If you suddenly found yourself unable to continue running your blog or podcast, would anyone notice?
Would they call or email to inquire about your health?
Would they come by and check up on you or send someone else to do so?
They will if you are building real relationships. And in this post I’m going to share a recent experience to prove it.
This morning I was awakened by someone from the sherif’s department. They asked if I was Maxwell Ivey, and I said yes. The deputy then told me that my business partner had called them because he was worried about me.
I had to ask him who had called it in. I didn’t admit this to them because I didn’t want to get someone in trouble for trying to do something nice. But I don’t have a business partner. That is unless we count my brother Patrick.
They told me it was Sherry from Florida. I thanked the gentleman for checking on me and told him I would call in and let them know I was okay.
I went and checked my phone and found I had a missed call and a voice mail from Pat in Florida. I have known him for a couple of years now since he first listed his beautiful stage trailer for sale on my website.
When I got Pat on the phone, he told me that the reason he had called was that my website was down, my emails were being returned, and neither of the numbers he had for me were being answered. I tried clicking on my website, and got the message saying that the site was expired and available. I told Pat that I would call him back after I got it sorted out. Pat said fine he just wanted to make sure his friend was okay.
I called my brother Michael to ask him if the site had been renewed or not. He told me that he thought I was handling the dot com site. I told him I thought he was. He told me to call my hosting company and find out.
So, I called tech support at host gator and they verified that the domain name was still registered with him. I texted him from my phone as I was on the way to a follow up with my gastric surgeon Dr. Scarborough. Michael would text me later saying the site was back online.
It was a classic case of you got it, no I got it; and then no one had it. 🙂 Thank goodness, I didn’t lose my domain name. I am sure there are people out there who would have loved to take advantage of all my hard work. And there are others who live to buy sites and then sell them back to their owners for a big profit.
I was a bit disappointed that more people hadn’t noticed that the site was down. That, or if they did notice; no one bothered to tell me about it. It makes me wonder about the importance or value of my site. It made me wonder about the quality of my service or the strength of the relationships I thought I had built.
Pat was the first to prove that there are people who care. And I’m thankful to have such great friends.
After I got home from my doctor’s visit, I got another call. This time it was from Susan. She is the owner of the train in San Diego California. She too had been having trouble getting a hold of me. Her emails to me were also being returned as undeliverable. And she wanted me to know that a potential buyer had actually showed up to look at the train. As I’m sure you can imagine I get a lot of inquiries from people who don’t have the ability or the financing to actually buy what they are asking about. So, its an accomplishment when one actually shows up in person.
The gentleman didn’t buy the train, but he did confirm for us that it is in emaculant condition. And I can now add a video so you can see and hear it run. You won’t believe how smooth that engine sounds.
Susie was happy to hear I was okay. And I was pleased to hear that she was concerned about me. It gave me a warm feeling.
It may have taken ten days before anyone got nervous enough to call and ask after my health, but eventually two amazing people did just that. They had decided that I wasn’t just a broker but a friend and someone they could count on. And I’m sure that any time one of their friends needs help with buying or selling midway type rides, games, inflatables, etc; they will tell them to get in touch with Max. 😀
I have managed to create this kind of loyalty because of how I treat people. I do my best to return emails promptly. And when the phone rings, I answer it. I don’t rush people off of the phone, and I never complain about what some might call tire kickers.
My dad taught me that you can never tell who will spend money on a midway just by looking at them. I try to follow this advice when talking with or exchanging emails with someone new. I honestly believe that each one is an opportunity and I treat them all as if they might be ready to spend a million dollars or list equipment valued at that amount.
I don’t have a lot of clients. Its partly because I am still unknown to many people in the various areas of the amusement industry. Its also because of my business model. Instead of free listings with advertising, I run the site on commission sales.
Often, I am the last person they ask. Its not unusual to get asked to help sell something after the owner has been trying on their own for over a year. Yet, knowing this doesn’t make me bitter. It just makes me even more determined to show people the kinds of results that convince them of the value of using me and my site.
For example I’m the most active of anyone selling amusement equipment when it comes to using face book, linked in, twitter, and other social media sites.
I not only encourage multiple photos, slide shows, and videos; I will do most of the work to get them added to my site.
And I’ll put my mailing lists up against anyone else in the business.
I follow the Japanese example of running a business for the long term. I want to get to know people and truly understand their problems. I want them to trust me and to ask my help. The more I treat people like they are precious and not just worry about what can I make off of them, the more I am building relationships.
I am slowly gaining a client list of good people who have good used equipment, who have surplus items for sale on a regular basis, and who will come back to me time after time when they need help. I’m not always going to be successful. Selling rides isn’t easy. Its all about finding someone who is looking for what you have when you have it and who is looking on the site where it can be seen. But when you have one of those moments where you can help make a sale that benefits both buyer and seller, then its an amazing feeling.
Helping people sell equipment they need to sell is one of the reasons why I started doing this. Yes, I want to support my family and make a name for myself, but I never forget when we had our own small carnival and couldn’t replace old equipment unless we could sell it at a good price.
So, I want to thank Pat and Susie for becoming my friends and for staying with me. They have other choices, but they found me, liked me, and think I’m the best hope for selling their items. Now, I need to reward them by finding good homes for their stage and train respectively.
Since no one has been able to send me emails, I will have to send out a mass mailing letting people know I’m still here and better than ever. I’ve been woken up by the possibility of losing the site I spent so much time, sweat, energy, and passion building. Even as I continue to build up myself as a coach, author, and public speaker; I will be rededicating myself to making the midway marketplace an amazing powerful site for helping people who want or need to sell these unusual items.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends, family, coworkers, and social media communities. The field of amusement equipment brokering is very competitive, and I will be surprised if some people aren’t already wondering if I am out of business. So, I really need you to help me get the word out.
And if you have been thinking about starting a business such as a family entertainment center, party rental company, food concessions business, etc; then please call or text me at 979-215-1770 or drop me an email.
I’ll be happy to advise you as best as I can. And I am open to being hired as a coach to walk you through starting a new amusement based business.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read these posts. I know you are very busy and have many demands on your time. I appreciate your deciding to spend some of it with me.
Thanks again, God bless you, and take care out there; Max