Marketing Mess — Making Clients Do The Work

I don't know about you, but I love to have fresh flowers on my desk and around my house.  In fact, few things make me happier than having plants of all types around me.

Having spent last week in a rather sterile conference room during an intensive workshop on leadership, I ran out this morning to pick up a bouquet for my desk.

As I walk in, the clerk (who, in this case, was also the owner) was very friendly asking how she could help me, what I'd like, etc.

I gave her my parameters: around $20, colorful and no roses…other than that, she could do whatever was best for her inventory.

As she's puttering about putting my order together, she asked where I worked. 

I mentioned that I was self-employed and worked from home…her first thought was that I was a stay-at-home mom.

So I explained what I do and she immediately began telling me how hard business is right now with the recession and people not wanting to spend money, or at least not spend money on flowers.

She wrapped up my order (I'd also gotten a few neat cards) and I decided that, rather than pop in for flowers when the mood struck, I'd be a lot happier to have them automatically each week.

So I asked if she could automatically deliver a bouquet to me every Monday and I'd give her my card to keep on file.

Now everything's been great up until this point.

Her response…

"It'd really be easier if you could call it in each week instead of my having to remember to put it together."

My response…

"If you were my client, I'd explain everything you just did that's costing you money and customers. Instead, I'm going to give my business to X up the street, who I'm sure will be happy to take my money, put my info on a calendar and deliver flowers automatically every week."

Hellooooooo…if I were her, I'd grab pen and paper and, with a big smile, be ready to take down my info — and she wonders why her business is slow?!?!?!?