Backwoods Sales and Marketing Blunder is Like Handing Your Competition All Your Business

Last weekend I witnessed one whopper of a dumb sales and marketing mistake.

In fact, if you were to look up the definition of “big dumb stupid business mistake” you’d probably see a picture of the place I saw this blunder take place.

Here’s what happened:

The Mrs. and I were in this small, “jerk-water” town in the middle of the woods (in northern California) and she wanted an espresso at this dinky little espresso joint. While the lady was making the drink, I glanced down and saw the handwritten sign…


“Stop!” I said.

“What’s wrong?”

“Your sign says you don’t take plastic.”

“No problem, there’s an ATM across the street.”

OK now, here’s where the fun began:

I live in a small (really small) town myself and get this whole cash only thing. Heck, even the business center in my town is cash only.

So that blunder is not that big a crime in the grand scheme of things.

No, the problem was, there was another place, CLOSER to that ATM, to get espresso. Which meant, this espresso joint was cheerfully sending good business across the street to an ATM machine that’s closer to their competition.

I wonder how much business their competition gets from this?

I bet they have a hearty laugh every time they see a customer walking from the other place, debit card in hand.

Oh well, that’s life in the little city.

But I admit, it did get me thinking about my own marketing. In fact, afterwards I even did a quick run down of my own operations to make sure I wasn’t making a similar (embarrassingly obvious) mistake.

Not a bad habit to get into, is it?

Especially since the kind of espresso place mistake above can happen to any one of us, yet is so easily prevented.