Instant Gratification vs. Delayed Multiplication

Home / credibility / Instant Gratification vs. Delayed Multiplication



My phone rang and I instantly picked up.  I did not recognize the number but I wasn’t perturbed by this.  Our training and recent exposure has given us the opportunity of speaking to many people so many unknown numbers had been calling.

I picked up and exchanged pleasantries with the lady on the other side of the phone but I must say I wasn’t prepared for the next aspect of the conversation. “Hello Mr. Owodunni,” she said.

“Yes that’s me.”

“You subscribed to our magazine a few months ago.  We wanted to let you know that your subscription ended 3 months ago but you have not paid. We have been sending you magazines for the past 3 months. Please we need you to pay for this as soon as possible.”

I was amazed and horrified by the bold, warped crookedness of the company!  I immediately stopped what I was doing and gave her my full attention. 

“Excuse me madam,” I said, “I subscribed for a certain amount of time and paid in full for that period. How can you send magazines to people after their subscription time is over? Besides, there was nothing on your sign-up sheet that indicated that this would happen!”

She quickly responded, “I’m sorry sir I wasn’t the person in charge of your account.  Please when can you pay your debt to the magazine?”

I almost fell off my chair! Had this magazine reached a level of desperation or bankruptcy that it was cooking up all kinds of strategies to extort money from its readers?  I was livid but decided not to show it over the phone.  I composed myself and responded.

“Send me your account number and I will pay.  However I need to state this: I am no interested in your magazine. Please delete and completely remove me from your mailing list.  I do not want the magazine again.”

I got off the phone. Within a minute, she sent me a text message with their account details. 

Perhaps the lady on the phone was secretly rejoicing – she had just made some money for her company. But she had just lost a contact – permanently. 

Instant Gratification vs. Delayed Multiplication

We are all focused on making that sale, sealing that deal, getting that money and moving on to the next prospect, but answer this: would you rather chase a goose for 1 immediate golden egg OR cultivate it for 250 golden eggs?

According to the world’s number one car sales man and author of How to sell anything to anybody, Joe Girard, a single individual is a link to about 250 other persons whether directly or indirectly. 

In other words, one successful sale and positive impression could reach 250 persons over a period of time.  On the flip side, one unsuccessful sale can reach and negatively influence over 250 people.

This magazine company was so focused on extracting a buck or two from people that they were willing to scam me of three months payment. They lost me and they lost many more people that I could have recommended the magazine to. 

A few months ago, I subscribed for a new internet service provider. I was so impressed with their service that I literally mentioned their company name to every friend that complained of their internet service. Within one month, I had spread the word to over 20 people, several of whom subscribed. 

So as you sell your business, here is today’s question: Are you doing things that might bring you revenue now but risk losing your clients OR are you looking for ways to make sure your clients are satisfied so that you receive delayed yet eventual multiplication? Assess your business and tell us what you plan to change in the coming week.