Advantages of technology to attract customers

February 5, 2024

In an earlier blog, we touched on the advantages of living in a time where distance doesn’t mean nearly what it used to. It was a much smaller world 25 years ago than it is today. St Louis was my only market share. I got some business cards printed up using a company name that I came up with while eating lunch one day, and just started knocking on doors. I think I touched on the challenge of trying to get past the receptionist or secretary that I referred to as the guard dog in an effort to get to the decision maker. That was normally a worthy challenge in of itself. I quickly realized that no matter how well I delivered what I had to say, it was a waste of time because she didn’t have the authority to make any decisions without the owner’s consent. It did however plant a seed. She would normally tell me that they actually did use custom t-shirts, but didn’t necessarily need them at that very moment in time. She would ask me if I had a business card and if I did, I should give her one and she would either give it to the owner or call me when they were in need of some more apparel. The reality was that she might have had good intentions when she said that, but more than not, I never actually got that call. I found it extremely frustrating when I would come back a couple months later when she told me to follow up and they were already wearing new uniforms that someone else sold to them. I never even got a chance to quote it. I asked her, why didn’t I get a call when you were ready to order? She replied, did you leave me a card? I said yes I did and she would open a drawer up and pull out a stack of business cards 5 in thick. After scrolling halfway down the stack, she eventually found mine.

I also mentioned earlier that I had to figure out a way to offset this in order that it didn’t happen again. I came up with the great idea of giving her a magnet. That seemed to do the trick. Instead of ending up in a stack of other cards just like it, it would end up on the file cabinet or the refrigerator and they couldn’t help but notice it every time they walked by. As a result, my bid request went up considerably. Keep in mind, that this was way before anybody even had a cell phone. Very few people had a home computer at that point and the internet had not even been invented yet. Nowadays, the world is a much smaller place. Instead of going door to door in hopes to find someone that needs some digital t-shirt printing, people just do a relevant search for a St Louis embroidery and screen printing company and they happen to stumble upon mine. They simply click on it and before I know it, I have an instant bid request. The hardest part of the sales equation back in that day, was to try and find someone who actually needed some digital t-shirt printing or custom embroidery right at that very moment. The other part of the equation which I found much easier, was to simply find a way to convince them that I was going to give them a better overall value than the guy who did it last time. In other words, I created a strong incentive in order to make it worth their while, in order to give me a chance and once I had that opportunity, make the most of it.

Now that we live in a time where information can go from one end of the world to the next within just a few seconds, I have a much larger pond to fish from. I literally have an ocean to potentially catch new customers.