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Some of you might remember the commercial for one of the major airlines in which a business lost a major client, because they never saw anyone from the company. The president handed out airline tickets to the entire sales staff so they could go out and visit the customers. When asked what he was going to do with the remaining ticket he replied that he was going to go see the lost client. And, a recent study revealed that customers really want contact with the business owner. In fact 83 percent of the decision makers want personal contact with salespeople.

Both of these examples point out the importance of customer contact. From the small shop owner to the CEO of a large company, meeting with the customers is still the smart way to go. With today’s technology, it may be easier to fax, telephone or e-mail a customer or client, but is it really the best way to contact that person? Remember how good you feel when the owner of a restaurant comes to your table and asks how everything is. Nothing beats owner contact!

Is your business resorting to just telemarketing and direct mail programs to contact your customers – both present and possibly future ones? Perhaps it’s time to hire a salesperson to go out and meet the people. Perhaps it’s time to go out and do it yourself. Why not go out yourself and meet or visit your important customers or clients? If you own a retail business – go out and meet the customers. Owning your own business is not a “back-room” or hide behind the business-plan business. It is a “front-room” business – go out and meet the customers!

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