August is ending and I just received a phone call from a seasonal service provider asking if I received the seasonal contact mailing sent about three weeks ago and confirming that I will be using the service this year. The service they provide starts near the end of October each year and runs through the winter season. They have thousands of customers and I normally execute and pay for the contract service in mid September, so why the call?
I asked and was told they were just checking with the “regulars”. They do have to allocate resources for each customer, so perhaps they are thinking about making a resource change like reducing inventory. Or perhaps there is some new competition, after all I did receive an email last week offering a lower price on some services. Maybe they are looking at the cash flow, as their customers pay when the contract is executed at the start of the season, so there is a large inflow of cash in September. There could be a loan involved here as well. I am aware of expansion wishes they have had for a number of years, maybe now is the time. Perhaps there is an ownership change in the wind. Or maybe they just want to “keep in touch” to retain existing customers.
What value can you place on a few emails, or phone calls?
Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor
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