Daniel Tardy: License To Sell

No one cares about your snow.

Posted in Business by elephanthunters on February 17, 2010

Most of the country has been experiencing more winter weather than usual.

Weather changes things

  • It’s a hassle
  • Things get wet
  • ER rooms & body shops get busy
  • People run late
  • Flights get canceled

Guess what?

It snows in the winter.  This should not come as a surprise.  Dave Ramsey led our staff in a great thinking exercise this week about staying focused midst of a storm.  He reminded us that while it’s snowing here in Nashville, our 8:30 am conference call with Tampa Bay doesn’t care.

We tend to let off the gas on our commitments when we feel like we have a ‘legitimate excuse’ (legitimate defined as something out of our control).

Sure, people will understand.  They just don’t care.

It snows every week

This week it’s snow.  Next week the kids are sick.  Then it’s tax season and, and, and…

Our customers want us to bat 1,000.  Our lack of service doesn’t become resolved in their mind when we inform them that we’ve had a crazy day.  Excellence may seem like an ambitious mantra in the midst of distractions beyond our control.

Well, your competition certainly hopes you feel this way.

We’ve all used this one:

“My dog ate my homework.”

When I tried using this line, my algebra teacher told me I shouldn’t keep a pet that caused me to fail an assignment, then pulled out her grade book and wrote F.

Customers don’t write F, they just leave.

7 Responses

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  1. Monte Bottens said, on February 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm


    Thanks for that nice grace-filled kick in the pants! It is just what I needed. I tend to overbook myself and run the risk of the same customer satisfaction that airlines receive when they overbook themselves.

    In college, my band director and orchestra directors had key phrases that have really stuck with me. Dr. Culver would say “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late!” In 4 years i only had the pleasure of hearing this once…it worked very well! Dr. Lambrecht’s favorite phrase was “It is understandle, but not acceptable” This quote, like your post, will rock you to your core.

    You are making a difference and winning the game. Keep it up!


  2. Ramona said, on February 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    WOW! I am completely using this blog post in my next staff meeting. I have one member of my team who always seem to have a snow day or some other issue that prevents her to put the clients first. I have decided to challenge her to either put on her snow boots or leave the company. Thank you so much for the great post, Daniel, I am always learning or thinking about how to use them in my own business.

  3. Rafael Perez said, on February 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Love It!! Should be a daily focus and understanding! Customer service is the one chance you get to sell yourself or product. Thanks Daniel!

  4. Zack Stroup said, on February 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Great Post! We all need to kill our “Snow” excuses and keep our word! Keep On Inspiring Us with Your Writing!

  5. John Felkins said, on February 18, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Too many people focus on inputs. Outputs are all that matter! Great post Daniel.

  6. Henry Brown said, on March 23, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Great post, Daniel!

    I dealt with this at my day job’s office last week. The customer doesn’t need to know what we *might* have to go through to get him his order on time. Don’t bother him with *our* details. Just tell him when he will receive his product, not how we are busting it to get it to him.

    • elephanthunters said, on March 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm


      That’s a good point. It can be frustrating when our customers don’t get to see how hard we have to work just to take care of simple requests.

      BUT – it’s certainly clear to them when we don’t get it done and make excuses about it.

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