Direct Marketing, Strategy

Is It Hard to Do Business with You?

Last weekend I went to the store to buy Monopoly and it was damn hard.

If you’ve ventured down the game aisle of late you’ve probably noticed that there are a few more versions of the Parker Brothers classic including but in no way limited to Bass Fishing Monopoly, Boston Red Sox Monopoly, Cat Lover’s Monopoly, US Coast Guard Monopoly, Chronicles of Narnia Monopoly, Elvis Monopoly Collector’s Edition, I Love Lucy Monopoly “California Here We Come” Edition, and my personal favorite, pictured above, Monopoly Electronic Banking featuring the pre-credit crisis back-of-the-box headline “Make Millions with a Swipe of Your Card!” I have walked by Monopoly for years thinking we should get it but these versions have intimidated me to date. I bought plain ‘ol Monopoly for $10.99.

The point? It was hard to do business with Monopoly. Not hard in a way that I couldn’t overcome but I would have bought earlier had the experience been a bit easier. Sometimes if you take a step back you can see that your business has a lot of sales barriers in place that you may not have seen. Did anyone at Parker Brothers question that perhaps with the development of I Love Lucy Monopoly “California Here We Come” Edition that they were on there way to overwhelming some customers? A minor concern? Yes. Worth discussion? Absolutely.

Here’s a tip: the next time you have a meeting or retreat with your team write the headline above — Is It Hard to Do Business with Us? — on your wipe board and discuss away. Make a list and start picking them off. Not overnight but over time you will streamline your customers’ experience and leave fewer people confused in your aisles …