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A Marketing Disaster and How To Avoid It

By Michael Zipursky


I just got off the phone with an employee from a bakery.

For one of my businesses we decided to send a little treat in the mail to each of our customers – just an unexpected way of saying thanks. (We’re doing this for many reasons, but I’ll save that for future article).

Back to the story and the bakery…

I asked them if they ship nationwide? They said, “No, sorry we don’t. The owner here decided not to do that.”

I asked, “Do you ship locally?”. They said, “Yes.”

Hmmm…”I see, isn’t it the same amount of work to ship nationally or locally? The courier just picks it up, that’s it.” She replies, “Yes I know, the owner thinks it is a hassle.”

“Okay…so how much is it for local delivery for my local customers, maybe I can use it for them.”

“It’s $15 for next day delivery”, she says.

I’m planning on sending hundreds of these gifts…so I asked, “If delivery is 2 or 3 days can we get that $15 cost down.”

She replied, “I’m sorry, the owner just uses a local courier and that’s the only option we have.”

This is just crazy, I’m thinking to myself.

I could tell the employee knew it was crazy. Out of wanting to help the company improve I said, “Don’t you think if you had more options for people like me your business would grow?” She quickly replied, “Yes, I know, sorry…”

That’s how the call ended. This company has a great product from what I’ve heard.

I was ready to potentially spend thousands of dollars with them. But they lost the sale.

Not because they are bad people. Not because their ‘business’ is bad. And not because their product is bad.

But because they made it hard for me to do business with them.

Question: Are you making it hard for your clients to do business with you in ANY way? If you are, make sure it’s for the right reasons. And make sure you’re not leave money on the table.

10 thoughts on “A Marketing Disaster and How To Avoid It

  1. Thank you for making this site very interesting! Keep going! You’re doing very well!

  2. I think it is important to be flexible with your business or you could find yourself with a crisis management issue. If too many potential clients or customers start to complain some of those voices will eventually spill onto the web creating a much larger problem.

    • I appreciate your comment but I get the sense you’re only commenting here for the SEO link to your site? Next time please contribute to the discussion. Thanks.

  3. sganpat says:

    I don’t know. There’s a fine line behind adding complexity and trying to offer options for different customers. If I’m targeting a particular customer then I have a service set for that type of customer, including what kind of delivery they offer.

    Just like this site. The only payment option you have is Paypal, but what about customers who don’t use Paypal (and there are more than you think), do you add other service providers? Maybe it’s not worth it using a site like Digital River because it’s a hassle or it cuts into your margins, or whatever.

    • Thanks for the comment Sachin. We’re looking into additional payment options and appreciate the feedback.

  4. I really enjoyed this article. It is always nice when you read some thing that is not only informative but entertaining.

  5. But at the end of the day our clients need assurance that the project’s
    success will solve the pain points from which the project was conceived
    in the first place.

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