How Not to Be a Hypocrite

Dear Dave,

My husband and I are taking your classes. We own a roofing company. We offer six months, same as cash, and we accept credit cards. What are your feelings about our doing this? Does it make us hypocrites?

Monique

Dear Monique,

If I accepted credit cards, it would make me an absolutely huge hypocrite, but you don't do what I do for a living.

If this bothers you, it might be a good time to search your heart and ask yourself if these practices are blessing your customers. If you conclude that they are not, and you decide to discontinue those financing deals, you'd better come up with some other marketing strategies. You will lose clients over such an unusual decision!

Of course you could still offer some of those kinds of deals while actively discouraging their use. You could tell your customers that if you were in their situation, you'd just save up for a few months and pay cash rather than using a credit card or other financing options. That way the decision is theirs. But how will they react to such an uninvited suggestion? The last thing you want to do is encourage more credit, but the next-to-last is to run good business off.

No, I don't think you're being hypocritical, Monique. You have some big decisions to make about the quality of your customer service, though. Ten years from now, you want to know you tried your best to do the right thing for them, and you'll always want to know you've done the right thing for your business.

- Dave

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