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My friend and business mentor Adam Urbanski, www.themarketingmentors.com, is always saying “Teach them to pay you!”  Like any good student, I start to hear myself repeating his words.  Actually I can hear his voice inside my head saying those words in his Polish accent right now.

As a business strategist, this is one of the concepts I teach my clients.  If you have strong feelings about a particular subject you will probably understand what I am getting ready to say.  Sometimes I teach my kids as if they are my clients.

My teenage son loves Sonic.  So we have this ongoing lesson about “teaching someone to pay you.”  When a waitress brings the food to the car and I hand her the money the amount of the tip she gets depends on how she hands me back the change.

As a person who appreciates good service, I will tip the Sonic bellhop usually a couple of dollars depending on the bill.  However, sometimes their tip depends on how exactly they give me my change.  Let's say my change is $5.85 – if they hand me a $5 bill and 85¢ they might only get 85¢ if I don't have any ones.

However, the smart ones that want to “teach me to pay them” will give me 5 ones and then the 85¢.  It never fails I will give that person $2 and after I roll up my window and look at my son he will say “she just taught you to pay her!”  Who says you can't teach a teenager anything.

The whole idea in a nutshell is that you should make it easy for your customer to pay you.  Whether that means easy access to online payment or teaching them how to rebook you for a speaking engagement a year in advance.  Don't take for granted that your customer knows what, when, or how you offer products or services.  You have to plant the seed!

If any of you have kids that are waitresses or waiters you might want to pass on my advice!