Behind-the-scenes advice for busy solo professionals courtesy of Michael Katz, Blue Penguin Development

was charged a $10 cancellation fee.


It was from our Spanish tutor. We have a lesson tonight and my wife is sick.

The tutor’s policy is 24 hours notice; we only gave her 21.

And yes, she’s well within her rights to charge the fee – it was in the documentation she gave us on the first day.

But I think she missed a big opportunity, one that’s worth a lot more than $10.

What if, instead, she had said, “My cancellation fee is usually $10, but I’m happy to waive it this time.”

Now we’d be grateful, instead of a little bit grumpy.

And she’d have a client for life, instead of a client who was just reminded that this is a business arrangement, not a relationship. If a better/cheaper/more convenient tutor comes along, we might take a look.

Marketing isn’t just the words you say and the things you write. It’s everything you do, every day.