I am not well-read, at least in the classics area, although I do read an awful lot of trashy mystery books and such. One must entertain oneself after all.
But I get to thinking about business in general and Team Mates in particular and come up with some interesting ideas (well, maybe).
One of them is that business should be fun. Yes, it really should be.
I wrote an email reply to a client today. It was just the slightest bit caustic, but there was a point to it. The reply was a response to a demand for credit. Anyone who has ever been in business for a few years gets those sorts of, well, orders. "If you want to do business with me, you'll give me net 60 days". And, of course, they really look promising on the outside. Lots of business, even maybe a credit application that looks like they have tons of good references.
There are little signs, though. The way that the instruction is given. "You WILL give me credit." Definitely a bad sign. "I have thirty thousand dollars worth of orders to place. Don't you want them?" Gotta think about that one. Especially if business overall is down. "I always pay my bills." Oh, that's fabulous. So when?
How about this for an appropriate beginning to a new business relationship.
"Do you have a credit app? And I don't mind paying this right away in order to establish credit with you."
Expectations. I mean, give me at least a little bit of a break here. We have expectations and we even, should the need arise, do our best to raise the level of our customers' education in embroidery, to work with them to give the very best of service, and even to make them smile on occasion.
Which brings me full circle. New customer responses to simple questions like, "We don't normally do net thirty on a first order" are key to the establishment of a good business relationship and the future fun we can have. I really don't enjoy coming in to work and finding a pile of past due receiveables on my desk. I really hate struggling to make payroll while some person sits on my hard-earned cash or struggles because he's too lazy to call and collect from his customers.
Just the way it goes, I think. And today, the letter I wrote? Not all that complimentary. Hidden hopes that maybe the potential new customer might take all those huge orders down the road. Because his responses to my questions regarding credit just didn't make me feel happy. And that's my story. It is Friday. I want to be happy.