Creative consultant Andy Stefanovich had a problem in 1995. A Fortune 100 client wasn’t paying its tab, and nothing, from calls and gifts to lawyerly nudges, had produced a payment. Now Stefanovich was facing layoffs at his company, Play.
To clear her head, a colleague took Stefanovich’s dog out for a walk and came back with a crazy idea—a letter:
“My name is Gekko, and I’m Andy’s 43-pound golden retriever mix. I come to Play every day and my title is top dog.
“I’ve been going home with Andy in the evening to an empty dog bowl, and I don’t know if it has anything to do with accounts receivables at Play. If it does, I would appreciate any consideration.
“I look forward to meeting you when you come visit the Stefanovichs. I’ll show you my small, but fun, backyard.
The next day, a package arrived with a check for $93,000 and a dog biscuit.
Lesson: You don’t have to be ha-ha funny to use humor in a tight spot.
— Adapted from Look at More, Andy Stefanovich, Jossey-Bass.