Links we mentioned:
CAS Podcast Episode 52: Free Government Resources to Help You Start a Business
Everyone knows that “Attitude is Everything”, but it’s not always easy to spot attitude or approach problems in OURSELVES.
In this 2nd part of our Lessons in Not Failing series, we’re going to go through what a “hater” is, how that negative attitude affects custom t-shirt businesses and the sure signs that YOU are the hater!
Hint: If you spend as much or more time telling customers what they CAN’T do or you WON’T do.. then you have hateriasis.
Read the Show Notes for this podcast for links to other relevant episodes that will help your business succeed!
Welcome to the Custom Apparel Startups podcast, your best source for information, news, tips and tricks to get you off the ground running, and earn success with your custom apparel decorating business. So, get ready to soak up some knowledge!
Now, here are your hosts, Mark and Marc!
Mark S: Hey, everyone! Welcome to episode 63! I’m so happy that these episodes are older than I am now! This is Mark Stephenson, from ColDesi.
Marc V: And this is Marc Vila, from Colman and Company. Today, we’re going to talk about why haters don’t win, and how to tell if you are one.
Mark S: You could be a hater.
Marc V: Yeah, you could be.
Mark S: I mean, you’re not.
Marc V: Thank you!
Mark S: I think anyone named Mark has a pass. They’re not going to end up being a hater. What is a hater?
Marc V: So, a hater. There’s a lot of different ways to define this, but we’re going to go with a hater is a negative person. They’re always screaming victimhood. They get upset at others’ success. They don’t like other people being successful. They’re often focused on the negative things that happen in their business.
A hater can simply be defined as – think about all of the people you like doing business with, and think about the traits that they have; why you enjoy doing business with them. A hater is the opposite of all of those things. They’re all of the customers or the business owners you don’t like doing business with.
They are negative. They feel like, when you do business with them and when you’re engaged with them, the energy of the area just comes down.
Mark S: And oftentimes, they’re also the ones that are always worried about getting ripped off. They’re always worried that someone is taking advantage of them, which I guess goes to the victimhood thing.
But you know, in business, in the customers that we see, it’s the ones that no matter what the sale is or what a great deal that they’re getting, or how great the salesperson is, or what the training is like, they always feel like they’re not getting the best. They always feel like there’s something wrong, or they’re getting ripped off or used in some ways.
Marc V: Yeah, and even if something really good happens, so they get – business, personal – oftentimes, this goes across the board for them. But they happen to need this one particular brand of shirt, and the day that they need it happens to be the day that it’s on sale from their supplier. They save $50, and didn’t do any work. They just saved $50.
But with that sale, they did not get the free shipping.
Mark S: Oh, no! That’s terrible!
Marc V: So, they have to pay $9 for shipping, The person who is not a hater looks at it and says “Normally, this would have cost me $250. Today, it cost me $200 plus $9 shipping. I saved $41, by luck. Happy day! I’m going to go out for a big lunch!”
Mark S: The hater calls you up and says “What happened to my free shipping? Why don’t I qualify for free shipping on this order?”
Marc V: Well, the free shipping doesn’t come with this sale, in order to provide you this sale. Well, they just got ripped off. “Well, I’m not going to buy from you, then, if you’re not going to give me free shipping on this.” Even though they’ve gotten something really great.
And it’s very true in business across the board. It doesn’t just come from the business owner to their supplier, but it goes down to their customers, as well. They have a customer who is very reasonable, pays on time, that makes reasonable requests. “I want this shirt. What can I get? Can I get the shirt ahead of time, so I can try it on?” All of these things.
Then, they treat that customer like “This customer, they want all of the sizes ahead of time, before I make them, because they want to try them on first, and make sure everyone has the right size. Doesn’t somebody know if they wear a large or an extra-large?”
Actually, why don’t you look at it as a positive? They’re willing to pay you for the blanks. They’re going to do business with you. They want to make sure their order is correct.
Mark S: And you’re going to know if this particular shirt runs small or large, depending on the size.
Marc V: This is a positive thing, but the hater won’t see it that way. It’s out of their realm, or they just really have a hard time seeing the positive in the things that are maybe not normal. They just have a hard time seeing the positive in anything.
Mark S: It could be also, that – one of the hater’s symptoms definitely is that they anticipate things going wrong, and they preemptively strike, to prevent them from happening. For example, we’re working on a “How to get into the custom t-shirt business” class. It’s going to be course online.
I asked people if they were interested in being one of our beta testers. I got many email responses. It was great. I noticed that this one person that was still in business, or that was already in business, that the bottom of their email was longer than the message that they sent to me.
So, there’s the message they sent to me, and then there’s their signature. Then, this is, I assume, at the bottom of every email. I’m going to read this to you, because I understand why they put all of these things in here, but you can see that it doesn’t come across as the most customer service, customer-friendly oriented paragraph.
So, here we go. Under the signature was “Policies: WE DO NOT BEGIN WORKING ON ANY ORDERS UNTIL PAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE.” That was in all caps. “NO EXCEPTIONS!!!” Three exclamation points, in all caps.
I understand that. The first thing is, as a potential customer, I might see it as “Wow! They really must have been ripped off. They don’t really want my business.” Right?
The next sentence is “Once an invoice has been sent, payment must be made within 48 hours, or the invoice will be cancelled. Price quotes are only valid for seven days. Our normal turnaround time on customer orders is 7 to 10 business days. Rush orders are accepted, but they’re going to cost you $25. There’s no refunds or exchanges, unless there’s an error on our part.”
“We’re not responsible for incorrect addresses listed in PayPal. If a package is returned for an incorrect or undeliverable, unknown address, you are responsible for the postage fees to re-ship.”
These all seem to be very reasonable policies. But to put these as part of an automatic communication is a very hater thing to do.
Marc V: Yeah. It’s unreasonable to need that on every single communication that goes out. You’re not a law office, that puts a disclaimer on the bottom. “All of these communications can be used, blah, blah, blah. Please destroy this. It cannot be forwarded to any -.” Legal disclaimer. They’re dealing with legal issues.
These things are not legal issues. These are your policies. They should be part of like signing off on the invoice.
Mark S: This is a list of reasons why people may not want to do business with you. They really are. “I don’t accept this kind of payment. I don’t deliver in this period of time. I don’t accept custom orders, unless you do this. I don’t do this, unless you do that. I’m not responsible for the following things. You are.”
Marc V: What if you emailed me the invoice Friday, at 3:00? It happened to be my buddy’s birthday, so I left the office early, because we were going to dinner across town. I’m not going to be back in the office until Monday, around 10:00 AM. It’s past 48 hours, so it’s void now?
Mark S: Yes.
Marc V: That’s how I’m feeling. Also, if you don’t know already, look down at your keyboard, and there’s a Caps Lock. Is the light on? Turn it off!
Mark S: Never use Caps Lock!
Marc V: Yes. It’s the equivalent of yelling. If you don’t know, I’m sure somebody on here right now is “I just like to type in all caps.”
Mark S: Stop that.
Marc V: What you’re doing is you’re communicating negatively. When people receive all caps as yelling. Sometimes, you put something in caps for emphasis. Like some of our titles of our broadcasts, we do that. “HOW TO FAIL.” All caps for emphasizing that. We aren’t yelling it.
So, yeah. This person started off their signature yelling at you. Then, three exclamation points! When you yell with an exclamation point, I don’t think – is it getting louder, the more you add?
Mark S: I don’t know. But I did leave out the final line of this book, underneath the email, and that is “The above items are subject to change, based on our workload.”
So, not only did you give me a list of reasons that I may not want to do business with you – and I may; it may not affect me. But you also said “By the way, all of this stuff is subject to change, so you can’t really rely on these rules, either.”
Marc V: Yeah. “Here are the rules that I make for you, and then I’m going to change them any time I want, if I’m just too busy.”
Mark S: Now, if you’re listening to this podcast, and you are the person that sent this email, we are picking on you a little bit. But this does not mean that you’re a hater. This probably means that at some point, you were burned in one of these areas, and you decided that you never want to go through this again.
You’ve got way too much business that want things quickly and professionally, and with terms. Or maybe you’ve had some issues in the past with payments, etc.
I mean, we have terms and conditions, when we sell equipment. But this is not the approach that you make to every customer, or first-time customers, or when you communicate with people that are placing an order.
Marc V: Yeah. Terms and conditions are great. You should have them. When a customer is going to sign off on an invoice or a sales order, you have a little terms and conditions. It doesn’t have to be fine print hidden. It can be very clear.
Mark S: You can have a page on your website that says “Terms and Conditions, click here.”
Marc V: For one, some of those terms and conditions should be written from a sales and marketing perspective. So, if it turns out you’re the hater type of attitude and you’ve got these terms and conditions, terms and conditions never need an exclamation point, ever. They never need it.
Mark S: Right. They’re just facts. You don’t have to be angry about it.
Marc V: Yes. Just periods. They all end in periods. None of them ever need to be there. You can put things in bold, to emphasize. Or all caps, every once in a while, too. I’m not even going to be that mad at that. Or italics, or red or green or blue.
You can do that, but it also should be written from – and sometimes you can explain underneath, if you care to, as well. So, make it a one-sheet or half-sheet, or at the bottom portion of your quote.
Mark S: I like it. Let’s un-haterize one. That is “Price quotes are only valid for seven days.”
Marc V: Okay.
Mark S: “Our workload and our supply of blank custom apparel varies, so we are unable to extend to you definite pricing past seven days, due to supply issues.”
Marc V: And if you just have like a simple sentence that’s in there, like “Delivery time valid for seven days,” it’s like a nice simple short fact, within the information. It doesn’t need to be screamed at or yelled at. There never needs to be an exclamation point on that. It’s just a fact.
Mark S: Right.
Marc V: Depending how you word your documents, you can put a nice sentence like that, just an explanation. Or if you just want a few short facts on the bottom of your quote; “Quote valid for 48 hours. Delivery time only valid for seven days,” etc. You put that down. “Call us if you have any questions about this. Our aim is to -,” as we talked about on our last podcast about overpromising and under-delivering.
At the end of it, you could put a nice friendly sentence that says something like “Our goal is to serve you best, and meet your expectations. The above policies help us to make sure that we achieve that for every customer, every time.”
Mark S: I love that!
Marc V: Because there’s a reason why you have those.
Mark S: Have you ever considered going into marketing?
Marc V: Yeah, I’ve considered it.
Mark S: That was great.
Marc V: So, a hater. We’ve given an example of a hater type of, of something a hater might do. I know I’ve talked about it a lot, on these autoresponders and email signatures, probably since episode one.
Mark S: Absolutely. I think we’ve got a “pet peeves” episode.
Marc V: Yeah. It’s one of my pet peeves. I just don’t like it. It doesn’t need to be communicated in every email, every time. I just don’t want to look at it.
And by the way, as I’m scrolling through an email chain, maybe “What color did she say was available?” I scroll up, I’m looking at that nine times over the course of a dozen emails. Nobody wants to do that.
Part of what you mentioned about “I might not want to do business with this person, -.” Part of this hater attitude, which is the first thing that I wrote after describing what a hater is, for the sake of this podcast, at least, is that people don’t like haters that much. And then, therefore, you’re going to make less sales.
Mark S: Yeah. People buy from people, right? I mean, unless you’re completely an online business and no one ever hears your voice or sees you in person. It’s always you’re buying from someone. You’re not just buying an object.
Marc V: And if you’re the type of person that’s consistently negative; you’ve got a negative attitude and you’re not friendly to people, you’re always particularly brash, then people are not going to like you as much. You don’t have to be over the top friendly. There’s levels.
But generally speaking, the person that you shake hands with, you say hello, nice salutation, nice conversation at the end of it, they thank you. The conversation is over. The business deal is done.
Mark S: That’s all that’s required.
Marc V: That’s all that’s required. Everyone liked doing business with that person. If every time they do business with you, if your customer is scared to call you up to change the order, and you like that, you’re probably a hater.
Mark S: And they’re not going to use you next time.
Marc V: Yeah. And if they do, they do because they kind of have to, maybe, in a weird way. Maybe you’re the only person in town, or you deliver, or you’re cheap or whatever. Or their boss tells them they have to use you, or whatever it is.
But what’s going to happen to you is the moment that this opportunity can change for them, and they work with a nice friendly person, you’re going to lose the business.
Mark S: Yeah, you’re out.
Marc V: You’re going to be out, because what’s the benefit of working with you? We talked about sales and marketing, and all of this stuff. A guy washed my car yesterday. He came by the office. I happened to be in the front. “I’m just dropping off a flyer.”
I was like “My car’s thrashed. I would actually – this is great. How much?” He told me, and he was a really, really nice guy. So, when I was giving him this money, I was happy to give this guy my money, compared to another car wash guy that I’ve talked to in the past. Every time, I was like “Will you do me a favor, bro? You’re not doing me a favor right now. I can get a car wash anywhere. You’re not doing me any favors.”
Mark S: That’s a really good example. I was trying to think of a way to kind of characterize some people in the custom apparel business. They really feel like they’re artists, and that the work that they do is inviolate. Like “This is my work.”
So, if a customer came to you, and let’s say you’re doing a bling design, and they say “Oh, could I get that stone in a different color?” Or “Could you do this part bigger, or make these changes?” Then, they’re very offended by that, like “No. I don’t do that. I don’t do those kinds of things.”
They would probably put “No changes” in their email signature. They would probably do something like that.
So, that whole kind of “I’m doing you a favor by letting you buy something from me,” that is a definite hater attitude.
Marc V: That is, if somebody is afraid to call you to change an order, if they are uncomfortable in conversations with you. I’m sorry to say this, but oftentimes, a hater lives in their own bubble. They do not realize this about themselves, oftentimes.
A businessperson who oftentimes acts this way probably doesn’t realize that that signature – using them as an example – is an uncomfortable thing to read. They don’t realize. They feel “I’m getting the message out. It’s very clear.”
First, I’m not sure how clear it is, because it’s kind of choppy. But they don’t realize that this is uncomfortable. If I had the choice between the person whose signature was – I mean, three signatures; one of them is that one. The next one is “God bless America, and I’m proud of my son, who’s a Marine.” Then, the third one is “I’m here to do business for you. Anything I can do to help you, please let me know.”
The second two people are going to -.
Mark S: They’ve got a shot.
Marc V: They’ve got a shot. You look at this person, and you’re like “That person, they’re proud of their son. This other person, they just said that they want to help me.” And guess what? All three of them probably have the same return policy as you. They all have that.
Mark S: Yeah. They’ve been stiffed before.
Marc V: They’ve been stiffed, yeah. So, you have to consider that. A good way, in my opinion, a good way to judge yourself if you are a hater, because this is the time – because you’re already mad at me for saying this. That’s the thing.
Mark S: I will say if you’ve already stopped listening to this podcast, then you’re definitely a hater.
Marc V: And if you’re bothered by the things we’re saying, that’s another symptom. Another one is that when you go to a store, a retail store, or when you buy from somebody, whatever it might be, the ones that you like doing business with, look at how they do things, and why.
Why do you choose to go to this grocery store over this one? Why do you choose this apparel supplier over another one? List reasons. This is a good exercise, not only if you’re a hater, but this is an exercise to make sure you never become one, even if you aren’t.
“Why do I like shopping at this grocery store?” You write down all of the things, and then break those down. “The free samples. Why do I like the free samples? Well, I do get to try this new product. I like this. How could I do that for my customers? Maybe if I had shirts here that they could try on.”
Okay, alright. That’s a good one.
Mark S: I like the way you tied that in. That was good.
Marc V: Another one is another list here, about why haters don’t win, is a negative mood, a negative attitude will yield negative results over time. It’s like gambling. Haters sometimes win. Right? Individually. But over time, it’s like gambling. Over time, the house wins.
If you are negative and you’re a hater, and you bring a negative mood to things and it’s hard to do business with you, it doesn’t mean that – “Well, I’m making money now.” Over time, though, the chances of you achieving success versus the company who is pleasant to do business with and focuses on positive things – over time, the likelihood of their success is greater than yours.
Mark S: Or they’re going to enjoy it more, anyway.
Marc V: Yeah. Or they’re just going to be happier, making the same amount of money.
Mark S: They will be happier. That’s just the way it works. And look, I understand that people are geared with different focuses in life. A lot of people, people that I know, in an overall transaction, they will notice the worst part of it, and that’s what they will remember and carry forward. Because they expect every transaction to be perfect.
So, the one that there’s a mistake or something like that, they’ll be negative about that. If you have had 1,000 customers over the past five years in your business, and three of them have stiffed you on the order, or you’ve had a bad experience with them, and you developed these policies to address those three, then that’s a great way to tell that you’ve got a negative attitude toward business.
Because you are penalizing all of your potential customers, or at least mentally. You’re preparing for them to do the same thing. And the likelihood that it’s going to happen is low.
Marc V: Yeah. Part of that hater attitude is punishing everybody for one person’s grievances, and letting that negatively impact your business and how you do business, and your attitude. The equivalent of you had one fraudulent credit card transaction. Now you’ve stopped taking credit cards.
Mark S: Or you make it incredibly difficult for people to use their credit cards.
Marc V: Yeah. And that’s not going to work for you, especially because maybe most of your orders are $100 or less, if you’re a small business. Maybe you’re doing a lot of small orders and one $100 order was fraudulent. There were a bunch of other signs around it, anyway. The guy was shifty, when he was ordering. He was asking for weird things. He said he was using his brother’s credit card.
Mark S: You got that email that everybody gets, looking for a quote for 100 custom shirts. “Can you use my brother’s credit card in California, because I’m out of state?”
Marc V: Yeah. There’s a bunch of other shifty things, too. Most of your customers, you meet, you’ve seen them. They’re taking the card out of their wallet, very clearly.
But we’re talking about a negative mood, a negative attitude yields negative results. You had talked about a good example on the focus of things.
Mark S: Yeah. I’m a big Tony Robbins fan, Anthony Robbins fan. He did this great illustration of how different people focus on different things. I’ll do it right now.
Look around the room you are in right now, and find everything that’s red.
Marc V: Okay. I’m doing it.
Mark S: Okay. Take a good look. Now, close your eyes and say out loud everything that you saw that was blue. You can’t do it, right? You can’t do it.
Marc V: I actually could not picture a blue thing.
Mark S: That’s kind of the way it works.
Marc V: There’s a lot of blue right now.
Mark S: There’s blue all over. You’re wearing a blue shirt! So, that’s kind of the point. People naturally focus on one thing. If you are a hater, if you’re a negative person, or if you had one bad experience that just eats away at you, then that’s what you’re focused on.
You’re going to see that, or you’re going to see that potential, in every transaction that you have. So, the one time that somebody returns a shirt, the one time that somebody complains about a design, the one time that a supply vendor doesn’t have something in stock, those are going to cement your opinion. That’s what you’re going to notice about everything that happens that year.
It’s going to be “You know what? I remember that time I called somebody for support, and they didn’t get back to me for 48 hours.” Or “I remember that time I ordered something overnight from SanMar, and you know what? Somebody screwed up in the warehouse, and it went to the wrong place, and I had to work that out. I hate those companies!”
That’s because that’s what you are focused on.
Marc V: Yeah. And then, what you allow that negative thought, since you’re focused on it, you’re really hyper-focused on it, you allow it to hurt your business.
Mark S: It ends up in your email signature.
Marc V: Yeah, it ends up in your email signature. For example, you order from an apparel supplier. Let’s say that example. They were supposed to send it overnight. It went to the wrong address. The sticker went on the wrong box. Okay?
So now, “I’ll never order from them again.” Okay, fair. They made a mistake, unforgiveable to you. That’s going to happen.
However, they offered to refund it to you. They gave you the order for free. They tried to do some things to fix it. So, maybe you still want to do business with them. They didn’t seem to be unforgiveable. However, you’re still unforgiveable.
Now, you need to do an order for a customer. They have that garment available to be delivered the next day. However, since you refuse to do business with them, you’re going to go with a supplier that’s going to take two days, and now you’ve potentially lost a job.
Mark S: I have another story, and it goes along the lines of even nice guys like me can have hater attitudes.
Marc V: Alright. Go ahead.
Mark S: Because I have a specific example. I had a bad experience – I don’t even know if they’re still open or have stores. Sears – I had a bad experience at Sears. It was terrible, somewhere in the suburbs of Tampa, Florida. And I never did business with them again.
And even now, knowing rationally what it costs to be a hater, if they had something on sale for cheaper, or something that I needed, I would still go without, or buy it for more, somewhere else. And I have to tell you that this happened when my daughter was an infant, and she’s 32 right now. So, it’s been 32 years, and I haven’t been back inside a Sears for that reason.
It has nothing to do with anybody at the company now. It has nothing to do with the store or the products, or anything like that. It’s just that I’ve held onto a bad experience. In this case, at the cost of their business, because I spend money on appliances.
Marc V: They’re pretty much out of business because of it.
Mark S: Maybe that was it.
Marc V: It’s your fault. It’s the domino effect.
Mark S: So, you don’t want to, if the people that I had dealt with back then did not have a hater attitude, and were over the top with customer service, and really interested in helping me and working things out, and making sure that I’m satisfied, that would have never happened.
You don’t want me to be your customer from 32 years ago, because the thousands of dollars I may have spent on custom t-shirts over the years, that I didn’t spend with you, because you have a very restrictive policy or you didn’t treat me well on the phone, or I got my delivery late, and you had a bad attitude about it.
Any of those negative impressions that I got of your business that keeps me away, that’s going to hurt you in the long run.
Marc V: Like where I talked about that apparel example. You were not going to do business with them, and maybe very justified. No problem with that. “There are plenty of companies. I’m going to choose not to do business with them.”
However, you realize that if you projected these same negative things out. Maybe they made the mistake, they didn’t send it overnight. You called up to complain about it, or to find out. They gave you an attitude about it, and said “Sorry. Sometimes that happens. It’s part of what happens. We’re not going to do anything for you. By the way, we’re going to charge you an extra shipping charge, because now it has to be delivered from this wrong location to yours.”
So, they’re going to charge you for their – let’s just say worst case. And the person was rude to you, and they said to you “We don’t want your business anyway.” If you also project those negative things out to your customers, like just not care about what’s bothering them, not empathize, even if you have a policy.
“I understand that you couldn’t pay within 48 hours. The reason why I have that policy is because the prices on my garments change on a day-to-day basis. I hold the price for two days, but oftentimes, I try to buy garments – I quote things that are on sale. This way, I can give you a better deal. And they’re only on sale for a few days at a time, until they run out of stock, and they’re out of stock in a week on those, sometimes, or less. So, I can’t get it for that price anymore, and that’s why I can’t honor this for you.”
Mark S: I like that.
Marc V: “However, let me give you two solutions. One is if you love that garment, I can give you a little bit of a discount, just not as much as it was before. Or two is, let me give you two other garment options I can get to you for that same price today.”
Mark S: It’s a much better response.
Marc V: Rather than “Sorry. Well, I told you to pay within two days, and you didn’t. Now I’m sorry, I can’t do that for you.” If that’s your response to that, then basically you’re telling the customer “I know you need these shirts, and you’re going to buy them from me. It’s your fault.”
Mark S: While that may be true -.
Marc V: It probably is.
Mark S: You’re not going to earn a repeat customer.
Marc V: Yeah. Your chances are lower. And the next time, if they run into somebody else who says “The last time I ordered shirts, this is what happened,” and maybe that guy is me. “Well, you know how I would have handled it?” And then, I gave the explanation I did.
“So, you’re saying you would have just offered me a couple of other options. I would have probably picked another shirt.”
Mark S: Very true, yeah.
Marc V: So, we’ll move away from that. The next thing we have is -.
Mark S: Blame others, rather than learn lessons. I like that one a lot, because we talked about this in the last podcast, where if you make a mistake or you lack a certain skillset, or you’re not trained up on something enough, or you didn’t pre-order your supplies, or you didn’t have blanks in stock, or in some way, you’re just not ready to fill an order the way you described you would be able to.
A lot of people lift up their finger in the air, and start pointing it in different directions, trying to find someone else to blame. Where really, you’ve got to be responsible enough to take that information, and figure out what you need to do differently next time.
Marc V: Because oftentimes in life, in business and in life in general, when fingers can be pointed, oftentimes you can turn around and point it back at yourself, too. Like in the scenario, you needed supplies. You needed supplies desperately.
Mark S: Let’s use the classic example that means the most. You ran out of white ink.
Marc V: Yeah. You were really low on white ink, and you haven’t ordered any. Say you need it on a Friday, so you order it overnight. It leaves overnight. However, it does not arrive to you the next day. Right? So, why? We don’t know yet. We don’t know. You just didn’t get it.
You’re fuming, and you call up your supply company, and you just, for one, hater attitude – you start yelling at the random person who answers the phone, who had nothing to do with it. So, hater attitude number one, you start lashing out, and having a negative attitude immediately.
Then, it gets looked up, and the truck broke down. That’s what it says.
Mark S: The UPS truck.
Marc V: The UPS truck broke down, it says. Okay, so now “UPS is terrible! They’re the worst! That’s why I don’t use them in my company.”
Mark S: They deliver a bajillion packages. The nation runs mostly on UPS.
Marc V: Yeah. They are good. Not imperfect, just like every single company and person in the world. Now, you are “I told you guys not to use UPS. You should have used FedEx. UPS is terrible!” And you start pointing around. All of the fingers are pointing around. That’s how a hater would respond to that.
Then, they leave angry, and they display this, probably back to their customer that way, with an attitude. “I ordered it. You’re not getting it. If you have a problem with that, you can call them.”
Mark S: “Call this company.”
Marc V: “And tell them.”
Mark S: That’s a good point. It happens.
Marc V: However, though, while you’re pointing these fingers, yes, could the company have multiple shipping options? That would be ideal. That would be a great thing to work toward. Could UPS do something better, when a truck breaks down?
Mark S: They could.
Marc V: They could do something better, right? And just still give you what they promised. How hard are these things to implement? I don’t know.
Mark S: I have no idea.
Marc V: But these all can be done. They could do that better. But the finger goes back on you. “Well, what could I do, to make sure I never am in a situation where I’m going to run out of ink?”
Mark S: Yes. You could order ink.
Marc V: “What I should try to do is keep a minimum amount on hand. Then, when I get to that, that’s my zero. Six ounces is my zero. That’s when I reorder. Not like hovering, swishing around in the bottom of the bottle is when I order.”
Mark S: Now, this is not a list of excuses for a supply company not to fulfill your order on time. Because they are going to do the same thing. If they blamed UPS every time, because UPS breaks down, and they said “Hey, it’s UPS’ fault. It’s not ours. We can’t do anything.” Then, that would not be the best attitude toward that customer.
It might be that “It looks like UPS had some mechanical issues. Let’s try to figure out what we can do, to get you to finish this job.” Then, come up with options on how that can take place.
Marc V: Yeah. “We can ship another one out right now, to make sure you get it tomorrow, because I can do that. Here’s something I can do. I can do that,” or whatever it might be. Or “What we can do is we will fight UPS on behalf of you, so the extra $30 you paid, we’ll credit you back that. And we’ll take it up with UPS, to get that back.”
Mark S: That would be the right way for you to approach your customer in that situation, as well. “Listen, I’m having a problem with one of my suppliers. They weren’t able, through mechanical issues, to get me what I needed to complete your order on time. Here are the things that I’m going to do. I’m going to reorder this stuff. I’m going to make sure it’s overnighted to me, morning delivery. I’m going to open up on Saturday, to make sure I get it finished.”
Or “I’ve got a company that I work with in another part of the city, that can complete the order for us. I’m going to drive over there and do the quality control myself, just to make sure it goes. Then, I’m going to drive it out to your place.”
Marc V: What you’re doing is it’s not just all about blaming others and being angry, being a hater the whole time, and then projecting it out to your customer. Which again, that goes back to they might not want to come back to you because of how you handled it.
You turn around, and you start learning some lessons. “For one, what’s going to be my backup, for when I don’t have supplies, or the t-shirt? What’s a backup? Okay, I do know this company down the road,” for example.
Or “I attempt to never promise things to my customers on Friday, if I know I’m really squished on a deadline.”
Mark S: Honestly, go back to episode 62, which is the first in the trilogy on lessons in not failing. Take a look at that planning part again. Read that planning part again. This is what goes into your plan, is the reaction to when these things happen.
Marc V: Yeah. Haters also are quick to give up.
Mark S: They really are.
Marc V: That goes back to the “how to fail” one, again. But they throw in the towel really fast.
Mark S: Yeah, and they’ll give up on a variety of things. They’ll give up on their whole business, but they’ll also give up on potentially great customers. They’ll give up on great software.
We’ve talked about an example with Corel Draw earlier, where let’s say if you had a problem with that software four years ago, when it was running on Windows 98, and you didn’t like it then. So, you gave up on using that particular application, no matter what people say about how great it is for what you do. You’re not going to try it again, because you gave up on that.
Marc V: Yeah. Symptoms, like what to look for, look for in other people and yourself. A good example for me is if you ask somebody where is a good place to eat, or you’re driving down the road, and you ask about restaurants. If the person has a complaint about every single restaurant, or says there’s nowhere good to eat, chances are -.
Mark S: They’re a hater.
Marc V: Hater. There’s a very good chance. Now, I’ve been to tons of restaurants. I’ve had awesome experiences, and I’ve had times where my food came out after a long time, at my favorite restaurants. But what do you focus on?
If you are trying to go out to eat with somebody, and they will not go to like 12 places in town, “No, no. I won’t go there. I won’t go there, because of this.” They throw in the towel.
Mark S: And here’s the thing. If you’re that person, then you’re a hater. Luckily, you now have a good kind of diagnostic tool in this podcast, to figure out what the symptoms are, and some suggestions on how to curb that.
So, even if you’re naturally inclined to have a negative outlook, you’ve seen a little bit about focus. You understand a little bit more about the long-term damage of providing poor customer service, or just putting a negative face on your company and the business that you’re in. We’ve talked about the ramifications of being negative, when you’re dealing with talking to or negotiating with your suppliers.
It all comes back to kind of the same thing, that if you approach people with a negative attitude, like you’re a hater that we’ve described, then your business isn’t going to be as successful as it can be.
Marc V: Yeah. The one other one that I wanted to add in there was that haters oftentimes allow their pride to take over good decisions, or decisions that could help their business. A personal one that moved to a business one, like the example of a restaurant; your girlfriend or boyfriend or husband or wife loves this restaurant, but one time you went there and you asked for no tomatoes, and they put extra. Now, you’re never going to go again.
Now really, though, what negative is going to happen if you say “Well, I’m going to go. I know that they like it. I’m going to give them another shot.” The worst thing that happens is you have another bad meal, of the thousands of meals you’re going to eat this year.
Mark S: Right. You get too many tomatoes again.
Marc V: Yeah, the worst. Right? So, you apply this to your business, too. Sometimes, you go to your customer, and maybe just admit to them, “Hey, there was an issue. But you know what? Yes, UPS didn’t deliver this, but also, I didn’t do this. I want to make it up to you.” Like that.
Or you had bad dealings with a t-shirt manufacturer, but a customer really wants a shirt they only supply. So, you can have the pride and “I told myself I would never do it. I’m not going to give them the satisfaction.” But they were willing to help you out last time.
You call them up and you say “Hey, I’m going to give you guys another shot,” and they’re grateful for that. You hold onto the pride, and it comes along with the giving up. You’re not going to allow this stuff to happen, because that means whatever you think it means.
It can cost you business, it can cost you money, it can cost you time.
Mark S: Yeah. I like that a lot. So, we talked about what a hater is. We talked about they’re always a victim, they’re upset at other peoples’ success, they’re negative people. People don’t like them, so it will result in less sales. We talked about how a negative mood yields negative results.
We gave a couple of examples, why I never shop at Sears. We talked about Tony Robbins, and focusing on different things. We talked about blaming others, rather than learning lessons, giving up.
All of these things we bring up, so you can identify those tendencies yourself. You can kind of go through your business and your business practices. Go through your plan for an upcoming business, and look for those negative attitudes. Look to whether Marc Vila and Mark Stephenson would identify you as a hater.
And you can make changes to your existing business or your future business, in advance, and be more successful because of it.
Marc V: Yeah. Well, I think that this is an important thing to evaluate, and try to improve on with your business. The attitude for business should always be an effort to whatever you define as success. So, if it means making more money or having more customers, or working less or working smarter, not harder.
Whatever your definition of success is, if you’re allowing a negative attitude, a hater attitude, to stop that from happening, to slow you down from reaching your goal, then you’re only causing negative results onto yourself.
Mark S: You know what I hate most about this episode, what I’m most disappointed in?
Marc V: Tell me.
Mark S: The people that needed to hear it turned it off about ten minutes in.
Marc V: That’s why it’s important for you, as the folks who have listened, to say “You know what? I don’t want to be this. I want to be successful, and I don’t want to allow myself to be a roadblock.” You’ve got to pass that on to the others, the folks you do business with.
Mark S: You should share this in all of the negative reviews that you put on Google and TripAdvisor!
Alright, guys. Thanks very much for paying attention to us. This has been episode 63 of the Custom Apparel Startups podcast. Please share this episode with people that you think it would help. You can join us on the Custom Apparel Startups Facebook group, and you can learn some lessons here, and communicate with us when you think that we’ve done a good job, and that you’ve made changes in your business because of it.
Marc V: Great! Well, let’s do it.
Mark S: Okay! Thanks again. This has been Mark Stephenson, from ColDesi.
Marc V: And Marc Vila, from Colman and Company.
Mark S: You guys have a good business!