How to Compete for Loyalty
How to Neglect Your Prospects

How to Get Past the First Date

080603a I recently discovered an excellent feature on the Staples web site that lets me review my past orders and re-order something quickly and conveniently. Steve Yastrow wisely points out that when you have a conversation with a friend, you pick up where you left off. Some business-to-business marketers are good at this, but consumer companies, especially brick-and-mortar retail, have a long way to go.

Tompeters!: Steve Yastrow (Second Cool Friends Interview), 2008-May-15, by Erik Hansen

Erik: There's a small, outdoor sporting goods store near me that I've been shopping at, I think, since 1986. No one in that store knows my name. And I'm in there regularly. ... I'm so frustrated. I want to be loyal to this place. They are half a mile from my house ...

SY: Imagine what happens with your customers if you have an ongoing conversation. But being the customer of most companies, like you in this store, is kind of like that movie that Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler did, 50 First Dates. I don't know if you saw this movie. Well, they have this great time together. She's got a memory problem and every day their relationship has to start over. That reminded me of what it's like to do business with most companies, right?