New iPad – Sometimes Turning Away Business Means Getting Even More

I really love my iPad, so I was pretty hyped about Apple’s new product announcement yesterday. Would it be a new 3-D one, like so many were predicting, or a blazingly fast MacBook?

What really surprises me is that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know. The authorized re-sellers have to wait for the announcements, too. And here’s where this story gets interesting. In Memphis, Tennessee, one of the biggest re-sellers is Macadvantage. And with the announcement more than two weeks away, the owner, Mignonne Wright, did a really unusual but awesomely good thing. Any customer who wanted to buy a new computer from her store was asked to wait.

Why would she turn down literally thousands of dollars and risk losing clients who could simply drive down the street to the local Best Buy? Because Mignonne didn’t want them to spend their money on a model that possibly could be outdated in two weeks, and she told them so.  A newer, faster computer might be introduced for the same price.

The result is that she turned ordinary customers into die-hard fans. When it comes to buying anything new Apple-wise, do you think they’ll return to her store? HECK yeah! They know it is a place they can trust and has their best interest at heart. In the wild, ever-changing world of technology, here is someone who’s not only keeping up with it, but also willing to tell you about it. You can’t beat that kind of customer service. It’s what makes this store different than the competitors and an easy choice for customers to patronize.

If just caring about your customers future, creates the kind of loyal fans that Mignonne did, then in what ways could you look out for your customers?

Question: Would you consider asking your customers to wait?

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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

32 thoughts on “New iPad – Sometimes Turning Away Business Means Getting Even More”

  1. Great story Chris!

    I’m always happy to see some simple honesty in business and how much customers appreciate that.

    I recently had a different but similar situation where I had customers taking advantage of my estimating service (construction). Unfortunately, after six months of heavy quoting and very little to show for it, I backed away from one of the biggest offenders. Since then (only a couple of weeks), I’ve been able to micro-focus on some bigger potential clients and it has already paid off in my ability to serve them faster.

    The funny thing is that the client I backed away from just recently offered me a $200k order out of nowhere! Ha!

    Like you said, “sometimes turning away business, means getting even more”.

    Take care!

  2. Short term (possible) loss for long term trust and bigger payoff. I’d want to be a customer there if I lived in TN.


  3. Absolutely! This is common practice for myself. In fact, just yesterday I found myself pitching the less expensive option to a client ecause it was the “right fit, for right now”. They thanked me over and over again that I was concerned about them and protecting their interest, not just mine. That client emailed me later and now desires to grow their business to the next level and committed to using my firm 100% of the way…so that means I won’t only get the smaller sale but in addition I’ll gain the larger sale too!

  4. This isn’t just a great customer service story, it’s a great marketing story! Marketing after all is getting people to know, like and trust you so you can then turn them into buyers. Mignonne nailed this! And the fact you, Chris, wrote about it, in essence referring people to her, is why businesses should be deliberate about orchestrating referrals, even before the transaction even occurs. I smell a blog post on that one!

  5. Excellent story that has nuggets and points for us all to consider. As always, patience is a virtue, even in business. It’s also realizing pure honesty and simple concepts weed out the ones you don’t want and keep the ones you do!

    The best help I can be to my clients is when I put myself in their shoes. Sometimes that means making hard calls/having tough conversations and telling them that they must have a budget for your services so that the outcome is you have them for a long time vs for a short time but stretching them beyond their means. If I am willing to serve, I am willing to wait.

    1. Great way of looking at it Misty! I believe it’s what keeps you growing in business. If all you think about is you, it won’t take long before everyone figures that out.

  6. That makes total sense. From the perspective of a customer, I go to stores like that to buy computers – but also to receive the expertise of the people selling them. So when someone goes out of their way to potentially save me money or to get me a better product, then I know I’m in good hands there. Put the customer first and the rest will follow.

  7. Great story Chris. What they did is so contrary to normal business and marketing practices that I believe it probably got the attention of her current AND prospective customers even more. It built trust (which is key) and in a way (knowingly or unknowingly) played into the mystery (another key) that always surrounds the next big Apple announcement.

  8. Our customers usually have to wait. We have a backlog of projects that is typically 10-12 weeks. If the customer wants what you have, you are honest and upfront with information, they will wait and keep coming back.

  9. Right now I’m not happy with Apple. My five-month-old iPad 2 is obsolete… Seriously, I was a PC girl and I’m a new Apple fan. I love the product and the marketing and being part of the “cool Apple tribe”. I love this story about how Mignonne knows her customers: “smart, informed consumers, want the best value for their money. ” She knows that Apple fans STALK the media for the leaks on the new product launch. I think she could’ve seriously hurt her business by NOT asking them to wait. They would’ve felt taken advantage of. I’m sure she has a lot of pre-orders piling up right now! We can all learn great ways to sell to the right people, give them way more than they expect and knock their socks off!

  10. This reminds me of any time I’ve had a server at a restaurant tell me what’s *really* good on the menu and what I might want to avoid. Honesty makes you more money in the long run.

  11. This reminds me of any time I’ve had a server at a restaurant tell me what’s *really* good on the menu and what I might want to avoid. Honesty makes you more money in the long run.

  12. Absolutely. I worked retail at a small, local endurance/triathlon store and regularly had people coming in wanting to purchase what easily could be upwards of $200 worth of clothing for their first sprint (shortest distance) triathlon. (Sidenote: there is a difference in triathlon cycling shorts and regular cycling shorts). I would encourage them to participate in the first and maybe even their second event using the regular cycling shorts and a comfortable shirt they already had. I’d tell them that if they’re still interested and want to make a hobby out of it, come see us and we’ll get them all squared away then. I couldn’t, in good faith, send them out the door with a product that they may very well never use again. My impression was that most of them were impulse buys (“I have my first tri this weekend and my friend told me…”). Did we lose some immediate revenue from that? Sure. Did we make some very loyal customers who not only came back to us but referred us again and again to their friends? Absolutely. Be truthful and loyal to your customers and they will return the favor.

  13. Reminds me of Miracle on 34th Street, when Santa, the REAL Santa sends Macy’s customers to Gimbel’s for a toy that was out of stock or cheaper at Gimbel’s. At first R. H. Macy was furious, until he saw what raving fans he gained from Santa’s superior (honest) customer service.

  14. This is awesome! I love it when a business’ passion for serving shows through stronger than their passion for profit. I have no doubt that they likely have a large raving fan base that will spend more money with them than any other competitor. Thanks for sharing!

  15. That was fabulous! It’s a rare gesture in today’s greedy world. Such an act of passion at the cost of sacrificing profit is sure to earn the trust of customers and bring them back to the same brand/product.

  16. Awesome action by Macadvantage. But to a large degree, because of the “Apple Culture” that has been developed and cultivated, it was almost a no brainer. In other words, there really wasn’t much at risk taking that action. Those people who left today likely will be back in two weeks when the new model is released. Most of those customers want nothing less than the latest and greatest.

    It’s when there is much at risk, such as the customer walks through the door and is ready to make a purchase but likely won’t ever be back if they leave. Especially with big ticket items.

    It’s those companies that take the supreme proactive honesty approach knowing that many customers will never return that should receive kudos.

  17. Yes I have turned away business many times – when I know that it is in the best interest of the client. For instance, people call all the time asking if they should refinance their home. For some, it makes sense. For others – it doesn’t.

    1. Understand, I am not apart of the iProduct World…however, for me, any company that has to keep making newer models to keep increasing a desire for something that is not a need makes me think that at some point, one or more of the “updates” is going to be missing critical elements. The focus isn’t going to be an excellent product, the focus turns into money.

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