Occasionally, a potential customer will visit your store or call your office in search of a product or service that you don’t provide. It’s easy to say, “Sorry, we can’t help you,” and move on to something else. Chances are such potential customers won’t return unless they’re absolutely sure you have what they want—or they may never return. Why should they? You gave them no help at all.
Why not build a little loyalty even if you can’t make a sale? Tell the customer where or who can fill his needs, and you’ll make a friend in the process. The next time the customer needs your product or service, you’re sure to be at the top of his list. You want customers to come to you first, even if you can’t make the sale. Not only will you get their regular business, but also many will refer others to you. You just can’t lose by making a business friend by helping people find what they need.
If you keep getting similar requests for things you can’t provide, try to create a cross-referral deal with another company who can. You can both come out ahead and have happy customers. They will send you people who need your products or services, and vice versa. It’s a win-win situation.