I Still Miss The She-Crab Soup

I love Virginia. Since moving here over 20 years ago, I’ve picked up some wonderful and descriptive southern truisms. Probably the one I like best is “you can’t polish a turd.” Pretty much says what it is. If you sell manure, no matter how you dress it up…… it’s still manure. The phrase applies to both people and businesses: No amount of marketing can overcome bad business practices: poor customer service, inferior product(s), deceptive selling techniques, etc. I’ve said before that media advertising improves word-of-mouth advertising. Your business attains a higher Top of Mind Awareness among the general public. Neighbors and social groups tend to compare life’s experiences among their conversations. Naturally, your business gets talked about when it’s in the community’s social fabric. If you’ve got a good business, then it’s a great thing. But the opposite holds true as well. No amount of marketing can overcome poor business practices. These range from the simple, fixable problems, to the systemic. You may be overpriced, or you may be the unfortunate victim of unrecognized value. These are minor, and relatively easy objections to overcome. But more difficult, maybe insurmountable, are the internal issues: poor telephone manners, unprofessional customer service, or underwhelming product or services that aren’t quite delivered as billed. Every business has its’ bad days: logistical foul-ups, bad employees, even bad customers. But it’s the repeated offenses that will wear your business down over time. My friend Tony was a fantastic cook, a professionally trained chef, graduatedfrom the Culinary Institute of America. His kitchen skills were extraordinary, his cuisine extraordinary, and he specialized in the fine dishes of... read more