A FREE electronic magazine... March 27, 2002
B I G B U C K S I N A B A T H R O B E
Make More Money & Have More Fun With Your Small Business!
Publisher: Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
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I n T h i s I s s u e . . .
1. A "Quickie" Personal Observation
2. Feature: Article "Explanations: A Good Idea?"
3. Feature: "Ask Dave" - Can I help with a business problem?
4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
The Laser Mouse
5. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
6. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
7. How to Subscribe / Unsubscribe
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Copyright (c)2002, A Few Good People, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
My wife just purchased a vest designed for horseback
riding... brand name is "Kerrit". (In case you didn't know,
horses just LOVE carrots: our two guys go through over 30
pounds every week!) To complete the logo, the letter "i" is
actually a carrot, with the stem serving as the dot over the
"i". Cute. Included with the garment is a small packet of
seeds for, you guessed it, carrots!
As it turns out, they have an entire line of horse-related
clothing and everything they sell comes with a small bag of
In my mind, this is a great example of a business
"personality". They don't HAVE to include the seeds, but
it's fun, it sets them apart, and it helps drive home the
"Kerrit" brand by association with the seeds.
Hmmmmmmm... maybe I should include free bathrobes with every
order from the "Big Bucks Boutique". I could embroider them
with a "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" logo. I could offer a
selection of colors and styles. Washable, terrycloth,
22222 A r t i c l e "Explanations: A Good Idea?"
By Dave Balch, the "Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
When a customer has a problem, do you go out of your way to
explain to them what happened? It isn't always a good idea,
especially if it's complicated. Now I'M going to explain!
I recently went for a haircut and my favorite salon had just
changed locations. They had a number of minor problems as
you can imagine. They were being handled efficiently, one
by one, when the telephone repairman arrived. He asked the
receptionist what the problem was and she told him: they
had 4 incoming lines (corresponding to 4 "outside line"
buttons on the phone), and line 3 was really ringing on the
button for line 4. He said, "Oh, that's not a big deal" and
then proceeded, I'm not kidding, to spend the next five
minutes explaining why this was happening. "All of your
outside lines come in on the main panel, and then I take
those lines and connect them to the posts for each of your
lines on the phone here. Each line comes in on different
color wires; one is a solid color and the other is the same
color combined with white, so you've got your blue and
blue/white, your orange and orange/white... like that. The
posts are really little connectors and you just push the
wires down on them. Anyway, all I have to do is go into the
panel and find the wires..."
Good grief! The receptionist doesn't care about all that
malarkey... she just wants her phone fixed! From the way he
explained it, he could have fixed it and been out of there
in the time he spent explaining it.
I'm guilty of this, too. Years ago I was working at a
computer service bureau as a programmer. (A service bureau
was a business that provided computer services to companies
that had a need for them but were too small to have their
own computer. Needless to say, now that computers are so
inexpensive and relatively easy to use you'd be hard pressed
to find one today!) The customer needed to get his invoices
printed and there was a bug that caused every invoice to get
the name and address from the previous invoice. I proceeded
to explain about the program and reading the customer names
from the tape and that there was a logic error and a buffer
wasn't being cleared... he got very aggravated. He didn't
care about any of that... he just wanted to know when his
invoices would be ready!
Don't do that to your customers! If they have a problem,
tell them you're sorry and that you'll fix it right away...
AND THEN FIX IT. Don't bore them with the details unless,
of course, it is absolutely necessary. You run the risk of
a) making them feel stupid because they don't/can't
understand the complexities of your particular situation, b)
irritating them by wasting their time, and c), telling them
something that may shake their confidence in you.
I know it's tempting to explain, but use good judgment.
Repeat after me:
"I'm sorry, I'll fix it right away."
"I'm sorry, I'll fix it right away."
"I'm sorry... "
33333 "A s k D a v e"
(Can I help you with a business problem? I will field
business questions in every issue. Send them to
Ask whatever you'd like... all letters will remain anonymous.
Maybe my 2-cents'-worth will make you "Big Bucks"!
I am part of a wonderful company... that makes great
wellness products. Its not a pyramid or MLM so that's not
what I want info on. I have a strong belief in the company
and their products because they helped me personally.
I often seem to choke when it comes to approaching someone
about [the products I represent]. I can do it sometimes but
most of the time not. Its like I have fear of rejection or
something, I don't know.
In talking about it I have come to realize, as has one other
person in my group, that I feel guilty if I start a
conversation with a likely looking prospect. It's almost as
if I will insult them by talking about [the products]
because they may realize that is the reason I started
talking to them in the first place.
I looked at the website and it sure looks like an MLM to
me! You get customers, and you can recruit others who
get customers. When your recruits get customers you get
a piece of their action... that's MLM! There's nothing
wrong with that, it's just the way it is. In fact,
realizing that may help you get the help you need.
(Don't be ashamed of being in an MLM. Although it's true
that some MLM's are shady at best, I don't think that
it's fair to characterize all MLM's based on the actions
of a few; after all, people do unethical things, not
MLM's. A lot of good, honest people have made a lot of
good, honest money in MLM's.)
Frankly, I have the same problem you do. There are three
words that may help you with your problem: "Don't sell;
serve." Think about it for a while... you're not SELLING
anyone anything, you're HELPING them. SERVE them, don't
SELL them. It's a different mindset and it might help
It sounds like you could use some sales training. There
are a zillion books, courses, and seminars... I'm sure
that the problem you're having is VERY common, so you
will find a solution out there from someone who knows
what they're talking about. I wouldn't be surprised if
your particular company has some training materials, even
addressing that very problem. Do they have a support
system of some sort (like a discussion board or group)
where you can ask other representatives how THEY get
around this problem? I'd start there.
44444 "M e a n w h i l e, b a c k a t t h e r a n c h..."
A glimpse into the life of this "Stay-at-Home CEO"
(Photos and short bios of the complete "cast of characters"
are posted at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com/theranch.htm )
Kate went skiing this week so Georgie is staying with us. A
very unique dog, to say the least, Georgie is one of those
dogs that understands complete sentences, even if no hand
signals are given. "Get the ball." He gets the ball. "Get
the red ball." He gets the red ball. ...and so on.
We have a "laser mouse", which is simply a laser pointer
with a pistol-type grip that is designed to be used as a cat toy.
The idea is that the cat would chase the light around the
room. Our cats barely look at it, but Georgie goes nuts.
He knows that when the sun goes down the laser comes out,
and as soon as it's dark he sits and stares at the cabinet
where we keep it.
As soon as we get it, there is incredible commotion as he
and Emma (she worships Georgie, does everything he does, and
is therefore crazy about the laser as well) chase this light
around the living room. The furniture is arranged in such a
way that they can run 'round and 'round it in circles, back
and forth, up and down the hall... it is really quite a
Then we go outside and they run like the wind, up and down
the slopes, through the trees, and down the driveway. If I
didn't stop, I don't think they would ever tire of it.
We haven't told them that it's really a cat toy. Somehow,
though, I don't think it would matter.
55555 A b o u t "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" N e w s l e t t e r
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66666 W h o t h e H e c k a m I, A n y w a y ?
I've generated over $5 million (so far!) from my own home-based
software business and I have a lot to share with you about how I
did it and what I learned along the way. Now, as a professional
speaker, I offer programs that will help you and your employees
"Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your small or home-based
Visit me at http://www.TheStayAtHomeCEO.com for descriptions of
the programs and educational resources that I offer.
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77777 H o w to S u b s c r i b e / U n s u b s c r i b e
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A Few Good People, Inc.
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Twin Peaks, CA 92391