So—there I was in my brand new job working in commercial real estate.
And one of my first tasks was to collect late rent.
Keep in mind that I was fresh off the pole, living with my mom and working for my Dad in the dead of winter in Minneapolis.
Gone were the late nights, fast cash and total work flexibility. And little did I realize gone were the days where I could say ANYTHING to a customer and never get in trouble for it.
I found myself one day staring at a blank computer screen trying to figure out what to say to people who owed me (the company) money.
So I typed in what I would want to say to them if I were speaking to them in person.
A few minutes later, out of the printer popped a rent collection letter.
I was so proud of myself for writing my first official business correspondence!
It went something like this:
Your February 2002 rent in the amount of $895.00 is now past due. Pay this immediately or you will be evicted pronto.
Beaming, I showed it to my dad, who did not beam back.
Instead he said, “Honey, you might want to soften it up a bit. While we do want our rent money, we also don’t want hate mail or a postal situation.”
“Oh, sorry Dad,” I replied (in a VERY sarcastic voice), “I didn’t exactly go to the business writing school for ex-dancers.
In my previous career if a dude didn’t pay up, I’d threaten him with 10 punches from an over-grown leather-necked bouncer. That usually worked.
And the few times it didn’t, I’d chase him out into the parking lot until I got my money.
Or there was that one time when I tried to track down a customer at his hotel to see if I could publicly embarrass him for not paying me. . . ”
My dad sighed and thanked heaven that I was such a good sales hustler–and no longer a stripper.
(By the way– these tactics are NOT in Think Like a Stripper. These tips will be in my next 9 books – DON’T Think Like a Stripper: Volumes 1-9.)
On that fateful day 11 years ago, my dad handed that letter back to me and said, “Please, try again.”
I did of course. And came up with a letter that was not only far sweeter—but that got me the rent I was owed without causing a ‘situation’!
(You know the old saying about catching more flies with honey. . .)
And here I am 11 years later with dozens if not hundreds of business lessons under my stilettos.
And one of the MOST important of these?
Before you write ANY business communication, to a prospect, a customer, on your blog or social media, or anywhere else: consider whether it is pushy—or persuasive.
Before you hit send – or publish – ask yourself simple questions :
#1 Would I want to read this if someone sent it to me?
#2 Does it make me feel AMAZING?
#3 Does it make me want to take ACTION?
And bonus question!
#4 How is this relevant to them? How will it help them?
Get those pieces right and you’ll be whipping up masterful marketing messages in no time.