Discourse and Improvisation ON Entrepreneurship And…

September 22, 2006

Help me buy from you

Filed under: It's just business — dionea @ 5:54 pm

Terry Gold has a great post, Help me, help you on making it easier for other people to help you. I want to riff on it, about making it easier for customers to buy from you. Unlike Terry’s great positive, demonstrative show-you-how-to-do-it example, mine are show-you-how-not-tos.

Like the cobbler’s children

A local print shop has a published price book. Great, some transparency! I can take the book and get an idea how much it’s going to cost me to produce some fairly large graphics. So I get started, then get the graphic artist involved, now we’re reaching deadline. Back to the printer to make final material decisions. After 45 minutes of chasing around the shop digging up samples, I learn something that wasn’t obvious to me. Although the price book says “up to 60 inches wide”, not all materials listed are available in that width. Uh-oh, now I’m in trouble, and am not such a happy customer.

What could the print shop have done to make it easier to buy, and save themselves tons of time on the sales cycle? Simple:

  1. A simple *Available material width may vary in the price book would have notified me to ask instead of assume.
  2. A sample book. Printed. With the names of the material, and a cross-reference to available sizes and notes whether it’s a stock item or special order.

Believe it or not, the saleswoman has been trying to get a sample book produced for months. My question to other entrepreneurs: does your staff have the simple and obvious tools they need to help them help customers?

I need to write the owner an email. He’ll never know otherwise.

I am a cobbler’s child
Somewhere I read recently that software companies are generally the worst with their own software and IT infrastructure. Mea culpa. What that means is that we’re dropping stuff because we don’t have a good way to track it, or it’s just too hard. Support renewals? Uh-oh, customers have been asking us for them. I’ve been burning it at both ends trying to fix this. I’ll definitely blog about the solutions we have, and will, put in place.


1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for the link to my website! I like the idea of an anonomous blog because there are definately times I just can’t say everything I’d like to say for fear of it coming back to haunt my company. Have fun with it.


    Comment by Terry Gold — September 23, 2006 @ 7:28 am | Reply

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