Do You Make This Stupid Mistake in Your Business?

I was already in a pretty bad mood, so I was tempted to storm in and scream at the idiot who wrote that sign about what a terrible job he’d done.

Do you really think that’s going to make anyone say, ‘Oh, wonderful! I simply must buy a life-sized Tintin figurine and an overpriced children’s stool with a picture of an umbrella on it IMMEDIATELY!’

That’s what I would’ve said. To the idiot who wrote the sign. Lucky for him, I was in a bad mood and didn’t want to talk to anyone.

I mean, even ignoring the fact that the tape around the edges already makes you think the place is run by a bunch of monkeys who don’t give a crap, there’s really nothing compelling about that sign, is there?

You know what that sign makes me think? It makes me think, ‘Why the hell would I buy an extravagant bookcase in the shape of a canoe just so these guys don’t have to move it to their new store?’

And that’s the problem, isn’t it? The genius who wrote that sign thought about nothing except for why the sale was good for him. But what about the customers? What’s in it for them?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of honesty. If I walked into the store and asked about the canoe bookcase, and the guy told me, ‘Well listen, I really don’t want to move it to my new store, because canoe bookcases are super awkward to manoeuvre,’ I’d be like, well, alright, he seems like a cool guy. And it is kind of a nice canoe bookcase.

But first I’d want to know what’s in it for me. How hard would it have been to say, ‘Everything will be more expensive at the new store!’ or ‘The new store is fucking miles away and you’re here RIGHT NOW, so why not pop in while you still can, eh?’ or ‘We only have one life-sized Tintin figurine left, so if you want it you should probably buy it now!’

RIGHT? I mean, okay, maybe fewer expletives and less anger – but you get the point.

So how about you? Do you make it clear what’s in it for YOUR customers? Or are you too focused on what’s in it for you?

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