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A Little Mistake That Is Costing Businesses Millions Of Dollars Per Year

By Paul E. Burke
Posted Sunday, October 10, 2004

The majority of businesses operate in highly competitive markets. What a customer can buy at your business, they most likely can buy at 101 other businesses.

Perhaps an example will clearly illustrate this point. Do a search in any search engine for "As Seen On TV Products". You might be staggered by the numerous choices in the result set. Which one do you choose? At this point you might as well do "enie-meanie-minie- moe" and randomly click on a company.

Now let's suppose you sell "As Seen On TV" products and you're the lucky company who gets this customer's business. They order a number of items (maybe Ron Popeil's Ronco Showtime Rotisserie -- you know, the "set it and forget it" guy) and you ring up a nice sale for $100. You beat out your competitors, THIS TIME.

Caution: Beware of This Danger Zone!

Here's where the danger arises. What happens when this customer wants to purchase another "As Seen On TV product"? They go back to the search engine, search for "As Seen On TV Products" and once again get overwhelmed by the massive result set. They do another "enie-meanie-minie-moe" but this time click on one of your COMPETITORS' web sites.

Guess what? You just gave away your customer to one of your competitors. This is analogous to accidentally doing a slam dunk in YOUR own basket in a game of basketball and giving the opposing team the point! Your competitor -- or the other team -- can't help but to feel gratitude towards you for helping them out.

That's right. Every single day of the week businesses are repeatedly "shooting themselves in the foot." Instead of you making another $100 on Ron Popeil's rotisserie, your competitor is enjoying the fresh smell of that crisp new $100 bill. This is like committing a crime against your own business. At this rate you might as well walk out into your office parking lot and start burning your money.

The Little Mistake That Costs Big Money Revealed----------------------

Are you curious to know why so many business people make this fatal mistake? The answer is so simple that it might shock you:

They overestimate the amount of work a customer will do to come back to them.

Here's a fact. Most customers choose to take the path of least resistance. Think about your own psychology for a minute. Do you run all over town like a madman or madwoman to "find" a company again? If you're like most people, you can't be bothered with that. Rather, you take the more convenient way and order from the company that is right in front of you.

So, how do you cure the "I gave my customer to my competitor" disease? The answer is desktop marketing icons that ensure customers have easy, one-click access to your site. Going back to our example, here is how a desktop icon could help you retain your customer:

1. Customer comes to your web site.

2. Customer purchases Ron Popeil's Ronco Showtime Rotisserie. You ring up a $100 sale.

3. You place with permission an icon on your customer's desktop featuring your company logo.

4. Time passes and your customer wants to purchase another Ronco Showtime Rotisserie.

5. Customer takes the path of least resistance, clicks on your desktop icon, and is immediately taken to your web site.

6. Bingo! You ring up another $100 sale.

7. Your competitors get nothing and are left to fend for themselves -- exactly the way you want it!

The One Point I Hope You Take Away

If I can leave you with one point it is simply this:

.... Don't make this embarrassing mistake!

Do NOT score a goal for your competitors. If you have been accidentally committing this crime against your business then arrest your mistake right now!

The bullet proof way to ensure your prospects and customers return to YOUR site so YOU make the sale is to use desktop marketing. You can find out more about how desktop marketing can increase your sales and help you keep your customers at:


About the Author
Paul E. Burke is President of See You Again Software LLC, and the leading pioneer of innovative desktop marketing software that leverages the power of the Windows desktop to increase traffic, sales, and branding for online businesses. You can e-mail him at or visit (


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