Pickiness is next to…annoying?

This morning I’ve been cleaning up some leftovers from reconciling our VISA bill. As the Company Mom, I do the cleaning up (I just don’t do windows). And because I seem to be the picky sort and these leftovers are costing us money, I get annoyed. I try not to let my annoyance shine through as I deal with the people/companies involved. Sometimes it’s hard, but I’ve found that if I am clear in stating my concern and in making a specific request, and maintaining a high degree of professional “niceness”, I get done what needs to be done.

In the overall scheme of things, if I let it ride, it would only cost our company a few hundred dollars. Only a few hundred? Our CFO, Jeff, probably just fell to the floor gripping his chest for that one. But it seems this is what some companies count on, the “only a few dollars or cents” mind set, that we are too busy to be either dollar foolish or penny wise. (For those of you younger than 35, it’s an old saying from when pennies actually were worth something.) In this economy, it might seem foolish to waste time tracking down the pennies, even when they add up to dollars. After all, isn’t our time worth more than that?

Yes and no. Our time is worth every penny we put into it and every penny we receive back. While some corporations might be cavalier in how they spend their money—and ours—we can’t be. We owe it to ourselves, to our vendors and especially to our clients to pay attention. If we are so nonchalant that we are struggling to make ends meet, or if we don’t care that we have been over-charged because we can simply pass it on to the client, we just wrote ourselves a ticket to failure.

This past year (has it been a year already?) our country, indeed much of the world, has struggled to make it through one of the biggest down-turns in decades. The horror stories of businesses closing, lost jobs, foreclosed homes and displaced families continue even now, even as a glimmer of economic recovery peeks over the horizon. We at Imagine Marketing can look with pride at what we’ve accomplished in the past year, and that many of our clients have continued to move forward with our help. Our vendors remain loyal and continue to provide quality products and service to their customers, keeping them in business. It’s a balancing act to be sure, but it’s working.

So I will keep poring over the statements, examining the invoices, making the phone calls and expecting phone calls back. If a client calls to find out why a certain item is included in their invoice, I will do my best to explain it or at least pass it along to their account executive for clarification. And we’re going to continue to be penny wise and dollar wise, as we move into 2010, still going strong and still offering our clients the best service we know how.

Sue Burkholder is the Company Mom for Imagine Marketing.
Contact Sue at

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