How much business are you losing that you could win?

It never ceases to amaze me how much is spent by businesses of all sizes and sectors just to get prospective customers and clients to ring or visit them, only to literally throw away business by not spotting opportunities. When you read the following example, you’ll be at screaming pitch … “how can these people be so stupid as to miss the obvious thing to do?” I have carried out a huge amounts of research into this issue over the years and I can reveal that British business is suffering from an epidemic of lost opportunities. Let me give you one simple example, with more to follow in future postings.

I recently carried out a simple and informal experiment to see whether businesses would pick up on a blatant and obvious business opportunity. I walked into three travel agents on a typical high street. Two of them were major multinationals and the other a small independent. I simply asked: “Do you by any chance have the new Fred Olsen Cruise brochure please?” All of the agencies, looked on their display shelves and said: “We might have some in the back”. On each occasion eventually a member of staff returned apologising for the fact that they didn’t have that brochure at the moment. 

Not one of them offered to take contact details so that they could let me have a brochure when they did get it in and nobody thought behind my question and looked at me as a potential new cruise customer who might spend several thousands with them. 

Despite the fact that they had glossy brochures of various other cruise lines on their shelves I was allowed to walk out of their shops without any further conversation or questions. It is possible that if they had found out about my preferences, they may have had something else to offer me then and there. 

How many obvious and simple business opportunities is your business missing?