A ton of feathers

After landing in Baltimore late this afternoon, I popped over to Annapolis to meet with my colleague Dan Harris and his associate Steve Holt for a short social get-together. Over drinks and a bite to eat we got on to one of my favorite topics: How most companies don’t tap the potential in their existing customer base. We were discussing how companies reflexively focus a disproportionate amount of resources on acquiring new customers at the expense of developing their current customer relationships.

Steve was making the related point that it’s much more profitable to have fewer, high-producing customers than many low-producing customers. He suddenly improvised a great line: “A ton of bricks weighs as much as a ton of feathers, but it takes up a lot less space.”

What a great image! Managing a ton of feathers requires a lot of overhead “space” in your company. If you can concentrate your revenue “weight” in some very profitable bricks, you’ll be in much better shape.

1 Comment

  • Amanda Cullen
    Aug 26, 2008 - 12:01 pm

    Not to mention how easy it is for all those feathers to fly away at the slightest puff of air!

    If a loyal customer has a bad experience with your company, they will probably give you another chance. If a new, potential customer has a bad experience, they will leave and never come back.

    Not that I’m saying a loyal customer is a brick house…

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