“You can take that invoice and you shove it where…,”. After being very specific about the final resting place for the invoice, small business owner Oscar Reese added a comment that questioned the legality of the collector’s parents.

The telephone call between Oscar and the accounts receivable rep, Kevin Hobbs, did not start well and and went downhill in a hurry.

“Mulligan”, Kevin said, almost in a whisper.

“What did you say to me?”

“I said mulligan, Mr. Reese. “Have you played golf, do you know what a mulligan is?”

“Yeah, yeah. I know what it means. What’s your point!.”

“O.K., with your permission, I would like to call a mulligan on this conversation, Mr. Reese. It is natural enough for us to have strong feelings about a situation like this, but I always like to think of the Chuck Norris quote in times like this: ‘Men are like steel. They lose their worth if they lose their temper’. How about I call you back in ten minutes and we start again?”



Did the mulligan approach work with Oscar Reese? Yes, it did. Does it work all the time? No. But nothing else does either. That is why you don’t want to be a one-trick pony when dealing with an irate customer. You want to have as many arrows in your quiver as possible.

The mulligan is one of ten techniques suggested in our seminars that include handling the irate customer. To find out more, please visit: www.trpaulsen.com


Note: If you are not a golfer, you may not be familiar with the phrase.
mulligan is a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or a blunder. Its best-known meaning is in golf, whereby a player is informally allowed to replay a stroke, even though this is against the formal rules of golf.

Pithy Quote of the month: 
‘Sometimes life gives you a second chance, or even two! Not always, but sometimes. It’s what you do with those second chances that counts.”
                …Dave Wilson