I stopped at the glass repair shop this week
for four 8"
X 10" panes of glass to repair an "old fashioned"
wood window sash. I like the owner of the shop and
go out of my way to buy glass there.
"It'll be just a few minutes", he said, "I don't have
precut panes anymore, there isn't as much demand
for repair panes as in the past."
As I watched him skillfully measure, cut and
newspaper wrap the glass, I offered, "Is that because
so few people have wood sash windows now?"
"Sure is. Most windows are double pane sealed
glass that I have to order from the factory; glazing
windows is becoming an uncommon art."
The conversation reminded me of the hundreds
of traditional businesses like window glass repair that
chose not to change
as their markets changed. Start thinking about
makers and progress to hand washboard
manufacturers and makers of men's hats and
women's white gloves. Flash forward to television
repair shops, print shops and corner full serve gas
The product or service changed; the business
Large corporations in the
manufacturing, wholesale and retail business simply
ran over the tops of the Mom and Pop businesses.
Thankfully, Wal*Mart hasn't decided to enter the horse
business yet. But that doesn't mean the equine
industry is not changing.
If you haven't noticed it changing, I'm here to
tell you it
is. Your clients/customers are not the same as they
were five years ago.
They are more demanding and less patient.
Now, that's not a criticism; it's an observation. And I
confess, I'm more demanding and less patient than I
was five years ago and you probably are too.
So how do you offer more in less time?
One way is to leverage e-mail and collect
your prospects' and clients' e-mail addresses.
Right after you ask for the phone number, get the
e-mail address next.
Here are three good reasons why you should:
1. Closer Contact with Customers - An
will serve the purpose to announce changes in farrier
schedules, veterinarian visits, announce barn picnics,
dinners, gatherings, lesson program changes.
Additionally, e-mail allows for invoicing, answering
questions and following up with lesson and training
progress. As a customer, wouldn't you agree that,
most of the time, you just want to know that you are
getting attention from the professionals and
businesses you use? How would you feel getting an
e-mail from: your attorney on your case progress, your
tax preparer telling you that you can pick up your
finished return tomorrow or from your mechanic to
remind you the truck inspection expires this month?
2. Sell Horses, Saddles, Trailers,
A picture may be worth even more than one
thousand words today. Since there is more to
read and less time to read it all, a picture of a
horse e-mailed to your network of colleagues,
customers and prospects is a time saver for you and
the recipient. Digital photography is just too easy to
be ignored. Take picture, e-mail, done.
3. Maintain Dialogue with Your Prospects -
I'm privileged to have you reading this e-mailed
newsletter. It's relatively inexpensive for me to
produce, easy for you to read for business value and it
allows you to make a decision about whether I may be
able to be of help to you now or in the future.
Is there an easier way than e-mail to maintain
dialogue with your prospects in your business?
No doubt about it, you're still in a centuries old
business that is relatively unchanged
featuring animals harnessed and ridden with
But, your iPod accessorized, cell phone
driven, convenience and comfort seeking customers
and prospects keep changing faster every day and
your business should keep in step with them.