Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e at 90)
Let's talk about credit. The line of credit you receive from your supplier headquarters. The line of credit you receive from their credit managers. Credit managers who are some of the loneliest persons in the business world.
Wow-e-e! I said it! And I'm glad because it's absolutely, sincerely true!
And from my ample time on the business vine, I've discovered over years and years of handshaking, that the friends I've made in the credit game are also some of the "nicest" gentle-mental, dedicated, hardworking business-persons. Persons who are that way in spite of the serious bundles of sweated bucks they have to handle, day after day. They are reputed in the business grapevine as being "tough" and cranky... A-n-d I say, as I've always said, that's a lot of baloney.
It's the job that's "tough" - - not the persons scanning invoices. If a furniture manufacturer sells everyone in Dun and Bradstreet, good, bad or indifferent to keep the volume of shipping numbers high, that business will soon be in danger of going kaput. Do the reverse and hold-back necessary balanced volume shipments to worthwhile dealers and the same company will die of starvation.
No wonder credit persons are rarely caught telling jokes!
Remember, a credit manager lives with numbers. It's your business to make sure that he or she knows that you're not just one of them. If a credit manager calls you, and you're out of the office, make sure to call back promptly the next day and make sure you don't identify yourself by any code or number. You're Chris Smith, President of Quantum Custom Furniture... a live pleasant person... .and so is he or she.
And don't make any important promises about payments without planning it out. You must keep your verbal promises and, if you do, your friend the credit manager will always remember.
Choose a convenient paying pattern that will show you mean business -- meaning, you mean to pay your bills within a reasonable time period. That will create credibility. And to further be remembered, don't forget to plan a scheduled visit with the credit manager you've dealt with, once a year at a furniture show... and if you are in a family business bring your spouse or a child or parent in the business along, too. If he or she is a pleasant person, It can't hurt.
Creditibility is the label of the credit game. Make sure that your credit mind is in gear before you open your mouth. And speak for yourself. You know all the circumstances that surround your business. Make yourself the spokesperson… not your bookkeeper or accountant, but you.
One more tiny point: When you build a fine credit record rapport with one company you can use that person's name for another credit department in the industry. It's magic and makes you a member of the club. Good luck.
Thanks, again, for listening.
Grandpa Mike-e-e! at 90
Got a question? Got a comment? Great!! E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. See the new YouTube music video staring me, Grandpa Mike-e-e! with my granddaughter Becca in a supporting role at http://bitly.com/qALkrX
About Michael Greene (Grandpa Mike-e-e!)
Retailer, author, columnist, lecturer, composer and lyricist.
Came to US with immigrant parents in 1924 at the age of three.
Graduated high school at 16.
Managed a small bedding retail and manufacturing company at 18 in 1939.
Hired as Assistant to the VP of Purchasing (Sweets Corp. of America... approximately 500 employees) in 1940 at 19.
Drafted into US Army Signal Corp - Communications Personnel Div., Fort Monmouth.Tested and selected for Army Specialized Training Program, Rutgers University. Qualified for O.C.S. - Officer Candidate School and graduated as Second Lieutenant, Inventory/ Personnel Division in 1944 at 23.
Married his sweetheart, Anita, and he gives thanks to the Almighty that they are still sweethearts... after 73 years.
Rejoined Sweets Corp as Director of Personnel in 1945 at 24.
Joined his suddenly widowed sister as President of a small retail/ manufacturing company in 1946. Stayed on for 46 years managing the custom designing of over 20,000 childrens rooms and master bedroom beds.
Attended Hofstra University (evening program), and graduated in 1968 at age 47. Two of his kids followed right along at two other college campuses.
Applied for 30 day temporary columnist opening offered by the Reed Business Newspapers in NC and stayed on for 27 years. His retail columns were distributed everywhere from Brooklyn to Bangladesh, to Belgium to Beijing.
Traveled the US and visited with 3rd/ 4th generation retail owners.
He was admitted to the Writers Hall of Fame for, "Conspicuous Excellence In reports and appraisals of the furniture industry."
Retired from retail management at age 70.
BOOKS: (1) At age 72: published first book "Where's The Green Pea?" vegetable character stories including his original music and CD.
Designed programs for primary and pre-K schools and presented them with his Anita. (2) At age 76: Gee! I Wish I Had A Bedroom All My Own," lectured in middle schools (teenage), with tech info for parents, teachers and students in Home
Science. (3) At age 80: Tzedakah - Caring And Sharing classic book with original music CD and illustrations for high school chorales and drama groups.
At 89 -- published Retail Life: How To Get In, Stay Alive a-n-d Love It! in online and printed version for business schools, industry, and entrepreneurs. Includes how-to educational section for "Wise Women Who Love A Challenge" and "Oldtimer Retailers Who've Missed Some Basic Goodies In Business Promotion. Also provides business professors and career students seeking everyday practical trade experiences and business thinking.
Invited to address Levitz Furniture retail salespersons, Furniture Designer Associate members,
IHFRA sales associations, High Point University students and F.I.T. retailer evening sessions. Also accepted as an ASID associate member.
At 90 plus... is a musical playwright, composer and lyricist with original music and thinking for very young and very old America.
Furniture World Magazine-Business solutions for furniture retailers