It all started when my daughters watched some adorable ferret videos on YouTube When you look up ferret videos on YouTube, you will be in for a treat. They're adorable. All these ferrets having the time of their lives with their doting owners. Running all over the house, getting into everything, and enjoying elaborate tube mazes and other expensive contraptions designed to keep them entertained. We got the ferret a few months ago, and we feed her, clean the cage, hold her and play with her, and let her run around. My kids got pretty fired up from watching those, but they also got the sinking feeling that they just weren't doing ENOUGH to keep our little ferret happy. My kids were worried that if the ferret wasn't running loose for at least 6 hours a day, she would get depressed. I wanted to support their goal of being better pet owners, but there were two problems. 1) When the ferret ran free it liked to attack and bite everyone's feet - which is not a very charming trait - and so when that happened most people would get fed up and put her back in the cage and 2) unlike dogs and cats and cows and pigeons, ferrets don't have a homing instinct, which means that if they get out the front door they might not come back. Of course, she got loose, and we couldn't find her! The door was opened for just a moment in the night... and she escaped... we actually have security camera footage of her running into the yard and the dog chased her a bit and she ran off camera. In the wee small hours of the morning Seth and I were walking up and down the road with a flashlight thinking that this was hopeless. She would be gone forever. And I cannot overstate how upset and worried and heartbroken my kids were.
This would never have happened if it was an animal that could be "called back in". If you've ever read a marketing book from Dan Kennedy, or heard him speak, you would have heard that in order to make money in business, you need to be able to put a fence around your customers and be able to call them in every day. Like a herd of cows... Now, I'm sure customers don't want to be compared to cows, but still, it's a great point. If your customers are like a ferret, a wild varmint that will disappear into the darkness the moment it sees the door open a crack, you will not grow your business. But that is what happens to businesses who don't work hard to collect email addresses and contact information, or who don't bother to reach out to customers and prospects on a regular basis. No matter what kind of business you have, you need to keep your herd (your wonderful customers) together where you can find them and keep track of them (with a list) and have a way to bring them in every day. The good news is, even though I don't deserve a happy ending, I got lucky and found the ferret! After a few days I had almost given up. Coincidentally I had a couple of stale bagels that I was going to feed to my chickens. I tossed them over there and I missed, and one of the bagels went into the bush. Something scurried into the shed! I got a flashlight and followed. It was the ferret! I snatched her up and brought her in. I told my daughters and Ella said it was the best news she's ever heard. She was so relieved and grateful. She said it was a miracle! As happy as everyone was, it was still extremely stressful. If you feel like getting and keeping clients is like hunting runaway ferrets in the shed (instead of being predictable, like calling in the herd) you might need a strategy adjustment. Just give me a call or leave a text at 505-515-7001.