Will You be Wallypipped This Year?
How to Stay on Top of the Game
By Paul Bieber
First, a little history. Wally Pipp was a major league first baseman for
the New York Yankees from 1915-1925. He was the American League home run
champion in 1916 and 1917. Wally was a journeyman player, playing in 136
games or more in each season with the Yanks. The Yankees, with Pipp, won
the pennant in 1921 and 1922, and the World Series in 1923.
In the summer of 1923 the Yankees signed a local boy as a pinch hitter.
This boy sat on the bench, getting to play in only 23 games during the
next two years, always as a pinch hitter.
On June 2, 1925, the veteran Pipp told his manager he was tired and had
a headache. The manager looked down the bench and saw the boy whose name
he could hardly remember. The manager told him to get his glove and go
play first. The boy was Lou Gehrig and he didn’t sit down on the bench
for the next 15 years, playing in 2,130 consecutive ball games. Pipp’s
career as a Yankee was over.
Suggestions for Staying a Mvp
Being “pipped” or “wallypipped” became verbs in the ’30s, being used when
someone or some company was left out of their own future.
no customer who is guaranteed to come back to you next time. You have
to be on the top of your game every day."
This happens every day to companies across
the country. A steady customer calls you up and asks you to do an emergency
repair. You say you can’t get there for a couple of days. They look in
the yellow pages and … you get pipped.
A customer asks if you carry a certain type of product. You say you don’t
and suggest they try another vendor. Guess what? You are about to be pipped.
There is no customer who is guaranteed to come back to you next time.
You have to be on the top of your game every day. So what do you do? Do
you take a money-losing job just to stay on with a customer? Do you bump
someone else from your schedule?
Here are some ideas that may prevent you from being wallypipped:
• A customer wants a job done now and you don’t have time. Do not tell
your customer you can’t do it. Call another glass shop and sub the work
to them. Tell your customer you will get it taken care of for them. Bill
your customer yourself and pay your sub. Keep a list of glass companies
in your area that you trust to do your work—and offer them the same cooperation
when they call you.
• A customer wants a product you don’t carry. After you offer them similar
products and they won’t bite, get them the product they want. If they
want it that bad, someone will do the work to get it for them—it might
as well be you. Buck this up the line to your fabricators and distributors
to get the product for you. You may quote a high price for this extra
service; you deserve it, and your customer should know he is paying for
a special product.
• A customer calls and you tell her you will get back to her in a couple
of days with the answer. No advice will help you … you
will be pipped.
• A competitor undercuts you on a bid, trying to steal your customer.
The customer gives you the option of matching the bid. You have to gamble
here. If the “other guy” is unreliable and weak, it might be a good bet.
If he is reliable, take the job at his price, and learn how to do things
with a lower overhead. This may be a real wake-up call for you.
• A customer leaves a message on your phone to call about a problem. You
put it off for a day or two because it is unpleasant. And, your phone
number will now be 1-800-wpipped.
You get the picture. Don’t screw-up. Customers are too valuable.
Paul Bieber has 30 years in the glass
industry, including 21 years as the executive vice president of Floral
Glass in Hauppauge, N.Y., from which he retired in 2005. Mr. Bieber’s
opinions are solely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of
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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.