Hands On

Alan Scholz believes that old customers are the most valuable. Scholz is the CEO of Bike Friday, a $3-million maker of folding travel bicycles based in Eugene, Oreg. When that company's monthly sales decreased by half last September, a dismayed Scholz turned to loyal buyers and offered them a discount on new models. "When people stopped flying, our little wheels stopped rolling," Scholz wrote in an E-mail pitch. "We need to sell more bikes to survive this very difficult period." Scholz, a devotee of Carl Sewell's Customers for Life, says the candor he shares with longtime customers is good for the bottom line. Scholz's October and November sales climbed 10% to 15% above the same months in 2000.

The Whole New Business Catalog

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