Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

Today is Friday, so this post is on interpersonal competence.

If you’ve been reading this blog this week, you know that I conducted a launch campaign for my new book, “Straight Talk for Success.”  I had several partners who helped me with the launch.  Each of them offered a downloadable bonus to help me entice people to purchase a copy of "Straight Talk".

You can still take advantage of this offer and receive the bonuses.  Simply go to http://www.StraightTalkForSuccessBook.com/booklaunch.

The day after the launch, I received a copy of an e mail from Lorraine Cohen, one of my partners.  We had an unhappy customer.  The customer’s e mail read…

I ordered the book you recommended today. I have tried to get my free
items but they are all on the net and I have no clue how to download them.
I thought I was getting printed books. I feel very gypped.  I have
tried to download them but my computer is small and not able to do this.
You should have told people this      Rosie

Lorraine responded:

Dear Rosie,
I regret you feel upset about your purchase regarding the bonuses. All bonus items are typically downloads or sent via the internet. Rarely if ever are they in book form to be mailed. Campaigns such as these are run this way as a rule and I am not aware that the sales page did not indicate they were all downloads.
I will pass on your email to Bud to see how he can help you access your bonuses.

At first, I was a little annoyed; “Anyone who buys things on the internet should know that bonuses are downloads, not hard copy,” was my first thought.  But then my interpersonal competence kicked in, and I took responsibility for myself.  I realized that I could have been more specific about the bonuses being downloads.  It was up to me to make this situation right.

I responded to Rosie, copying Lorraine, with this e mail.

First of all, thank you for purchasing "Straight Talk for Success".  Second, I’m sorry if you felt misled about the bonuses. 
If you send me an e mail with the bonuses you want, I will download and print them and mail them to you.  Also, I will send you hard copies of two of my other books: "4 Secrets of High Performing Organizations" and "Using Values to Turn Vision Into Reality."
All the best,
Bud Bilanich

I wasn’t sure what to expect, then I got this e mail from Rosie.

Dear Mr. Bilanich:
Thank you so much for answering my e mail. You are extremely kind. I purchased this book as I really wanted the bonuses. I am old and unable to walk, but I have a business, and I am just trying to get on the internet with a website.     www.rosiesbestofhealth.com   I have gotten no response to my site, and I know it needs work, and I thought your book and bonuses would be a big help to me. I had no idea you had to download them, and I am unable to do that as my computer is just a simple one, with e mail. My daughter runs a dog rescue, and has also just started a web site to help animals with nutrition. It is www.fluffydog.net. I want to share your book with her. I want you to know I appreciate your kindness more than you will ever know. I would like to pay you for your time to do this, and the postage. Just tell me the amount and where to send the check, and I’ll get it out right away. I would like quite a few of them:
Peggy McCall
Nancy Marmolejo
Lydia Ramsey
William Arruda
Roger Parker
Bobbi Benson
Diane Craig
Gary Blair
Kathleen Gage
Joe Capista
David Riklan

Your kindness means more to me than you will ever know. I am so looking forward to reading your book, and when I get done I will write you and tell you how I liked it. I want to have a successful business on the internet. I have run a nutrition business for 40 years, helping people with serious health concerns, one on one. I feel I have been given a gift of healing, and I want to share that.        Thank you again, and please tell me where to send the check. Rosie   

When I read this email, I was chagrined that I thought, even for a minute, that this person was being difficult in complaining about the bonuses.  I also realized that by taking responsibility for my actions, I not only made a friend, I was able to help out someone.  I learned the empathy lesson for the millionth time – you never know what’s going on for somebody until you put yourself in their shoes.  I wrote back to Rosie, telling her that the postage is on me.

There is a common sense point in all this.  Interpersonally competent people do whatever they can to build strong, meaningful, long lasting relationships with the people in their lives.  Rosie has just come into my life, and by offering to fix a problem for her, we now have a relationship.  Check out her website, by the way – www.rosiesbestofhealth.com.  Interpersonally competent people look for the best in others – even when they are being criticized.  They listen to the feedback and then do what they can to act on in it.  In this case, it was a small thing for me to do, but a big thing for Rosie.  I’m glad I answered her first query the way I did.  I feel good about myself, and I feel as if I’ve made a new friend.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense and to subscribe to my weekly newsletter “Common Sense.” 

I’ll see you around the web and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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