If you have a complaint, don't wait

Published: Mar 14 , 2013
Author: John Leehman

I recently stayed at a national hotel chain that I use regularly. On the third night of my stay, I requested a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call from the front desk to allow time for a morning workout before checking out and teaching my final negotiating skills course. Unfortunately, the front desk never called the next morning and I awoke at 7:10 am. In the next 20 minutes, I showered, packed, checked out and rushed to my 7:30 meeting. Obviously, I was poorly prepared and not pleased!

Way back, before my Scotwork days, I would've vented my anger vociferously at an innocent desk clerk, who would have probably given me a polite "I'm sorry" and perhaps a small discount. Neither would have satisfied me because the apology would have done me no good and the discount would have gone to my client, who was paying the bill but who was never inconvenienced at all.

But these days I develop a wish list for these inconveniences, and know that I'll only be satisfied if I propose the solution.  In this case, I wanted a wish-list item that would cost the hotel little but would offer me a personal reward commensurate with my inconvenience.  I asked for and received 20,000 reward points from the hotel, enabling me to get a good night's sleep at a place of my choosing in the future!  And it allowed the desk clerk to keep the room revenue and a good customer.

 If you have a complaint, propose your solution.  You'll usually get what you want and avoid bad feelings all around.

John Leehman is Associate Tutor for Scotwork North America 


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About the author:

John Leehman
Say you’ve spent the past 35 years building nationally recognized companies in the construction, fashion, health &amp; wellness, and consumer products industries. And by <i>successful</i>, we mean the kind of success that grabs the attention of <i>Inc.</i> magazine, which recognizes you as the “leader of one of the best small businesses in America to work for.” Isn’t your next logical move to ease back, relax, and reflect — to bask a bit in your accomplishments? Not according to John...

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Latest Blog:

Jumping the Shark

My client was sharing with me a negotiation he was involved in that was, as he put it, “jump the shark” worthy. He was very enthusiastic about it. In fact, he was hopeful that it was going to lead to more opportunities for him. He said his client thought the negotiation was “jump the shark” worthy too. As I listened to his positivity and enthusiasm, I started to realize that his definition of “jump the shark” is very different from mine. Quoting Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, I told him, “I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means.” A panicked expression came across his face as he realized what it meant for his negotiation, and he quickly transitioned into techniques for avoiding the sharks altogether.

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