When visiting my mother-in-law, we stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel. As we went to put things in the safe it wouldn’t open. It was locked. So engineering came, opened it, found some things, asked us if the things were ours, they weren’t, and took them away.
Those things were a designer purse and a passport holder, with a passport and other items in it.
I’ve forgotten things. A book on a plane, my phone on the seat of a cab, etc. However, I knew within minutes what I did. But who forgets this stuff?
There’s a very small chance, maybe 1%, a personal catastrophe hit and the lady vacated the room quickly, forgetting about the safe. More likely it’s someone too busy (this is a popular business hotel), doing too much in too short a time, and she simply forgot she had things in the safe.
Things like this happen in business too, when we get so busy we forget important things. Like customer relations, employee satisfaction, supplier loyalty, etc. Here’s what I mean.
- Many years ago my good client Keith Jackson with Industrial Revolution gave me such a great line I wrote it down and use all the time. When discussing marketing he said to me, “It’s amazing what happens when you actually pick up the phone and call your customers.” His business seller was coasting and just taking orders. Taking orders until the customers felt neglected and left, right?
- We all know people like the person in this example (I won’t name the company out of respect). A top salesperson left because he felt the owner didn’t value his work. The owner did value him, his efforts, and results, he just didn’t show it. So the employee went bye-bye.
- A past client got stung twice by the same lack of concentration with his suppliers. He lost his top supplier, a firm upon which he was overly dependent, as it was over 66% of his business. He nearly went under (I worked with him after his banker brought me in), got a new product line, built up the business, and voila, the same thing happened. He got so busy he forgot his history and had another supplier dependency. The supplier left, his business went off the cliff, and it was back to the beginning.
Nothing new here; take care of (your) people and they will take care of you. Forget about them and soon you’ll be without them.
“Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories, and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.” Alice Munro