You Never Know…
Many years ago I was in a very small building on the near north side visiting a small business for personal reasons. As I usually do, I scanned the buildings’ directory looking for potential printing prospects. I spied a publishing company, wrote down the name, and planned to call them the next day. When I did, the woman I spoke to was very taken aback, wanting to know why I was calling and how I got her name. We had a very brief conversation and I put them in my back burner file as not very likely to do business anytime soon, but I would check in periodically.
Imagine my surprise when three months later I got a call from someone else in the office, asking if I could help her with a very small invitation project. Of course I said yes and set a time for her to come in and look at paper samples. After I showed her everything I had, none of it was to her liking, so I took out all the swatch books that I had on hand (of which there were dozens), then tracked down actual samples of many of the stocks she liked, ran her samples, and ended up billing her less than $100.00. I remember feeling very frustrated and even resentful at times, as I had invested hours and hours of my time, only to be rewarded with a $10 commission. What a colossal waste of my time and energy. Right?
WRONG! That small project led to another small project, which led to another, and before you know it, I was printing all the signage for a symposium that this company hosted twice yearly. This account grew over the next three years to consistently be in my top 3 accounts from a revenue and profit perspective and that continued for 10 years. Even better, the main contact on the account became and remains a good friend of mine to this day, even though I have no business relationship with her any longer.