What if every business told you where to find what you’re looking for — even if it’s not with them?
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
cw: references to Christmas, Christmas shopping, Santa Claus
Miracle on 34th Street is one of those Christmas movies I watch every year.
(Along with Elf, which we watch while we’re putting up the tree, and an enthusiastically shouty hate-watch of Love Actually.)
Wino Santa gets kicked out of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, kind old man with a convincing white beard get thrown in at the last minute.
He’s so good he gets brought on to be Macy’s official Santa. Parents and kids alike adore him. Starts claiming he’s the real deal; drama and comedy ensue. Culminates in a grand gesture that shuts a court case down. (Ope, spoilers!)
Ends with heteronormative happy tears (as Christmas movies so often do).
But remember what makes the parents fall in love with Santa?
If Macy’s doesn’t carry the present they need to make little Susan’s Christmas merry, he tells them where they might find and buy it — from a competitor.
Ol’ Kris Kringle believes these children’s happiness is more important than his employer making a buck.
And Macy’s brass is furious…until they realize there’s a real business case for it.
Okay, that’s enough Christmas for now.
Why the hell am I bringing this up in early October? It’s not just to make you itchy.
It’s because there’s a lot we can learn from Santa here.
I think we can all agree that it absolutely sucks to walk into a store or call a business (ON THE PHONE) to seek out a product, only to hear, “No, we don’t have it — sorry!” End of conversation.
Back to square one. 🤷♀️
But what if that business, after telling you they didn’t have it, suggested another of their locations — or even a competitor — where you might find and buy that item?
Would you be more inclined to give them another try next time?
I certainly would (unless this scenario happened all the time). Because good service isn’t just about the transaction. It’s about building a relationship.
When a prospect contacts me seeking blog posts, social media content, SEO, PR, help with a book launch, yadda yadda yadda, I don’t tell them, “Nope, not in my wheelhouse. Thanks for calling Paige Worthy LLC!”
🤖 Not in my programming. 🤖
I tell them I have a huge network of people with all kinds of complementary expertise to mine. I tell them I’ll ask around and see if I can make a few recommendations. And then I follow through.
I want them to be successful, and that’s more likely to happen if I help them find the right person — instead of making a hard sell for services I’m pushing but they don’t need.
Plus, who’s to say they’ll never need help with messaging and brand voice, website copy, or email marketing?
Nobody, that’s who.
So listen, you don’t need to start contributing to Mariah Carey’s royalty checks yet, but you could consider bringin’ those North Pole zaddy vibes all year round.
How could this show up in your business?
P.S. Son of a nutcracker! Now I want to make gingerbread (and/or guzzle a two-liter of Coke and burp out the alphabet).
F-S: Reserved for rest