Here’s a Good Idea (If You Want to Bankrupt Your Business)

No wonder the U.S Postal Service is in serious trouble. They apparently think having too many eager new customers is a problem!

Let me explain…

On a recent trip to a small town in Maine, I stopped at the local post office. And to kill time while (of course) waiting in line to mail my package, I grabbed a brochure.

The first problem was minor. At first glance, I could tell that the brochure was clearly meant to be “company internal” (for staff only), yet piles were sitting openly on the counter. Okay, no big deal. We all make mistakes. Meanwhile, having nothing else to do, I started reading it anyway. That’s when things got much worse…

The purpose of the brochure was to explain to Rural Delivery agents that, when they’re delivering mail or packages, they should be on the lookout for customers who are using competitors (presumably FedEx, UPS, etc.). If an agent notices such a prospect, they should “ask the customer if they would be interested in [better service]” and, if so, get their information and fill it out on a “lead card.”

This, the brochure pointed out, is a “great opportunity to capture more revenue from the small to midsize customer base.”

So far, so good, right? I thought so too. But here’s the kicker – and I hope you are sitting down…

The “Q & A” section toward the end of the brochure started with this question: “How many leads should I submit a month?”

Any sane businessperson’s response would be “As many as you can get – and hopefully even more!”

But apparently that’s not the USPS way. Here is their guideline:

“Only submit 1 or 2 leads a month. There are a limited number of [follow-up personnel], and ensuring that all leads are addressed in a timely manner is the top priority.”

I almost fell to the floor!

I could go on about how many ways this is SO incredibly wrong. But since you’re an educated Early to Rise reader, I don’t think I have to. You know better.

You know that if you can get contact information for prospective new customers, you get it. Immediately and without hesitation. You can always figure out what to do with those names later – but you’ve got to capture those leads!

Comment on this article

  • Nora Bobb

    WOW!!! Charlie, you really nailed this one. I should know, I am a Rural Letter Carrier. Now… if only I could figure a way to get the Post Office to see this…hmmmm.

  • Charlie:

    Great article!

    I also noticed they have removed the postage vending machines from their lobbies and replaced them with signs telling customers to buy stamps at other locations.

    The very next quarter the U.S. Postal Service reported a big loss of revenue.

    I’m wondering where they are getting their marketing advice?

    Maybe you should offer them a chance to hire you as a marketing consultant.

    – Girard Frank Bolton, III.
    Mobile, Alabama