Balancing Business With Family & Firing Customers?

In this episode Richard and Nate discuss just how important the balance between spending time with your family and managing your business is.  If you own or manage a music store or sell guitars online, you know that it can be time consuming, so how do you balance that with a family?  The guys answer that question in this episode.  Also, they discuss how you can't afford to do business with everyone and that the customer isn't always right. 

 
 
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N: Alright, we are back for another episode. Man, this is pretty cool because we’re improving things.

R: Yes, we’ve got a new setup.

N: We’ve got a new table. Man, we’ve got new mics. We’re kind of becoming a little professional on this thing.

R: Almost, yeah.

N: I know, we’ve even got a new sign in the back.

R: Sign looks great.

N: So, Ian I think is doing a great job getting everything kind of set up. It’s almost...it’s almost like he knows what he’s doing…

R: Yes.

N: ...or something like that. We appreciate Ian a ton. He’s doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes that nobody ever sees.

R: And the shirt! Let’s talk about your shirt.

N: Yup, we’ve got the shirts. I got the shirt!

R: Music Retail Show shirt.

N: I know.

R: People have asked where do we get one, and I don’t know.

N: Eventually!

R: I hope so.

N: Yeah, eventually.

R: We’ve got ten of them, and we’ve given a few of them away. I don’t know where people can get them yet.

N: Yeah, we’ve got a supply and demand problem.

R: Well, a little bit of supply…

N: People are demanding and we have no supply.

R: Yeah, well…

N: Yeah, whatever…Anyway, so we’re jumping in the episode. So, we’re having a lot of fun doing this, but we’re going to do something a little bit more personal today.

R: Yes.

N: Something that I think you have a lot to say and a lot to talk about.

R: There’s a surprise there.

(Both laugh)

N: Yes, that’s exactly right. But you want to talk about taking care of your family in the midst of doing business. It’s a big topic. Maybe something…

R: Yes, it’s a big topic.

N: ...that a lot of people maybe don’t think about or don’t address. So, let’s just kind of jump right in. How, how do you think this is an important topic?

R: I think it’s probably one of the most important topics we can talk about and it’s probably a topic that has taken most of my life to get a little bit of a grasp on. I’m still learning, I’m still growing, and I’m still… I see a lot of room for improvement, but I think it’s something that we need to stop what we’re doing and think about this, especially for all the young people out there that are starting in business or they’re new in their career. Or, if they are older and they haven’t paid attention, they could just start now.

N: Yeah. Okay, and obviously this is not something necessarily for people who have been in business for years. This is for people who, “hey, here’s some things to think about going right into business” especially as younger business owners that are newly married, that have new kids. So, this is...this could be something that could set the path right for years to come.

R: Sure, we can start there, but it’s also for older people. It’s for everybody. Everybody’s included in this, and some of us might be on the backside of our career, and we haven’t paid attention to it, and maybe this will lighten it up a little bit and you need to start, but it doesn’t matter what age. You can start today with it.

N: Okay, well cool. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you’re talking about taking care of your family in the midst of doing business? What’s the first thing you think we need to talk about?

R: I’ll start off by going with a little bit of experience. Early on in my career, I felt like my role was, just as a man, just to provide for your family and so that was my main task. Obviously, we want to take care of our families in every way possible, but I felt like my main purpose was to provide and bring home a paycheck and make sure that we had a roof to cover our heads.

N: Yeah, which is important…

R: Super important.

N: ...but not necessarily the main focus of everything.

R: No, it’s not the only thing.

N: Okay.

R: Through the course of married, um marriage and having kids even later in my life, and you know, sad to say maybe over the last couple years I realized that, wow, what an opportunity that I had to put my family ahead of my career in a way that my family didn't have to suffer, and I’m not saying my family suffered, but there are elements of it that I could have been better. I could have done a better job. I could have been a better father to my kids, and I mean we all can say that but I really, really focused on my career to bring home a paycheck to my family because I felt like that was my way to provide.

N: Yeah. Well, and obviously as you’re sitting there, I’m reflecting on my own life and everything that I’ve done, but one of the biggest issues that probably comes to mind really quickly is we have the tendency, or people who are driven, want to bring work home.

R: Absolutely.

N: There is no separation. Like you work all day, you work real hard, and then you go, “oh, I gotta bring this home” and then all of the sudden, it kind of blends into that family time. Do you think there should be more of a separation? What do you think?

R: Oh, I absolutely do. I mean, ya know, we can look on this table and I have an iPhone, you have a phone, and you also have an iPad so we’re connected and we’re also connected everywhere we go…

N: All the time.

R: ...and so, one thing that I really feel like with men is there is something we don’t address and that is we have an insecurity to provide and with that insecurity, that’s where our focus lies. We haven’t stopped to realize that, wait a second, I have a great wife who is providing great kids for me and my family, and I’m focusing on work and I’m bringing it home, like you mentioned. We’re connected with our phones, we’re connected by emails, everywhere we look we’re connected by whatever our object is, or wherever our focus is and so many times that focus is not on our family.

N: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, my wife and I, we’ve made purposeful decisions, too. A lot of times when I go home, man, I had to get to the point where I had to take my phone and I had to go put it over on the desk next to the bed or something like that, or I’ve got a home office too, I put it in the office and I leave it there because it’s amazing what it does. You’re sitting there at dinner and all of the sudden an email, I get emails through the evening and even into the night, I don’t know why some of my clients are trying to email me at 2:00 o’clock in the morning but they are.

R: Because they haven’t heard this podcast!

N: That’s exactly right. Hey, yeah, get some sleep! But they, um… it’s a distraction. I might turn over to look at my phone and my wife is talking to me, or my kids, and I’m looking at that and my reaction would be to be “hold on a second, i need to read this”. Then, I read that, and my brain is going and I totally lose that vibe, ya know, the family vibe. I need to pay attention to my children. I’m gone all day long. It’s a purposeful decision that I think a lot of us have to make, ya know, to take care of our family.

R: Well, I think you said it best when you said “purposeful”. I mean, that is a decision that we have to make. It’s also an agreement that we need to make with our spouse, that this is the way we choose to live our life. Ya know, yes, it is so important for us to have a career. It’s so important for us to put time in at work, but when we unplug, when you need to unplug, so many times I see a lot of kids, we’ll pick on the men today.

N: Sure.

R: But a lot of times I see the men and they’re at the dinner table and they say, “I have to answer this email”...

N: Yeah.

R: ...or, “hold on, I have to get this phone call”, and all of a sudden they put their work or something else ahead of their family time, and truth be known, when we go back and look at it, do we really have to answer that email? Do we really have to take that call? Instead, we say, “I have to” and that’s something that we put over our family, and that’s something that over the past several years that has been very bothersome to me.

N: Yeah, absolutely, and now I realize that in the world we live in here, we have a lot of online dealers, so there is a tendency to have to work throughout the… but that still does not negate the fact that there should be, ya know, taking care of your family, there should be times where you set that aside. You might have to take care of your customers at night because that is when they are buying, but dinner times are excellent times to be able to unplug and just connect with your family, or if you work from home, breakfast is good. Certain times throughout the day to say “hey, I understand all of this is going on but I have got to connect with my family”.

R: Well, I think something like meals or something in America that we’ve kind of gotten away from. You know, there is a lot of fast food, there is a lot of eating and running and we’re going, going, going, but meals is a time that we sit down with our families, and we use that as an example that we just need to be purposeful, like you mentioned, to not do that. And I’ll tell you a quick story, my daughter Madison, her and I, we like going out to breakfast and we kind of have a routine to spend quality time together. Now, when she was 13, 14 years old it was a little more difficult because she was so plugged into her phone. It was texting, it was just her phone was everything, and I’ll never forget I was in a restaurant, and this was less than a year ago, and it was a couple years of me going over all of this and saying, “We need to put our phones down, we don’t need to look at our phones. Let’s just spend one-on-one time, let’s talk, let’s communicate”. Then, I’m sitting at a restaurant and to my left side, over her right shoulder there was a man sitting with his wife and they were eating a meal. The man was on his phone and he was texting and he was laughing, he was engaging with his phone and his wife was staring at him, and she was sad. Then, she began to tear up and through the course of the meal, she looked at him, and I was reading her lips and could partly hear what she was saying, but she said, “Will you please put that phone away?”

N: Wow.

R: And it really caused me to stop what I was doing and just think about it. Then, I told my daughter, I said, “Madison, act like you’re stretching your back, but turn over and look at this couple over here”, and she leaned over and she looked and she’s like, “Dad, that lady is really sad”, and I said, “This is what happens”. I could see the impact that it had to my daughter because it was a teachable moment to where she goes “Wow, I think…”, it was a moment where I could see the wheels turning, “...man, I really understand what my dad is saying”. So, today when we go out to eat a meal, whether it’s myself or whoever, I turn my phone over. I don’t even touch it. I don’t even look at it because if I’m eating with somebody, I want my attention to be on them. I want to focus on them because that’s what it is about. It’s about friends, family, and loved ones and how you connect and you bond with them. A lot of times what happens is when we’re out to those meals, we’re constantly thinking about work. We’re constantly focusing on that, and who suffers? Our spouse and our children.

N: Yeah, that’s exactly right. You know, devices have infiltrated our lives, a lot for the good but also some for the bad that we’re talking about, that caused us to become connected to them and disconnected. So, I was even the other day, I was at flag football practice for my boys and we were sitting there, I was sitting there watching my son, Graham, and a boy walked by and he’s like, he’s just like, “Dad, dad, can I play something on your phone? Can I play something on your phone?” and you could see the dad goes, “No, no, no! We’re here to play football!” So, it’s like, it’s everywhere.

R: Everybody, everywhere.

N: It’s everybody, everywhere and we really do have a, we have to make purposeful decision in that because otherwise, before you know it, man, it’s just, you could be so buried in it and you’re like, “How do I even get out?”

R: I remember, and it’s hard to do. I mean the topic that we’re talking about is not easy to make that decision and something a lot of times that we gotta get with our spouse and sit down and have the conversation of “this is what we want it to look like”. I remember several times going home and being stressed out, or there is just a lot going on in your head and you just know you’re driving home and your brain is moving a hundred miles an hour, and you’re just caught, and you’re still plugged in to work. Then, I remember before I would get home, that I would just completely get rid of all of that. So, when I walk in the door, my intention and my goal, and sometimes I didn’t succeed with it, but my intention and my goal was to just put a pause on all of that stuff and be intentional with my family and give them quality time, because a lot of times, especially if you have young children, they don’t understand…

N: Yeah, sure.

R: ...and dad walks in, and he’s a little grumpy because he’s had a stressful day, a hard day, he’s had everything hit him at one time. Little kids don’t understand what’s going on. Your wife, she may or may not work, but say she doesn’t and she comes home, she’s excited to see you. So, you got the kids and you got the wife, and you probably got a dog, and everybody is excited to see you and you’re like “Ugh, I just want to be left alone”.

N: Yeah.

R: So then you go in and then you go, “Well, I’m gonna go in and watch some TV”, then you go and disappear into another room, and then you’re just completely disconnected from your family, and the support you’re supposed to have or you would like to have, you don’t have that anymore.

N: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Who else would you rather share the successes of your business with than the people who have made the sacrifice to allow you to do what you’re doing?

R: I have been so guilty not to realize the sacrifices that families make for their fathers or their husbands. A lot of times we look at it and go, “Well, my children doesn’t understand. My wife doesn’t work, she doesn’t know”, or whatever the case may be, they are sacrificing. They are giving you time to go do a career or work, or in the case of you’re a business owner, that you’re going off to work this business, so the least that we can do is come home and say, “Okay, I’m unplugging from that and I’m charging my batteries”. This is a time where I charge my batteries because it’s too full. You can really charge your batteries and you can also charge their batteries.

N: That’s exactly right. You know, I found for myself that, my wife, she stays at home, she has the kids all day, they really look forward to when I come home from work at the end of the day.

R: That’s because they’re young.

N: Well, yeah, they do. They’re like, “Dad coming home is the best time ever!”. Just wait until they’re teenagers. They’re not teenagers yet. But it really is an important decision, you know, the drive home, we joke around about how the drive home a lot of times is the time for us to leave work or we close our business down, and we get to breathe. Then, we joke around about, “Well, I guess I’ll drive to Alabama before I go home” but yeah, it really is a decision. We get to decide to walk into our homes and connect to our families, put our business behind, unplug from the day, and connect with our families because it really is a life support system. I mean, can we, you know, how much do our business suffer if in an essence our families are suffering at the same time because there is no connection there because business is always just coming first.

R: Yes, absolutely. I’m going to read a quote, it says “In the end, you only have relational regrets, not possessional” and that’s a big thing, and it hit me when I heard of this a couple days ago, is so many times, I look at successful business people. They’re successful, they’ve got great businesses, they’re big in the community, everybody looks at them, but who is suffering? A lot of times it’s their spouse, and it’s their children. They’ve got all the money in the world, but they can’t buy happiness at all.

N: Yeah, I mean it really is a big deal. We all know the stories. We can think of a lot of successes and a lot of stories that aren’t successful, but truth be told, I know many people that are very successful that don’t know their kids very well. Yeah, you know, so there is a trade off right there. They’re really successful in business, but their personal life is not so successful, and we’re saying, “Hey, wait a minute, you don’t have to be that way”. You can be way more balanced. You can have a successful business and you can also have a very inspiring and supportive family life that is just enjoyable on both sides.

R: Yeah, and you know I think it’s hugely important, not only for your family but for yourself. I mean, I talked earlier about charging your own batteries, and that’s something that we’re neglecting on ourselves, and we’ll talk about ourselves a little bit in a moment, but on ourselves, we’re not charging our own batteries. So we’re constantly staying plugged in, we have a one-track mind, and that’s our business or our job, instead it’s not about that, and then you unplug and you have your family. That’s something that is, I think it’s a huge problem in America. I think that contributes to divorce rates, let you mention the kids, a big breakdown of family value as a whole, because as men, we are focused. We are intent on growing or being successful in business, or if you’re an employee, your goal is to be the best employee you could possibly be, but everybody else is neglected in the meantime.

N: Absolutely. Now, let’s pick on store owners. So, you know, a lot of times, you can be very driven, but then you can also have employees and you can have managers that, you know… do you see the fact that sometimes managers might, they might get overworked, the owners might overwork them, expect a whole lot from them or staff that maybe you’re not instilling the family, taking care of their family first, you just want to make sure that they’re just taking care of your business and that’s it, that’s all I care about.

R: Yeah, employees is a big part of this as well because as an owner, we’re kind of a leader. Well, we are the leader. We should also look at the value that our staff has, and it’s a great time to educate and teach and talk to them about it, and I think allowing some of those people time off is very valuable. Here at MIRC, I sign off on a lot of employee’s time-off and one thing that I stopped to realize that I do is that I let a lot of people off. I’m very agreeable in their time off and I kind of ask myself, “Why?” because there are sometimes I don’t have to or I don’t need to. Well, part of it was earlier on I never took time off. I look back and I go, “That was a mistake”. I didn’t take the vacation that I needed, I didn’t take personal time for myself. There was a lot of things that was neglected because I always like, I got to work, work, work, work, work, work… and it turned into some cases of, you know, it could be health issues, it could be family problems, there’s a whole host of things that can have a trickle-down because we’re not taking time-off, and if you’re an owner or a manager, you’re not letting employees have time off.

N: Yeah, I think it’s a big deal. I’m going on a trip with my family this Friday, we’re going to Florida. I just have to get out of town. I’ve got to recharge. I want to spend time with my family. Hannah’s looking forward to it, the kids are looking forward to the beach. It’s a time for us just to get out, spend some time together, and it really is a big deal because I have that a lot of times, that work mentality. I’ll go through the whole week, you know, we have so much allotted time, it’s funny. At the end of the year, I always get paid out on vacation days, and sometimes it’s like, what am I doing? Am I, could I be doing some extra fun things throughout the year to spend with my family, but my tendency is “No, we need to be at work. We need to be at work…

R: I need to make money for my family, yes.

N: ...I need to make money” so I’m always thinking that way, but also in the backside of that, am I really thinking as well as I can about family by not taking that extra time off?

R: Well, and a lot of times, do you think our kids care? They would much rather hang out than worry about, ya know, extra money or whatever it is that we’re putting our value, and it is important for us to work and make money and have goals and do all these things. We’ve talked about it a lot lately, but something that is very, very, very important is our family, and we neglect our family. I mean, we really do. I would love to see a new generation come up and just start by taking the vacation time that they need, taking personal time, and have an agreement with their family that “This is the way we run our household”. I was listening to somebody a couple years ago, and it was a husband and wife, and they had these conversations when they just got married. I found it to be brilliant. I wish I would have done that when I was 22, 23-years-old, but they go every single year. They go on a week’s trip, just the husband and wife, without the kids. During baseball season is usually when they take it, and then they said “hey we’re not going to be here this next week, we’re going to actually go on a trip together”, and then the other men and women there are going “man, we haven’t been out in 14 years” or whatever the math is, and “I would love to at least go out on a date with my spouse”. But they do it every year, and one reason is one day the kids are going to be out of the house, and they don't want to look to each other and go, “What was your name again?”

N: Yeah, who are you?

R: Yeah, who are you? Because we focus so much in the wrong directions that we’re not intentional with the people that we love, and we need to be intentional with them.

N: Yeah, that’s exactly right. Not that this is supposed to be a marital counseling class.

R: We should start charging a fee or something.

N: I know, but that’s the other thing too, I don’t want to, obviously you don’t want to go down the road, but sometimes we can focus so much on our kids that we neglect our spouses...

R: Sure.

N: ...but like I said, we’re not a marital counseling class here. We’re supposed to be applying this to business!

R: Yes!

N: But, uh, yeah...so, that's good. We have another great topic that we want to talk about as well, but any other final thoughts on that?

R: No, I just want this to be something that not only myself, but all of us, we stop and examine “What would I like my family structure to look like?”

N: Yeah.

R: “How can I be intentional with it?” Because all of us value and love our spouses and our children, but we need to be intentional with giving them time. We need to make sure, then, when we’re listening to our, say our, say our daughter wants to tell us how her day was, that we don’t look at our phone, we don’t interrupt her, we just listen.

N: Yeah.

R: We’re available for what they’re wanting to share with us and that we’re intentional with everything: our spouses, our children. It’s very, very, very important that we stop being just connect with our business only and the success with it, but reconnect with our families.

N: Yeah, the success of our business is very much entangled and interconnected with the sex… did I just say sex? I think I said sex.

R: Whoops.

(Nate laughs)

N: That was funny. Maybe we can edit that part out.

R: Yeah.

N: But the uh, yes… the success of our business…

R: Success!

N: Yeah, success of our business is very much intertwined with the success of our home life.

R: Absolutely. Absolutely.

N: Yeah, so anyways, that was kind of funny. We’ll see if that makes it our not.

R: Yeah. Is there a blooper reel?

N: Yeah, there needs to be a blooper reel. But anyways, so uh, yeah…

R: So you’re planning on another kid is what you’re talking about?

N: Uh, no, actually, as of right now, that would be impossible.

R: Oh…

N: So, I don’t know what that means, but it just is.

R: I’m not going down that road.

N: Okay.

R: Next topic.

N: Alright, next topic. So, obviously home life is important, but also we want to jump over and talk about another huge topic which is about, uh, I don’t know, some people might not like this, but about saying “I cannot afford to do business with you”.

R: Yes.

N: There are some people that we just cannot do that.

R: Absolutely. I’ll tell a brief story, sometimes they’re never brief, but I’ll tell you a story of where I first learned about this and how impactful it was and how much it has made a huge difference in my life…

N: Yeah.

R: ...from that moment on. Back when I worked retail, we had a customer that would come in all the time, and his son took guitar lessons. So, this guy came in, and this guy, he was rather intimidating. Today, I would call him a bully.

N: Okay.

R: He was a guy who was like a bodybuilder, and he would wear like a muscle t-shirt, and you know, he was just a bully. Just the way he acted and he talked, he talked down to everybody. It was just not a pleasant time to see this guy. I didn’t like him, just because the way he talked to you. It was just a negative situation. Anyways, his son wanted a guitar. The funny thing, it was a guitar that we actually really wanted to sell. Now, I won’t get into what it was or who it was made by, but we really wanted to sell this guitar. So, he came in and we discounted this particular product 30% off out of the box. So, we marked it down 30%. So, he came in while the son was taking lessons and was like, “Hey, I’d really like to buy this, can you give me a better deal?” and of course we were motivated to sell it, so I said, “Well, we could probably do this price” so it was probably 35% off. Well then he kept beating us up, kepting beating us up, and he really became very demeaning to us and very disrespectful and quickly it was just no fun dealing with this guy. I’ll never forget the owner walked up, and I’m briefing this through the course of different transactions, and him coming in after a couple weeks of his son taking lessons and the price, we got down and it was like 40 or 42%, so we weren’t making any money, and we were discounting the heck out of this, and it was no fun. Then the owner came up and he goes, “You know what? There is some times in life where we can’t afford to do business with people”. It was very shocking to me because I have always heard and learned that the customer is always right.

N: Hmm.

R: So that was like, it was kind of enlightening to me and I asked, like “What do you mean?” and he goes, “Look at all the time…” and we had another sales guy, that he was also helping, “Look at the time that both of you guys have spent on this guy. Look at the cost of the guitar that he wants to buy and what we discounted it to”, and he goes, “You could have been helping other customers. You could have been selling other things. We can sell this to him, but we’re not making much money. I can’t afford to do business with this guy”.

N: Yeah.

R: “It would be better if you guys went out to other customers and instead of wasting all of this guy’s, or this guy wasting all your time, go sell other things and get on. You guys don’t even like dealing with the guy. He’s a pain in the butt!” and I was like, “What do you mean?” and he’s like, “I’m saying you don’t have to sell to this guy if you don’t want to because we’re not making any money”. I was shocked because I was wrestling with “the customer is always right” and then the owner telling me “you don’t have to sell to this guy”. So, I was really kind of at odds, but I was really kind of excited because I did not like this guy.

N: Oh, sure. Absolutely.

R: I mean, I was like almost giddy inside. So I said, “Are you sure?” and he was like, “Yes, I don’t even want him in my store”, and I was like “Woah, he’s serious”. So, anyways, the guy walks in the next time the son had a lesson, and he comes over to beat us up on the price again and he went on, but this time it was different because I knew I didn’t have to sell to him.

N: Yeah.

R: So I told him, I was like, “I’m sorry, I can’t give you a better deal. We’re not making any money. You keep coming back week after week and you keep beating us up on the price. I can’t discount it anymore. I don’t even want to sell this now”.

N: Didn’t you even raise the price from the previous time?

R: Well, yeah. In a second, we did because what happened was he like, “Well, I can go to this competing music store and I can just buy it from them, but because my son takes lessons I want to buy it from you”, but it was a tactic. It was a sales tactic, and I finally said, “Well, if you want to go buy it over there, go buy it over there”, and he’s like “Well fine, I’ll just go over there and get it!” and then, so when he left, I told the owner what had happened, and he was like “Really?”. So, we went and called the other music store.

N: Yeaaaaah, a little tag team.

R: Yeah, and the guy that we called was, he was a pretty rowdy guy, and the owner said, “Hey, we sent this customer down there because he’s going to buy this guitar. This is what we quoted him. We don’t even want to sell him the guitar anymore”, and the other guy says, “Well, he keeps coming in here too. I don’t want to sell, I don’t even want him in my store”.

N: Yeah.

R: And that was what the conversation, and probably an hour, hour and a half left the guy comes walking back into the store. What happened is that other store kicked him out, and they refused to sell it to him.

(Nate laughs)

N: That’s great.

R: So, he came in and then he’s like, “Hey, I’ve come to buy this guitar”, and I’m like, “Well, I can’t give you that deal no more. The tag, the way we have it marked, that’s what we’re going to sell it for”.

N: Yeah, sure.

R: So, it went from 40, 42% back up to 30% and he ended up buying it and then, after that, he was nice for the rest of the time that I seen him.

N: Yeah. That, well, yeah, he lost all of his leverage.

R: Oh, man.

N: So, wait, wait… you’re bringing, you’re kind of bringing up a weird concept. You’re saying the customer is not always right?

R: The customer is not always right.

N: Oh my goodness, that’s weird.

R: I hate that statement.

N: That’s weird. I guess, yeah. I’m sure there is lots of situations where we have to, ya know, we have to worry more about the health of our business than necessarily if we’re actually selling something all the time.

R: Oh, yeah. Well, in the time of the employee, because as a lot of times as the owners and managers, we’re not looking at our employee and going, “How much time is he wasting with this guy?”. We just talked to a dealer a few minutes ago that had a problem with a customer doing the same thing.

N: That’s right.

R: This customer came into his store, and he ended up buying online. So, he spent two or three times talking about this product and that customer left and bought it online. Then, he came back and asked him another question! So, not only did he not make the sale, but that customer went somewhere else because he saved a couple bucks.

N: Yeah.

R: Now, was it really worth a couple bucks? So, there is a lot of times… there is certain types of customers and there are certain people that we can’t afford to do business with.

N: Absolutely, and I, as I’m sitting there listening to you tell about that situation, it’s refreshing to hear about how the owner of the business, that your boss gave you the freedom…

R: Yes, it was shocking.

N: ...to be able to work within that situation. So, yeah, telling you “Hey, the customer is not always right. At some point in time, you’ve got to be working for the business”, but giving you that freedom kind of took away the leverage of the customer that was trying to bully you.

R: Yeah, it was amazing because our whole goal, and we did a very good job, was customer service and helping the customers. We were very, very intentional with all that.

N: Sure.

R: So, that was ingrained in us, and that was the way we as staff worked. We were very successful with it, so when the owner brought that to our attention, it opened up my eyes. Not only just for then, but even for today. I mean, a situation that we’re actually going through with today. We had a dealer, and I won’t get into all the details, but this dealer, it’s just a bad, ugly situation. Well, at the end of the day looking at everything that has gone on with it, we can’t afford to do business. We will never, ever do business with this guy because we can’t afford it because he’s just crushed profits, he’s caused a ton of problems, and at the end of the day, it’s easier to wash our hands and go out because there is a lot of great customers out there that we need to focus on. If we’re focusing on a customer that is a pain to our staff and ourselves and we’re not making any money, there is customers out there that we’re not focusing on that are good people that are trying to get a good product at a fair price and we’re not focusing on them.

N: Yeah, that’s right. Even a lot of times, we have a saying around here that you’ve always used is, “Don’t make your problems my problems” and a lot of times customers can walk in the store, they try to use problems as leverage, they try to do scare tactics…

R: That’s true.

N: ...they try to bully, but obviously in the midst of that, store owners are allowing, giving the freedom to their employees to be able to, “Hey, I can’t afford to do business with everybody”. Knowing that whole concept allows to kind of scale back the chaos and the drama and the fear that’s kind of built into all that.

R: Well, if the owner has got your back.

N: Yeah, absolutely. So, I don’t know. The customer is not always right. Man, that’s a… man, I don’t know too many books that I’ve actually seen that one in.

R: No.

N: So, the old deal, the customer is always right. It’s just been around forever.

R: Yeah, it’s unfortunate because I mean, in today’s climate, with everything being so competitive and customers having phones and every way possible to just be focused on the price, we have to be more careful with all that because we do. We have people coming in and milking us and our staff and everybody for information only to go somewhere else. We need to train our staff and we need to sometimes get back to asking for the sale because there is a lot of people we have spent hours with, training them, showing them product only for them to go somewhere else. Very, very unfortunate but that is something as owners and managers that we can do so we could detect that and we could ask for the sale.

N: Yeah, and obviously on past, on some of our previous episodes we talked about the concept of not letting anybody walk out of your store…

R: Sure, sure.

N: ...but that is going back and, just to kind of rehash that, that is going back and making sure that your staff is educated, you know what is going on, you know how to address those kind of situations because there is a big difference between somebody who wants to walk in the store and, “Hey, I’m interested in buying something. I want a win-win situation. I want to buy the product” and somebody who is coming in and trying to bleed you dry because they see the sport in it almost.

R: Yeah, there is a big difference. I mean, there is a certain percentage of people that they are best not to be part of what you’re doing. Thankfully, 99% of the people out there, you want them in your store. You want to do business with them, but there is just a very, very small group of people that it is best that you just excuse them. Let them go to your competition, you know, and just say, “Let’s focus on these types of people. They’re the ones that are paying the lights. They are the ones that are making payroll. They’re the customers that are actually moving the needle”.

N: Yeah, absolutely and to also reflect on a previous episode, what a great example of not having the fear of that store down the street, where the store down the street, you guys worked in tandem and actually created a better situation.

R: Absolutely.

N: Neither one felt like they got taken advantage of and then eventually you use that situation to sell the product for what it was actually worth.

R: Sure, sure.

N: So very cool, very cool. Man, alright. What a cool… I don’t know. I don’t know. The customer is not always right. I dig that. So, anyways, yeah. That’s all I’ve got. Is there anything else you can think of? Good episode.

R: Just to recap it, I would like to see all of our dealers, going back to the family topic, is to spend quality time. The success of your business is super, super important, but the sex... or the success of your family is more important.

(Nate laughs)

N: There are just…

R: It’s a tongue twister!

N: There are just some words that are hard to say, that is all I’m saying!

(Richard laughs)

N: My goodness. I don’t know. Hey, if there are people laughing at this, they need to get behind a microphone and try to say everything correct. My goodness. Ian, you know you might end up needing to do some editing.

R: Yeah, and maybe they stay.

N: I don’t know, maybe it is good for ratings.

R: Yeah.

N: I don’t know, something like that, but anyways, man. Yeah, great. Family needs to come first.

R: Yes.

N: That contributes to the health of our business, and then, also at the same time, we need to realize that we can’t afford to do business with everybody. That contributes to the health of our business.

R: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yup, so wrapping this up, we got a new look. We’ve got more improvements that we’re working on.

N: Yeah.

R: We’ve kind of jumped into this really super quick.

N: Yeah. We’re trying our hardest.

R: The thought was to do a handful of episodes to get all of the bugs out, but we actually jumped right in there and we’re tweaking things. We’re hopefully getting better at doing this, but we appreciate everybody that is listening, tuned in. Again, we’ve had some great, positive feedback and we appreciate that. Hopefully, this is something that resonates with a lot of our dealers. I think it is super important.

N: Yeah, and maybe there’ll be some surprise guests down the road.

R: Yes, I’m looking forward to that. I’m actually really looking forward to that.

N: Okay, yeah. That’s cool. Alright.

R: I guess we’re good.

N: Alright.

R: We’ll see you guys in a couple of weeks.



Ian Harrold