I'm in Tucson now and will travel to Ohio for a store visit on
Sunday for a week. So I took care of personal business before I left
- I ordered flowers to be delivered on Valentines Day for my wife and
Across the street from my old store is a florist that I've used for
years. Owned by a man and woman, not related to each other. The man
is older and used to be a customer. He asked how my consulting was
doing and I told him was as busy as ever. So I asked him how his
business was doing.
All I heard was how the economy since 9/11 was terrible and their
bridal business was really down.
"The stock market hurt the bridal business because dad doesn't have
the money for a big wedding anymore. Flowers are the easiest things
to reduce in the budget. How have you seen business in retail,
I told him that I've met jewelers who were struggling and I've also
met jewelers who had 20-25% increases last year.
"How is that possible?"
I continued to answer with "Easy. These people continue to advertise
and market. There is less business but there are people who need
jewelry and they capture them. They also STEAL business from other
stores who have quit advertising and thus are out of the customers
"We dropped our yellow page ads, too expensive."
"Well that's fine, but what did you do to advertise for Valentines
Man was I surprised with the answer "We don't need to advertise, we
can't handle what we get in business. Valentines is great, the rest
of the year is poor."
So now I give'm my David Geller!
"You're in the perfect business. You JUST made an invoice for my
wife's flowers and my address for delivery. You also did the same for
my college student daughter. All you're missing is getting the
birthdays and my anniversary and you have 3 times during a 'slow
year' to call me and take care of one of my chores - what to give my
two women on their birthday and my anniversary."
He says "Yeah, that's a good idea. But how can you track that?"
"With this rolodex on the counter you have. Go to Office Depot and
buy a 12 month dividers and put me in for June and October. Simple."
"Who's going to call?" he asks. Now I'm riled!
"YOU WILL! Or get a student to call for crying out loud."
It's becoming a tough fight. He finally agrees that it would
increase business. I ask this question:
"Can I ask you a question?"
He says, "Yes David, sure. What."
"WHY IN THE WORLD HAVE YOU STILL NOT ASKED ME RIGHT NOW FOR MY
WIFE'SBIRTHDAY, JENNIFER'S BIRTHDAY AND MY ANNIVERSARY DATE? WHY AM
I NOT BECOMING YOUR FIRST ROLADEX PERSON?"
"Not worth the trouble. I go on Social Security in June."
"Then Thomas, you're set, Please help me finish up this
"Can you wait a few minutes?" the lady taking the order at the
"Someone is on line 3 and I can't use the credit card machine."
"So I tell her "Just write the card number on the receipt and ring
it through later, OK?"