Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter
July 11, 2008 
In This Issue
Business Lessons From the Drive Thru Window
Others Have Said
Back At The Barn
Are You Ignoring the Easiest and Least Expensive Method of Attracting and Keeping Clients?

It was a beautiful summer afternoon earlier this week and on my driving route to my appointment was a McDonald's.  With a milk shake impulse that couldn't be denied, a quick right turn landed me in an empty drive thru lane for my intended Indy 500 style pit stop. 
My pit crew, apparently, was not interested in speed.  The order screen's bright red lettering assured me that my order would be "confirmed here".  You know the drill.  But, silence lasting 30, 40, 50 seconds, an eternity in drive thru time, was frustrating me.
"Hello, Hello",  I said in an attempt to perhaps reach mission control in Houston.  Radio silence continued.  By this time several cars lined up behind me. Should I drive off? Or drive ahead to order screen number 2 for a repeat performance of dead air?
Milkshake cravings were in control.  A faint voice came through the speaker at the second order screen. 
"May I take your order?" 
"A small chocolate shake. . . and that's all."
( if you don't say "that's all" to punctuate the end of the order, you're begging for the up sell "would you like fries with that?)
At the cashier window, my order taker was a young man who excelled in maintaining a monotone voice and an expressionless face.  As he made change for my order, I relayed that order screen number 1 was not working
"Perhaps you could put a sign on it?"
"That's management's job."
"No, that's your job to show some initiative", was my curt response in my automatic Dad tone.
At the pick up window, I mentioned the non-working order screen and the need for a sign to the young lady who delivered my shake.
"A lot of people tell me that", she responded.
No doubt you've had similar experiences with customer service in the drive thru lane and everywhere else, too.  Are you customers treated better than the customers of multi-billion dollar businesses? 
Dental business consultant Chris Barrow introduced me to the job title of "Managing Director of First Impressions" several years ago.  Chris works with dentists in the U.K. to help them improve their profitability.   Okay, so what do some dentists and professional horsemen have in common?
Both struggle with attracting and keeping clients.  
The Managing Director of First Impressions for the dentist could be the friendly, welcoming receptionist who greets you warmly as you enter the office or Darth Vader's twin sister who declines eye contact with you until she looks up from her computer screen while shielded behind her protective wall of glass. 
Her usual introductory line, "Did you sign in on the clipboard?"
In your business, the director of first impressions may be:
  • Your assistants
  • Your handyman
  • Your barking dog
  • Your website
  • Your voice mail recording
  • Or you
Imagine as a prospect or a client, how  you would feel about your first impression walking into your stable, hearing your telephone greeting or visiting your website.
If you're not happy, fix it.  And as a savvy business owner, you can do it today for very little money.
McDonald's and hundreds of supersized businesses like it, are filled with highly paid, highly educated people managing billions of dollars and thousands of employees.
I often wonder if there is a tiny office in the gigantic ivory towers of gigantic businesses with a tiny sign on the door that reads: 
Director of First Impressions.

Others Have Said 
 "What we have to do is to be forever curiously testing new opinions and courting new impressions."  --   Walter Pater 
 "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."  --   Bill Gates 
"If you would stand well with a great mind, leave him with a favorable impression of yourself; if with a little mind, leave him with a favorable impression of himself."  --   Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Back At The Barn

witch broom  Last week's Independence Day fireworks were almost as good as the firefly light show I saw last night.  Nature's own light show is rather amazing when you consider the brilliance created from the twinkle of lightning bugs dancing in the July night sky.  As a kid, maybe you collected a few for captivity in a mason jar to build your own natural lantern.
I don't understand the chemistry involved, but how a tiny bug can make such a bright light amazes me. 
Perhaps those in the energy business could spend some time studying the firefly's super efficient ability to create light for a clue on how to solve our own energy problems.  Seems like a better alternative than inefficient corn based ethanol. 
Need A Speaker About The Horse Business? 
Call or e-mail me about possibilities for your event.
Call me (716) 434-5371.
I talk with professional horsemen from all over each week about their businesses.  Some I can help right away, some aren't quite ready and I refer some to others better suited to help them.
Phone or e-mail me to discuss your situation and the possibilities.  The only thing that holds you from success is you.
Until next time,

Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman Deewochagall
Participate in Equine Employer Survey -Get f*ree access to results.
 Equimax - the leading horse industry employment service since 1986, has launched a study of horse industry compensation.  Finally, information on salaries, benefits, housing, vacation, commissions, bonuses, and more will be available for horse industry jobs free of charge. 
 For a limited time, anyone who provides compensation data on at least one job will be given f*ree access to the results.
Learn more about how to participate by clicking here.
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List