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Last Update: Saturday December 7, 2019

Key Idea: Keep Your Name in Front of Customers

Rick Presant used supplier catalogs until customers pushed him to do his own.

Key Question:

A: 

We all must communicate with customers in multiple ways. All strong companies do this. You can't just post material on the web, you can't just fax, you can't just mail, you can't just call, you can't just email, you have to do it all.

Q:
  Why can't we teach customers how to communicate with us and not fool with all the different types of communications?

A: 
First of all there are best ways of doing specific types of customer communications. And second, we have to be where our customers are not where we want them to be. Many owners dream of the day when they can simply post everything on the Internet and be done with it. Well, that may happen but we're not there yet. Rick and Jeff have a physical newsletter and a physical catalog and use these pieces to keep their name in front of customers.

Though many of us are still struggling with digital contact management even twenty years after it hit the marketplace, the next generation coming along is fully making use of the new tools. We want to be paperless, and many of us are resisting those Personal Digital Assistants and are clinging to our DayTimers. The next generation will be virtually paperless.

Think about it

What is your customer communication plan and how can you make it better? Do you have a contact management strategy? Software? Web-based?

Clip from: All Brand Appliances

Mount Ephraim, New Jersey: In this episode of the show we go to Main Street America (just outside Philadelphia) to look at a classic family business, one that exists in most communities in America but seems to be threatened by new distribution systems and mega-stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. Talk about pressure... Yet, these small businesses may actually thrive in our fast-paced, ever-changing business culture. Best practices is what they do.

If a washing machine breaks, the parts needed to fix it are on the shelf of their store. Owned and run by brothers, Rick and Jeff Presant, the pros, the handyman, and the weekend warriors (honey-do's), are all welcomed to buy appliance parts at All Brand Appliance. With 12 employees and hundreds of ever-faithful customers, these two are building a business on kindness. That's right, kindness.

To prepare to buy All Brand from their father, Rick had his own supply company in another territory and Jeff worked for others.

Go to all the key ideas and videos of this episode...

All Brand Appliance (JP)

Jeff Present, Co-owner

170 North Black Horse Pike
Mt. Ephraim, NJ 08059
800-736-5870

Visit our web site: http://www.allbrand.com/

Office: 800-736-5870

Business Classification:
Retail/Wholesale

Year Founded: 1984

Keep Your Name in Front of Customers

HATTIE: So the bottom line that everybody wants to know is, is this making you money now?

RICK: Well, that's what's nice. Rarely does something start out and end like you planned it. I guess it's been on the street about eight months now, and we're up 20 percent over the same eight-month period last year.

JEFF PRESANT: There are challenges here day in and day out, and I enjoy it. And, you know, on one hand the challenges can pose problems, but it's the idea that there's a challenge and it keeps you on your toes, and I love it.

RICK: Yeah.

HATTIE: So what do you see for the future? Do you see yourself together in business 20, 30 years from now?

JEFF PRESANT: I see our kids doing it and sending us the checks in Florida, right? Won't that be fun.

(Voiceover) After meeting Rick and Jeff Presant and watching them run their business, I decided one thing for sure: Their dad must be proud.

In the Studio

Stop now and prepare to pass your business on to family, employees or even customers. It's succession means success.

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