True stories from Jeffrey’s e-mail files

True stories from Jeffrey’s e-mail files

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



True stories from Jeffrey’s email files

Yes, they pour in from all over the world. Horror and heroic stories about great and pitiful service. Unedited except for grammar and spelling, here are a few eye openers that will get your scissors snipping to send these lulu’s on to associates and friends.

Dear Jeffrey, I have been reading your columns for a while now. However, something just happened to me that I had to write in about. I love Rosati’s (franchise) chicken parmesan sandwiches. Today our office decided to order Rosati’s for lunch. I called the order in and was told that I needed to call back. Why you may ask? Their computers were down. Understanding that computers have permeated every crevice of our existence, I tell them that I will call back. Then I started to think. Do the computers control the ovens? Are pencil and paper so foreign to their imaginations that they couldn’t write my order down and call me back later, or just deliver the food as if nothing happened? What is the world coming to? If I were purchasing something technical I could understand. All I wanted was a basic chicken parmesan sandwich, hold the computer, extra customer service. Yours truly, Thad.

JG comment: What did we do before computers were invented? Does anyone remember? Not only is this story a classic. It’s also a classic reminder to management to train employees for “Plan B.”

Yesterday I was at Besaw’s, a wonderful restaurant in Northwest Portland, for breakfast. It was a beautiful day and the restaurant was very busy. As it was a leisurely Saturday my friend and I were in no hurry but I did notice that two couples who sat down after us were eating as we still waited for our food. I casually mentioned it to our server, and she said that there had been an order mix up and she was sorry. We really did not think much of it. I was more curious than anything.. Then we were served our breakfast by the manager who apologized and said that our breakfast was on them! We told her that wasn’t necessary and she said that it was already taken care of!!! I have always thought it was an outstanding restaurant, today they proved it. So I think they deserve one of your awards!!! Thanks! Dee

My reply: Dee thanks for your letter you are correct, they deserve an award. Most restaurants would have given you the traditional, “sorry about that.” Instead, this restaurant (for about two dollars worth of food) has an advocate, and two customers for life. Not a bad investment.

JG comment: Saying you’re sorry, and DOING something to prove you’re sorry, is the difference between satisfied customers and loyal customers.

Dear Jeffrey, The following is a perfect example for what you preach. They

need to read your column. Wednesday was my Karen’s birthday. Oh, yeah, Karen is my key contact at my biggest customer. Pretty big deal. It is 4:10pm, she usually leaves around 5:00pm. I called a florist to get flowers and plant, anything! Their response “We stop delivering at 4:00.” I said “OK”. and click. I called the next one on the list. “Yes we can get that out way before five. I will charge your account Thank you.” They didn’t even hesitate. They treated it as if I was giving them a week to deliver the flowers. This was a great ending to my moment of stress. I hope you can find this story useful. Thanks for all of you’re advice. A happy customer, Jay

JG comment: It amazes me how many businesses refuse to take “yes” for an answer, give away chance after chance to their competition, and then complain about how the competition is killing them. Duh.

Jeffrey, I can’t believe what I just heard. I called MCI regarding some calling card calls in dispute that appeared on my bill. I had called last month, and they gave me instructions on what to do… all of which I did….and I would either receive a credit or someone would get back with me. Naturally, neither of those things happened. So I called this morning and had a lengthy conversation with a gentleman who said at one point…this is still mind boggling to me…”it is not our corporate policy to give out our customer relations number.” I made him repeat it to me and he did…that is in fact their policy not to give that number out. The policy is to fax them, and if they need to they will get back to you. I explained that I did that last month and no one got back to me and I wanted a name and number. Nope, against company policy…can’t give customers the customer relations number….simply unbelievable. John

JG comment: Management is working overtime to figure out rules and policies that drive customers to the competition.

Got a good one? Got a bad one? Send it to I will read

every one of them, and thank you personally. Who knows, you may get to reward one of the outstanding few heroes of service or the satisfaction that

millions are reading your story in print.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is

Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy

Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to

1999 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document

without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer o 704/3331112