Today Nat and I went to the Home Show in Brisbane. We are building quite a large house on 5 acres (on the top of a mountain) at the moment and we needed to see what ‘new stuff’ was out there. I was particularly taken with the home automation companies where you can run your entire house from your portable device – anywhere in the world. There was everything you could imagine to design, build, gadget and furnish a home at this show today.

We are spending a lot of money on our home and we are serious buyers. So you would think that everyone we spoke to would be interested in who we are and what we are building. Not the case.

Between us we visited 30 exhibitors collecting brochures and chatting with the reps. How many of them got our details to follow up……just 1.

We would have given our details to every one of them if they had asked. Instead only 1 asked. I gladly gave him my details. There were hundreds of companies represented spending tens of thousands to attract people to their exhibit. And only 1 in 30 bothered to ask so they could follow up.

And we wonder why businesses fail. No one asks. It’s not hard this game of business. Have a good product / service, do some marketing and ask for the business. Far out. Why do people not do this?

There was even one company (home automation company) where we had a good chat, I collected a brochure and even shook the hand of one of the 2 fellows. I asked them if they were the owners of the company. Yes was the reply. They acted like they were there under sufferance like an employee who wants to leave. And they own the damn company. My home automation spend will be somewhere between $150K and $250K on the new house. Big mistake, big … huge. That’s a line from the movie Pretty Woman.

What opportunities are you missing out on? Are you asking everytime? For an Accountant (my primary market) I think there are 7 questions you need to ask yourself every time you do a client project. The answers you take to your client as a new idea.

1.What ideas do you have to help this client grow revenue or wealth?

2.What ideas do you have to help this client increase their profit?

3.What ideas do you have to help this client understand and improve their cashflow?

4.What ideas do you have to help this client protect their assets?

5.What ides do you have to help this client with succession planning or selling their business?

6.What ideas do you have to minimise tax for this client in the future?

7.What other opportunities are there to provide extra services to this client that they are not already using?

Ask, ask, ask, ask. What’s the worst that can happen – they say no. At least you asked.