Last week, I spoke about getting back to the basics, and reviewing past successes to look to repeat them in new ways. Here are some “back to basics” strategies I’ve used over the years I gained from delivering papers:
Back when I was 10 and was delivering papers for the News-Times, I had a couple customers who really gave me a hard time, especially when it came to paying. With one, he’d pay in advance and forget how many weeks he had paid, and then I’d show up and he’d start yelling at me that he had already paid me for that week. Another wouldn’t pay at all, and I still delivered the paper knowing I’d eventually get paid.
With the first customer, I cried the first time he yelled at me, and then the second time I let him have it. Even at 10, I knew that sometimes you had to give it back to the customer, especially when they were wrong.
With the second, I learned that good customers will sometimes pay late, and sometimes that means that you have to do what you can to get by without the payment, knowing it’s a minor sacrifice for a long-term commitment.
The lessons I learned from these two customers live on today. I am very tolerant of people who give me a hard time now, but in rare instances I need to give it right back to them. As well, I have had customers who go for a long time without paying, but with gentle prodding and continues good service (without threat of cancellation), I’ve been able to keep customers happy.