October 2, 2008 at 9:14 pm #1336
I just put about 20 hours, and a whole lot of money, into a failed mailing. I weighed the package at the post office, three times, but the scale was wrong and 99 people got packages from me with postage due.
I don’t have the money, the time or the “stuff” to do it over. It’s just ruined and I can’t think, right now, of any way to salvage it.
October 13, 2008 at 6:04 pm #5335
Angie, I’m excited about your writer’s info product. Looking forward to hearing more when it’s ready. 🙂
October 13, 2008 at 3:01 am #5339
I felt like I needed to give everyone an update. Not much has happened with the group I sent my messed-up mailing to, but that in general got me thinking more about passive income.
Last week my coach asked about an info product for writers I had started, and encouraged me very strongly to put everything else aside (that I could) and finish the product. She wants to market it, and knows a lot of big names who will (she thinks) market it.
I was able to focus all my energy on that, and we’re talking (my coach and I) tomorrow about how to move forward with it.
This could be a very, very big move for me, and it only happened because something shook my faith in continuing as a service provider, or at least got me to think in another direction.
October 7, 2008 at 12:10 am #5338
Okay, I have to post my update.
So far, I’ve had only the one really ugly encounter with anyone about this. Still hoping it will work out that this mailing will get me some business.
By opening myself to figure out how this was good, I’ve refocused on some opportunities to create more residual income, and have had a lot of opportunities come to me to make more money doing what I’m already doing, and position myself for the future.
Things are good, overall. I saw my doc today for my sinus problems, and learned some things about why, until now, this problem has happened every year for a while, and how to prevent a fall cold from turning into this kind of sinus infection. I also got some guidance on how/when to get back into my fitness program without pushing too hard after this little problem. And, of course, I got some antibiotics to clear the infection and get me back to health. I’ve been pretty healthy, mostly, for a while, and I admit I got spoiled to that, too.
I think I really was attracting some time to rest, and regroup. I spent some time today thinking about how I can build rest and regrouping into my regular life, without having to be sick to take a day off. So this has been a very helpful time.
Thanks again, everyone.
October 5, 2008 at 5:34 am #5337
Thank you all. I’m really seeing some blessings, and what I ended up doing first, because I could do it almost immediately, was sending an “I’m sorry” postcard announcing I’m making a donation to Food for the Hungry as a meaningful way of repaying the postage. Actually $50, whereas the postage was only $15 total. It just felt right. So now those people get help, I get to show that I’m a caring person, and, I had some time to think about multiple streams of income and work on ways to bring in more than one cash stream so I don’t freak so badly if something goes wrong with one.
The great thing about that is that I’m opening a resume branch of my writing business. My assistant can have as much of that work as she wants, and I’ll pay her basically to run it. If we need more writers, they’ll be paid less and I’ll make more off of their work. And it will be basically passive for me, because I’m giving the management duties to Nicki.
This is great because Nicki is a young mom, working at home, needing flexibility with stability, and I can give it to her, while making money, and while keeping her available to help me in the main business as well.
It keeps getting better.
Thank you ALL.
October 4, 2008 at 12:50 pm #5342
I spoke to my girlfriend last night and asked hypothetically without mentioning a forum etc. to protect your privacy.
She said that scales can certainly be off and that they need to be corrected. The post office clerk would have based the postage on the scale and then someone down the line in the shipping process reweighed the package and got a different weight.
You could be helping hundreds or even thousands of people by starting the process to get the scale recalibrated. Think of all the people you could be helping especially with Christmas not far off and all those packages that go out. Unless a complaint is made often the mistake goes on for a long time.
Hey this blessing keeps on giving – this is really fun figuring out how a ‘mistake; or a ‘problem’ can be turned around to help so many and be such a great blessing. I feel it is almost a party game contest. I’m realizing that mistakes are not the end of the world!!!!
Best to you
October 4, 2008 at 3:52 am #5332
Very interesting insights, Terrie. I would have taken a bit longer to come up with something along those lines, but it is a wonderful blessing in disquise.
October 4, 2008 at 2:49 am #5334
Terrie — you’re AWESOME! What great ideas!
I’d add a little something to asking for testimonials… ask your clients for referrals, too. They may know a friend or colleague who needs exactly what you offer — and who wants to hire an honest person who does the right thing.
October 4, 2008 at 1:04 am #5341
I just thought of something else. When the 99 customers are treated nicely and are happy campers then ask them for a testimonial on how you were customer focused and so helpful and when the extra mile for them Once you get testimonials then do two things with them. One put them up on your website and also get a testimonial sheet with all the compliments etc and the next time you send out a promotional send out a copy of the testimonials. People love to hear from other people like themselves about their thoughts on how the company is treating them. Testimonials will increase your potential for rate of return for product purchases. Oh yea the customers that give testimonials that are listed online will also feel more of an attachment to your company and an investment in our advancement since everyone loves to have their opinion asked and their name in print.
It is the mistake that keep giving opportunities and blessings.
Can anyone else think of some other opportunities and blessings that can come form this?
Just a thought or two.
Bet to ya
October 4, 2008 at 12:54 am #5340
I’m not real clear about the weight etc concerning your project but if the weight was done at the US Post office then I can see if there is any recourse for you regarding expense. My sense is that there might be. The postal clerk may be responsible for the weight verification of all packages being sent out of the post office. I’M NOT SURE
My best friend has over 25 years in the post office and I’ll talk to her if you want me to and I have your permission and see what she says. There may be different approaches with the post office and I would think that you would want to know as many approaches as possible and what the benefits are to you if that is an option before going into your local post office with THEIR problem. If the scales were off, etc that is not your issue but it is THEIR issue.
You can contact me more with the particulars and all perhaps off forum if you are interested so I can give more info to my friend. The post office may not want to tell you of all the benefits and rights you may have concerning this. Getting someone outside of your post office that has some inside knowledge can be a good resource. It is certainly legal for me to inquire as to what she thinks may be options for you to consider.
— do I have a mailbox here or something? I’ve seen postings where people talk about posting off line and PM -private message? not sure I’m set up for that but if I am then message / email me or what ever — I’m not that very savvy on this sort of stuff. I don’t do much forum stuff so I guess each one is different.
Oh well we’ll contact how ever that is to be if it is to be.
Any way I was thinking. This could really work out for you as a great marketing and publicity approach.
One of the great ways to get people’s attention is to admit a mistake. People slow down when reading email subject lines when the subject line says OOOPPPSSS I made a mistake or a mistake was made. They frequently more likely to open that email just to see what the mistake is. It’s called the rubber necking phenomenon. Just like folks slow down and ‘rubber neck’ an auto accident to see what happen.
In marketing it is often an intentional marketing tool. I personally don’t like to manipulate people with a contrived ploy but in your case it could be a honest to God verifiable mistake. If you can show that a REAL mistake was made and it can be verifiable then you can demonstrate that you are a VERY RELIABLE & HONEST transparent business person who does not do ‘come on’ advertising but sincerely want to serve your customers and see if the post office will reimburse you for the error in postal delivery.
You could even put out a PRWire press release for free that states that a mistake was made and that your company will be correcting this mistake with all customers that received the package postage due. Stress you are a small business with big honesty and customer service. In the PR Wire press release tell how you value your customers and how customer service is so important to your company. Put it on your website as well. Show good faith and willingness to go beyond the basic and offer them something of good value that you have say a white paper on what ever your business does or a related service and/or offer a 15% coupon off their next purchase or something that is appropriate to your business etc. All those non-customers who read abut this small business with big customer service will more likely want to check out your website to see what this special company is all about. A percentage of those that check out your website will become customers. Offer all those that see your press release that you will share the white paper with them as well for reading your press release and coming to your website. Make the white paper on an Opt-In basis with a required first name and email address on your website that you can then use as a customer follow-up list and promotional list. Tis will also raise your Search Engine Optimalization ranking for your website as well with the extra site visitors.
This can be a HUGE opportunity for you . Turn this event into a DISASTER BLASTER opportunity for your business!
This could be really great for you. Not only are you showing those 99 people that you care about them personally but you are getting a free public relations bonus to share that you not only correct problems and go the extra mile to announce it publicly that show how great you are with your customer service. Possibly you might get the second mailing or the price difference for free through the post office.
Did you know that auto companies hate to have government mandatory recalls on something with their cars etc but they LOVE to have VOLUNTARY recalls on a small problem since it gets all those customers that normally do not come to the show room and service department into the business and provides ‘positive correct’ action and customer good will. The customers feel they are getting something for free and that it is for their benefit. They may get an oil change while there or check out the new cars for the year. Lot of benefits.
You could turn this into a blessing in so many ways. Think outside the box of the old faded path of the ordinary folk with stale half eaten peanut butter sandwich and find all those rabbits just sitting there waiting for you to be creative in your marketing approach on this so call ‘problem’ BLESSING. Common make some lemon aid out of this big old mailing lemon.
Best to ya
October 3, 2008 at 11:35 pm #5336
I am feeling better, and I had a funny realization that I’m spoiled 🙂 Seriously, these laws have been very good to me. I’ve worked hard, and I’m tired and currently physically ill, but I’ve also had good fortune. And I’m very grateful for that.
Because I’ve had some kind of sinus problem for almost 2 weeks, I haven’t been at my best physically, and my moods got very unstable as a result. Yesterday and today I went through some of the worst depression I’ve been through since I got out of the hospital in May of 2000.
But today, as I chose to just let the mood flow, I did start to feel better. I’m very fortunate in that I have an assistant who held off my clients while I was sick, and got some of my work done for me. And I’ve had time to rest, which has been sparse lately.
And time to think about what I really want out of growing the business–which mainly is more resources, including not only money but time.
And finally my sinuses are clearing, and I’m feeling a LOT better. I got some rest today and am on the road to recovery.
October 3, 2008 at 1:28 am #5333
Angie, sometimes we can’t salvage a particular challenge… but we can choose to keep our thoughts clear and faithful so that we can find the good in things, even if the good isn’t evident right away. There may be a blessing here, but you might have to allow some time for you to fully receive it (that’s the law of gestation talking).
I want to take this chance to say that I’m so impressed with how you’ve grown your business. I only know what you report on the forums, of course, but each one of those reports shows such incredible financial growth based on a clear and heartfelt understanding of the laws. 🙂
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