author-Jeffrey Gitomer


To ensure promptness.

An old and new tradition.

By Jeffrey Gitomer

Ever leave a tip?

Sure you have. And most of the time, the amount of the tip is based on the perceived service or quality. Sometimes it’s a combination of qualities: food plus server’s performance.

But these days, tipping has changed. Everyone seems to have his or her hand out, asking – no, begging – for more money. If you go into a Starbucks, there’s the familiar plastic bin by the cash register that’s always filled to some varying degree with change and a few bucks. Sometimes it’s a jar. Sometimes it’s a fish bowl, but it’s ever present where you see a counter and some servers.

What these people are really saying is, “My company doesn’t pay me enough, so I need to beg you for more.”

Now I know this seems a bit harsh. But the bottom line is, the company that employs them is making huge profits while their front-line people are predominantly the lowest paid people. Seems backwards.

People on the front lines are always the lowest paid. I wish I understood it, but I don’t. No, I’m not a socialist, but I am a pragmatist.

That’s one way of looking at tipping. Let’s take a look at another way. Suppose everybody NOT on the front lines of service, who still serve customers face-to-face or on the phone, had to EARN tips.

Ever go to an airport? If you’re like me, and you check a bag (or two), you go to a skycap or stand in line inside the airport. Skycaps work for tips. Ticket counter people don’t.

I tip skycaps liberally. The skycaps at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, my home airport, are the best in the United States.  They’re friendly. They’re helpful. And they don’t have a jar out. They do the same excellent job whether they’re tipped or not.

Ticket counter people are inconsistent. Sometimes they’re great. Sometimes they’re rude and less than helpful.

Suppose everybody in the airport had to work for tips.

Ever been in an airport and had a rude person at a ticket counter? At a gate? As a flight attendant? In baggage claim?

Can you imagine if those people HAD to work for tips?  At the end of a work day, rude people would go home with no money and be griping to their significant other about what lousy tippers there are at the airport. Never for one second thinking that maybe their lousy service, and poor attitude contributed to their negligible income.

But wait! There’s more! Think of all the other rude people in the world. What about the administrative people in a doctor’s office? Would you tip them? What about gatekeepers when you’re making a cold call? Would you tip them? What about sales clerks who ignore you when you’re shopping? Would you tip them?

At the root of a tip is friendliness, helpfulness and service. But there’s a secret. In order to perform this, you have to have the desire to serve. You have to display the pride that goes along with giving great service.

No great server is ever going to say, “I’m doing the best I can,” or “they don’t pay me enough to do that.”

The point here is that service has nothing to do with companies. Service has everything to do with people who work at the companies.

The doorman is friendly because he works on tips. The bellman is friendly because he works on tips. So, why doesn’t the front desk clerk work on tips?

It’s interesting to note that many bellman work at hotels for years, while front desk clerks turn over in their position sometimes as much as 400% in a year.

Tips on tipping: (And getting tipped, even if it’s not in the form of money)

1. Start with a smile.

2, Engage in a friendly manner.

3. Offer to help others sincerely and without expectation.

4. Tell them how nice it was to serve them.

4.5 Thank them for being your customer.

If you feel like giving someone a tip (even though they don’t accept them) you know you’ve gotten good service.

Tips don’t always have to be money. For example, I often give a signed copy of my book to people I feel went above and beyond their duty. For you, if you haven’t written your book yet, it might be dried flowers from your garden, something that you made, or a keepsake that cost a buck or two. You can find tons of them at little gift stores.  A small gift is most often better than a monetary tip because it’s from the heart.

But the best tip you can give to others is a kind word of thanks, and a compliment like, “WOW, you really did a great job” or “I really appreciate your great service.” People love hearing compliments from customers, because they rarely, if ever, hear them from their boss.

One last tip: Rate yourself after every transaction with a customer. Did you serve well enough to get tipped? IDEA: Perform all interactions with customers as though your income depended on it.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of twelve best-selling books including The Sales Bible and The Little Red Book of Selling. His new  book, 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling is now available as a book and an online course at For public event dates and information about training and seminars visit or email Jeffrey personally at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

© 2014 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document

without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112

Add comment
  • No comments found
IMAGE A Poltergeist in the Office?
Oct 06, 2014
        Title: A Poltergeist in the Office? Subtitle: How negative energy can destroy an office environment and threaten a company’s culture. Written by Matthew J. Herman (Published Oct. 5, 2014) In spirit of the Halloween... Read More...

IMAGE How do you define success?
Sep 24, 2013
Success is often defined by the eyes of the beholder; however, how an individual defines success is a telling indicator of a person’s inner motivation, character, maturity or lack thereof.  As a teenager and even into my early twenties, I... Read More...

IMAGE The John Elway Sweepstakes: Having the right C-Level relationship puts you ahead of the competition
Sep 16, 2013
        The John Elway Sweepstakes Having the right C-Level relationship puts you ahead of the competition By Matthew Herman You may be asking yourself, what does John Elway have to do with sales, entrepreneurship or business?... Read More...

IMAGE Unseen Power: 12 intangible sales skills that will bring your organization to the next level
Jun 2013
The world of sales can be brutally competitive. Companies simply can not survive unless they close a significant number of profitable sales – that’s a given. As a direct result, the demand for great sales professionals has grown to unprecedented... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Twitter thoughts and Twitter thinking. Tweet and Re-Tweet.
Jun 2013
Most people reading this have never tweeted. (You included?) On the off chance that you have tweeted, my guess is you have less than 5,000 Twitter followers – maybe less than 500.Whatever your situation is there’s no denying that Twitter is a... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Terrance Gilmore, Fitness Advice from a Former Fat Guy
Jun 2013
My Story: As I sat there, head in hands, tears running between my fingers, a single question repeated in my mind, like the light atop a lighthouse, it spun around and around in my mind. How did I let myself get here? At 27 years old, I should be... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE A misguided post about features and benefit selling
Jun 2013
Last week I was sitting down at the kitchen table responding to several inquiries regarding my book. After roughly 45 minutes, my focus started to drift off course. I began to read random posts from professionals that comprise my LinkedIn network.... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE When you walk in empty headed, you walk out empty handed.
Jun 2013
How much of your presentation is “standard”? Whether you sell a product or service, whether it’s simple or sophisticated, how much (what percentage) of your presentation is the way you usually present it? Void of personalization? Void of... Sign Up to Read More ...

SJ Latest Articles

IMAGE Tough sales issues, and not so tough (but not so easy) answers.
May 2014
                Tough sales issues, and not so tough (but not so easy) answers.   By Jeffrey Gitomer   Thee 3.5 biggest issues facing salespeople today are: 1. Price integrity. 2. Customer loyalty.... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE How to Develop a Powerful B2B Value Proposition By Ian Dainty
May 2014
    How to Develop a Powerful B2B Value Proposition By Ian Dainty   Developing a powerful B2B Value Proposition will differentiate your company from your competition. If you are having trouble differentiating your business from... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Question and Answer By Dave Kahle
May 2014
  Question and Answer           Clearly, spreading the business around between several vendors is the customer's philosophical approach to purchasing.  He/she probably has arrived at this... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Can Sales Management Increase Results? Bob Urichuck
Apr 2014
       Can Sales Management Increase Results? By Bob Urichuck Organizations often promote the best salespeople into management whether they desire to be there or not—it is seen as a promotion or reward for the results they... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Can Sales Management Increase Results? By Bob Urichuck
Apr 2014
      Can Sales Management Increase Results? Organizations often promote the best salespeople into management whether they desire to be there or not—it is seen as a promotion or reward for the results they achieved. However, being a... Sign Up to Read More ...

For Entrepreneurs

Starting a Business
Aug 2013
As entrepreneurs, we believe our idea or new business venture is going to work. But then we let our fears come in and rob us of our success. Here are three insights that can help you stay on track... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Forget diversification. Create new market segments.
Jun 2013
Let’s brainstorm for a moment and consider luxury automobiles. Think about brands such as Mercedes, BMW, AUDI, Cadillac, Lexus, Jaguar and Lincoln. Then you have your super luxury brands, like... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE Attention entrepreneurs who are seeking funding!
Jun 2013
Consider the following before you meet with Angel, Venture, or Private equity investors. I often daydream about the opportunities so many start-up businesses had during the tech boom of the late 90s.... Sign Up to Read More ...

On Leadership

IMAGE Leadership actions that are not an option for leaders.
Sep 2013
Leadership actions that are not an option for leaders. “Where’s the action? Where’s the game?” is a line in the song “Oldest Established” from the immortal Broadway show (and my personal... Sign Up to Read More ...

IMAGE A Quote from John C. Maxwell
Jun 2013
"Anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course."- JOHN C. MAXWELL, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Sign Up to Read More ...

Motivational Quote of the Week

IMAGE “Be all that you can be”
Jun 2013
Written Emelio Sebastian We have all heard the Army’s famous commercial slogan, “Be all that you can be…in the Army”. The implication here is that you have not yet become all that you can be,... Sign Up to Read More ...

Matthew-James-Media-Company FINALLOGO-white


©The Sales Journal/Matthew James Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Website Powered by VMC Art & Design, LLC