Use It or Lose It, But Why Lose It?

Have you ever bought a restaurant meal you couldn’t finish? I think we all have.

Have you ever bought a clothing item you never wore after you got it home? Take a look in your closet now and see if you have any articles with the price tag still on. Yeah, me too.

Have you overbought at the grocery store only to throw it out a few days later? Guilty as charged.

So I guess business services are subject to the same waste. This is something I just don’t understand, nor do I like. Here’s my story.

I had a CPA who filled out his form for a free consult with me. He had some questions, and I knew I could save him $10K a year for sure. The problem is he never called. He never re-scheduled. He never took advantage of what was free. He didn’t hear from me how to save $10K.

I had a teleseminar recently where several of you may have been on it. The first 10 people got a free consult with me. Two people responded, set up their calls, and got their questions answered. Eight people had the chance and didn’t take it.

I have consulting clients who periodically prepay for blocks of time. I have 90-day expiration dates on these purchases, and often the client doesn’t finish their hours in time. (And believe me, we follow up on this one.)

I have clients who don’t complete their packages.

I have a free offer with one of my product where I custom-write a document for the client, and only three people have taken me up on it (and it’s a huge seller).

Believe it or not, this is NOT how I like to make my money. I don’t understand why people don’t take advantage of what they pay for. Not in this economy. With as much whining going on as to how tight money is, why are people throwing it away?

I believe there are a couple of possibilities, but I’d love your feedback on this one.

  1. They’ve lost interest and have gone on to the next bright and shiny object, throwing more money at something new, only to discard it later.
  2. They don’t see the value they are throwing away. Perhaps they’re too busy to notice, or I’m a little too soft spoken about my track record.
  3. They’re scared of me. I wouldn’t be surprised at this one. I really don’t bite, y’all.

I don’t know about you, but I hate loose ends.

Take a look in your business. Where could you be benefiting from money you’ve already spent? Here are some places to look:

  1. Club membership benefits you are paying for but not using fully.
  2. Unused equipment: extra phone lines you don’t need, extra computers, etc.
  3. Vendor features. That subscription you’re not using. (Oops for me it’s Salesforce.com.)
  4. Package deals you could scale down.
  5. Software or web applications you’re no longer using.

It may be because I’ve spent so much time in third-world countries that I hate seeing such blatant waste in this country. Use it or lose it, but why lose it?