed. A prospect is not an annoying insect or junk mail. You WANT this person “in your house.” But this is why you have to have a large mindset to run a small business successfully.
© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.