Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

Are you running a business, or doing favors?


Guest post by Chris DiFonzo 

I fired my “snow guy” in the middle of Snowmageddon.

A neighbor referred him.

I had snow, he removes snow, it should have been that easy.

All interactions have unspoken guidelines. Sometimes obliviousness to them is forgivable. Example: An old friend asked me to mow her lawn. Secretly I loathed operating her electric mower, so I offered a neighbor’s “lawn guy” twenty bucks. He loathed being propositioned to do yard work for a stranger while he was doing a favor for a friend. My bad.

The lawn guy was a misunderstanding. The snow guy lacked a grasp on the rules. I had no idea when he would show up, had to chase him down to pay him, referred him more business, not even a thank you. I took it all in stride, until Snowmageddon.

Mid­storm, and mid snow removal, the motor stops outside. Working from
the kitchen, above the driveway, I overhear him declare he is leaving and not returning because, “... they did the driveway, why didn’t they just do the rest?” And he leaves.

Fast forward, we’re on the phone, he tells me he’s coming back tomorrow. I tell him I heard what he said. He says maybe it’s not working out. I confirm.

If you’re in the business of being somebody’s fill­-in-­the-­blank person ­-- marketing, finance, strategy, snow ­-- never act like your work is a favor.

Be clear about your commitments and theirs, say what you mean and do what you say, bill and collect for your services promptly, always demonstrate appreciation for referrals and always finish the job.

By the way, the lawn guy took the twenty. Business is business. 


Chris DiFonzo is a seasoned entrepreneur and sales executive. He can be reached at ChrisDiFonzo@gmail.comon Twitter @chrisdifonzo and on Linkedin.

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