“May There Be More of Us”
On each and every Thanksgiving, my Father—a simple man, cowboy and alfalfa seed farmer originally from the Montana badlands—upheld his patriarchal honor to begin our feast with a humble short-and-sweet toast. From the time I remember him playing peek-a-boo with me, until the time he played peek-a-boo with his youngest grandchild (my daughter) until his passing 19 years ago, he would proclaim the same, simple wish for all: "May there be more of us next year."
I often wondered why he didn't ever change it up a bit. But he was steadfast in his wish for the family that there would be more to love.
Reflecting on what would have been his 95th birthday, knowing the season was coming, along with the deadline for this blog, I wondered how my dad's simple wish could apply to us in business. After all, that's what we're all looking for in business, right? More CUSTOMERS?
Well, as we all know, getting more customers doesn't just "HAPPEN." It takes hard work. And most often it takes a real plan. A written one. (If it's not written down, it's a DREAM, not a PLAN.)
How much do you want to grow? In which areas? What things will you have to do differently, or more aggressively? Yes, you can begin a big initiative. But some of the most effective ideas sometimes cost very little, other than your time, such as...
- Ship every order with a sample of another garment in the size of your main contact. (Hey, you're decorating ONE garment. Order another sample and run that at the same time.) Then follow up. Samples SELL!
- Email several customers EVERY DAY with an idea. Find a garment you like, or one on sale, and do a customized virtual sample, and surprise your client with their logo positioned on a new garment you send via email. Follow up and see what happens.
- Have a database of customers that could be even stronger? Hire a college intern to call each customer and ask for additional contacts who might need your services. Write a script for the person. Have them clean up phone numbers and email addresses, and always end with... "What events do you have coming up that need sportswear?" One good order can make the whole call-out plan worthwhile, and you've provided another touch to your customers.
Whichever idea you choose, dedicate your time weekly to make it happen, and it will.
So as I am now preparing my annual Thanksgiving table, although I am not the patriarch of my family, I will add my father's words, "May there be more of us next year," in thanks for the new family now joining our table--my new fiancé Joe, his sons Mark and Scott and their girlfriends Sara and Juliana--echoing how truly blessed I am to have not one, but FIVE more, at our table. Boy, would dad be grinnin'!
More good things to all of you!