June 13, 2023

Too Busy to Pick Fruit from the Marketing Tree

Very often, I see small businesses overlook easy marketing opportunities. They must be too busy to pick fruit from the marketing tree.

I have been going to the same hairstylist at the same salon for over 20 years. She’s good and I am resistant to change. Plus, my wife says I have difficult hair to cut. I’m not sure what that means.

Last month, I had to cancel my haircut appointment at the last minute. I called when they were closed and left a vague voicemail about canceling. Rather than rescheduling the appointment, I decided, out of convenience, to try someone else that was closer and maybe less expensive.

I halfway expected a call from the old hair salon. “Everything okay?” “Would you like to reschedule?” Nothing. Silence. I guess they’re too busy to pick fruit from the marketing tree. They missed a golden opportunity to keep me as a customer. A simple phone call. I’m not sure I’ll go back.


The following Saturday, I drove to a nearby barbershop someone had recommended. It was much closer to home. Upon entering the establishment, they asked me to sign in. There was a notepad on the front counter requesting my name, phone number, and email address. “Wow”, I thought. “Good marketing, securing my contact info right away.”

Subsequently, I headed for the barber’s chair, and 45 minutes later; I had a good haircut. The barber was very professional. He offered me a beer or a glass of wine. He asked me about travel, hobbies, and my favorite sports. The haircut cost more than I usually paid, but it was okay for the first time.

Since I provided my contact info and it was my first visit to the barbershop, I expected some type of follow-up. There was none. Despite having access to my phone number and email address, there was no call and no email. Once again, I thought, “they must be too busy to pick fruit from the marketing tree.” I am not sure I will return.


I believe small businesses have opportunities to “pick fruit” daily. We spend time and money on much harder efforts in business development and often overlook the easy stuff. The best companies systemize their marketing efforts. They have policies and procedures, checklists, and operating manuals to ensure no marketing opportunities, let alone the most obvious ones, are overlooked.

How much “fruit” will you miss today?