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Learn the Secret to Earning 6 Figures as a Gig Driver with Adam Strum
Episode 1726th October 2023 • Business Superfans Podcast • Frederick Dudek (Freddy D)
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Episode 17 with Frederick Dudek (Freddy D)

In this episode of the Business Superfans Podcast, our guest, Adam Strum, chronicles his interesting journey from a two-decade-long stint at Verizon Communications to becoming a successful gig worker despite his recent retirement due to health concerns. Strum shares insightful anecdotes from his past as a corporate veteran where he honed his customer service skills and how it later influenced his gig work. He emphasizes the importance of treating gig work as running a private business, providing quality service, and creating meaningful customer connections. He highlights the significance of strategic time management and documenting experiences for better productivity. Furthermore, he shares valuable tips on enhancing customer experience, leveraging reviews for greater success, partnering in gig work, and the potential benefits of being a preferred driver on delivery platforms.

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Transcripts

Freddy D:

Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Adam Strum went to Brooklyn

Freddy D:

College, studied law and marketing, worked for Verizon Communications for

Freddy D:

20 years, and then left to work in helping people resolve financial crisis.

Freddy D:

Adam retired from debt relief in 2020 because of health related issues

Freddy D:

and began working the gig economy, now self employed, driving DoorDash,

Freddy D:

UberEats, Spark, and LabCorp.

Freddy D:

Welcome Adam.

Freddy D:

Let's talk about where you got started and doing gig work these days?

Adam Strum:

Okay, Frederick, it's great to be here with you.

Adam Strum:

I'm really happy that you invited me.

Adam Strum:

Yeah, I do gig work now, but I was a corporate giant.

Adam Strum:

I worked for Verizon for 20 years, helped shape their customer service department.

Adam Strum:

I left there in the financial meltdown of 2008 when they offered me a very nice

Adam Strum:

chunk of change to to leave my office.

Adam Strum:

And got to pursue the things I love.

Adam Strum:

When I went to college back in the, well, let's just say when Stegosaurus

Adam Strum:

is where your transportation to school back in the eighties, when I went to

Adam Strum:

college, I studied law and I studied marketing and neither one of those

Adam Strum:

came into play in the customer service industry that I was working with.

Adam Strum:

So I got to flex my muscles on what I had learned in college by

Adam Strum:

joining the debt relief industry and working with attorneys,

Adam Strum:

helping consumers get out of debt.

Adam Strum:

And after learning for about two years, I went off on my own and

Adam Strum:

opened several companies, two of which I sold for a profit.

Adam Strum:

And one of which I am actually closing out shortly because gig work has taken

Adam Strum:

over and my income from gig work has exceeded my income from legal work.

Freddy D:

That's crazy.

Freddy D:

So it's just, when you think about that, I mean, that's just not heard of.

Freddy D:

So what is it that you're doing different in gig work and how did the career working

Freddy D:

in customer service at Verizon contribute to you being successful in gig work?

Adam Strum:

Now, that's a really good question.

Adam Strum:

And when I was in customer service at Verizon, there were two rules

Adam Strum:

because the public service commission would listen to every call that was

Adam Strum:

made by every rep I had under me, by myself and by my management team.

Adam Strum:

So we had to be very customer friendly, even when we knew the customer was

Adam Strum:

wrong, which happens quite often, especially in retail or retail service.

Adam Strum:

I took that training with me to debt relief and was able to put people at ease.

Adam Strum:

In fact you work with me in the debt relief business for a short while.

Adam Strum:

So you've seen me disarm angry customers.

Freddy D:

Oh, absolutely.

Freddy D:

Yes.

Freddy D:

Remember that.

Adam Strum:

My favorite customer is the angry customer because

Adam Strum:

there's a three step method.

Adam Strum:

That anyone can use if they want to be perfect at customer service.

Adam Strum:

All you've got to use is three of your faculties in order every time and you

Adam Strum:

will be great at customer service.

Adam Strum:

Use your ear first and make sure you don't just listen, but you

Adam Strum:

hear what they're telling you.

Adam Strum:

Then you use your brain and siphon out what they're actually angry about.

Adam Strum:

And once you've got that, then use your mouth and chat with them and show them

Adam Strum:

your understanding of their situation.

Adam Strum:

And an angry customer will be eating out of your hand.

Adam Strum:

And It's an easy way that comes with my marketing knowledge from college as well.

Adam Strum:

I mean, it all blends together and that's what made me successful

Adam Strum:

in the debt relief industry.

Adam Strum:

I had the giants of debt relief reaching out to me all the time.

Adam Strum:

I helped launch national debt relief when they first launched.

Adam Strum:

Freedom made me several offers to come on board, but I preferred doing it my way

Adam Strum:

because my way was more customer centric.

Freddy D:

Right.

Freddy D:

Which is at the end of the day, that's how you build superfans, is basically

Freddy D:

the customer becomes your fan and they now promote your organization

Freddy D:

or you individually as being part of that organization that can take care

Freddy D:

of their needs because you understand them, you listen to them, and then

Freddy D:

you actually follow through and doing what you said you were going to do.

Adam Strum:

Exactly.

Adam Strum:

And truth is I've had almost as many referrals to me from previous clients as

Adam Strum:

I get stray leads from different sources.

Adam Strum:

So, building that super fan base is everything, doing the right thing for

Adam Strum:

your customer is everything because when you do the right thing for your

Adam Strum:

customer, they're going to talk about you.

Adam Strum:

You become memorable.

Adam Strum:

You become different than everybody else.

Adam Strum:

You actually hear what they're saying and cater to what they need from your

Adam Strum:

business, whatever business that may be.

Adam Strum:

At this point for me, it's delivering food and dry goods and

Adam Strum:

home goods and things like that.

Adam Strum:

I do the same thing now that I've always done as far as customer

Adam Strum:

service, ears, brain, mouth.

Adam Strum:

I just do it in a different way and for a different purpose.

Freddy D:

So, so how can drivers leverage gigs to establish themselves

Freddy D:

with meaningful connections with customers and thereby opening

Freddy D:

doors for, future opportunities?

Freddy D:

Let's talk about that.

Adam Strum:

Okay, happily.

Adam Strum:

In fact I want people to know that I don't just talk the talk.

Adam Strum:

I walk the walk.

Adam Strum:

I deliver for DoorDash, for Uber Eats, for Spark.

Adam Strum:

And for Instacart as well as for LabCorp the Blood Test Giant.

Adam Strum:

So I've done all the major apps and they're all exactly the same as far as

Adam Strum:

the concept, which is you have three customers that you are catering to as

Adam Strum:

the delivery person with every delivery.

Adam Strum:

First, there's the platform, whether it's DoorDash or Spark, or

Adam Strum:

Instacart, whatever the platform may be, they're your customer.

Adam Strum:

They're asking you.

Adam Strum:

To deliver for them.

Adam Strum:

They're coming to you.

Adam Strum:

You're an independent contractor.

Adam Strum:

You're your own business.

Adam Strum:

So they're your customer.

Adam Strum:

And it's important to realize that DoorDash is your customer or whoever

Adam Strum:

you're delivering for is your customer.

Adam Strum:

In addition, the restaurant or the store or the mail facility is also my customer

Adam Strum:

because they want me to take their product, their service, and bring it to

Adam Strum:

the client, which is my third customer.

Adam Strum:

And the most important thing is not the end result.

Adam Strum:

It's the middle one.

Adam Strum:

It's the businesses you pick up from, and here's why, whether it be

Adam Strum:

Instacart, DoorDash, UberEats, all of those platforms allow restaurants to

Adam Strum:

choose particular drivers for harder or bigger or more intense deliveries.

Adam Strum:

So it's more important to actually make friends with your restaurants that you

Adam Strum:

pick up from, or your retailers that you pick up from, make sure they remember who

Adam Strum:

you are and they'll request you for more orders and for more delicate or larger or

Adam Strum:

more high paying orders than they would anyone else, and that's what I've done.

Adam Strum:

I've established relationships with almost every restaurant

Adam Strum:

in my zip code at this point.

Adam Strum:

Thanks to two years of gig work.

Freddy D:

Well, so basically you've turned those organizations

Freddy D:

into superfans of Adam Strum.

Freddy D:

And so that's the secret right there is they know that you're reliable, you're

Freddy D:

timely, you've got the right personality.

Freddy D:

And so, it's okay.

Freddy D:

I got six drivers or 10 drivers.

Freddy D:

10 fingers up.

Freddy D:

So 10 drivers up here and

Adam Strum:

that would be a little strange.

Adam Strum:

So I'm glad it's only 10.

Freddy D:

But I got 10 that I can pick from, but you know what, I'm always

Freddy D:

going to go with Adam because I know that Adam is going to be there on time.

Freddy D:

Delivered the customer's going to be happy.

Freddy D:

They're going to reorder from my organization And the platform that feeds

Freddy D:

you all that stuff is going to be happy as well because they're making a percentage

Freddy D:

of the transaction So it's a trifecta win.

Adam Strum:

Exactly what I was explaining all three customers happy

Adam Strum:

is a win situation doordash is just happy when somebody takes the order

Adam Strum:

to be honest with you their bulk They deal doordash deals mainly in

Adam Strum:

numbers You know what I'm saying?

Adam Strum:

Cause they have anywhere in the greater Phoenix area, which is my marketplace.

Adam Strum:

They have anywhere from one to 500 drivers on the road at any given

Adam Strum:

time, which is a lot of drivers.

Adam Strum:

Now greater Phoenix area is rather large.

Adam Strum:

I mean, you have six cities, but you know, 500 drivers on the road and you

Adam Strum:

have people that take this position.

Adam Strum:

Of I'm going to be my, my own business and I'm going to drive for

Adam Strum:

this platform, whichever platform it may be, but then they sit there

Adam Strum:

and turn down all the offers.

Adam Strum:

They're getting they'll sit there and decline because you're

Adam Strum:

allowed to decline any offer.

Adam Strum:

Who would let me ask you this?

Adam Strum:

Would so if somebody asked you to bring them a pizza 18

Adam Strum:

miles for 3, would you do it?

Adam Strum:

Because I wouldn't.

Adam Strum:

It costs more in gas than it would to deliver pizza.

Freddy D:

Yeah.

Freddy D:

No, it makes sense.

Freddy D:

So, I understand.

Freddy D:

You gotta make, you gotta make, you gotta make a business decision.

Freddy D:

Does it make sense

Adam Strum:

Now, eventually they'll find someone who's much closer

Adam Strum:

than I am and for them, it'll make sense to deliver that 3 delivery.

Freddy D:

Right.

Adam Strum:

And so, declining, you're not you're not making the

Adam Strum:

platform angry when you decline.

Adam Strum:

Now, every platform has its, numbers that they want you to meet.

Adam Strum:

They don't want you to decline 50 orders in a row.

Adam Strum:

That's not good because then they're wasting time sending you orders.

Adam Strum:

They might as well just move on.

Adam Strum:

But I keep my acceptance to about seven out of every 10 they send me.

Adam Strum:

I'll take any reasonable order because it gives me a chance to build another

Adam Strum:

superfan wherever they're sending me and, I may not make a lot on this one, but

Adam Strum:

heck, I get to go to a pizzeria in Tempe.

Adam Strum:

And I get to meet the owner and I get to joke with them and, put them

Adam Strum:

at ease and let them know that I have six pizza bags in my car and a

Adam Strum:

catering bag, and I get to tell them, Hey, if you have a delicate delivery,

Adam Strum:

I'm a master of customer service.

Adam Strum:

Make a mark because they have my name and my delivery driver number on their screen.

Adam Strum:

That's given to them by DoorDash or Uber or whoever sent me there.

Adam Strum:

And so I build, like you say it, I build those superfans one at a time and then

Adam Strum:

I get called back and catering orders can really be a large amount of money.

Adam Strum:

I mean, sometimes I'll do an hour of work and make 140.

Freddy D:

That's crazy.

Adam Strum:

Yeah it's beautiful and amazing lab core, which is

Adam Strum:

the last one is not a platform.

Adam Strum:

Obviously, they're a corporation, right?

Adam Strum:

For Lab Core.

Adam Strum:

Basically, they'll give me an itinerary and ask me, do I want to do it?

Adam Strum:

So Lab Core, send me interstate to go pick up from places.

Adam Strum:

They don't have regular drivers might be two, 300 mile trip, but they'll compensate

Adam Strum:

me really well for the 10 hours of day.

Adam Strum:

I'm going to have to give them to make this round trip.

Adam Strum:

Anywhere from 30 to 50 an hour, usually.

Freddy D:

But if you think about that, to get that kind of an account takes

Freddy D:

building the relationship you might get in the door, but to keep that type of an

Freddy D:

account and to keep getting those long projects, those, that's paying you, four

Freddy D:

or five, 600 bucks for a day, you've got to get them to be your superfans to

Freddy D:

turn around and says, okay, we've got, again, it goes back to, we got 10 drivers

Freddy D:

while we know that Adam can get it done.

Freddy D:

He'll be there.

Freddy D:

He'll do it.

Freddy D:

He's got the right personality and we know that he's reliable.

Freddy D:

That's a huge difference because that's a monster account.

Adam Strum:

Now I'll tell you a secret for those that are watching this

Adam Strum:

podcast, something that most people never think of in the gig economy.

Adam Strum:

I have a Surface Pro, little baby laptop, and it's in my car, and when I start

Adam Strum:

driving and that first order comes in, I can see where I'm going to be sent, and I

Adam Strum:

can type that into my Surface Pro before I say yes or no to this order and see if I

Adam Strum:

had problems at that location before, have I had problems with the customer before,

Adam Strum:

the restaurant, and if I have, I just decline it because I don't need problems.

Adam Strum:

Efficiency is the key to keeping everything moving smoothly.

Freddy D:

Right.

Adam Strum:

And so that's something that the kids today, you know, that

Adam Strum:

the 18 to 23 year olds who do this and, most dashers are in that zone.

Adam Strum:

They're in college and just trying to make enough money to get by.

Adam Strum:

tHey don't do something like that.

Adam Strum:

It doesn't even occur to them to do something like that, and they think

Adam Strum:

of themselves as employees of Uber Eats or DoorDash and they're not.

Adam Strum:

They don't realize they're actually running a business.

Adam Strum:

And this is their chance at that young age to run a successful business, so

Adam Strum:

that when they graduate into whatever field they're coming out into, They'll

Adam Strum:

already have experience at running a business, at marking your tax deductions

Adam Strum:

down knowing where your price points are, all the other things that come into

Adam Strum:

running a business, whether or not you need employees or you can contract out

Adam Strum:

work, because it's always cheaper to contract out work than to hire employees.

Freddy D:

Sure.

Adam Strum:

So you learn a lot about business from doing gig work.

Adam Strum:

If you remember that you don't work for the platform that you work for you.

Freddy D:

Yeah.

Freddy D:

And you got to be able to be smart enough to fire customers.

Freddy D:

So what you just basically said is, in a sense, is, oh, this location didn't

Freddy D:

have their act together last time I went and dealt or did a delivery for them.

Freddy D:

The food wasn't correct, everything else.

Freddy D:

So when you delivered it, the customer was unhappy because their order was

Freddy D:

messed up, had nothing to do with you.

Freddy D:

You're just a mechanism, but guess who catches it?

Freddy D:

You catch.

Adam Strum:

Exactly.

Adam Strum:

I could be de platformed for that.

Adam Strum:

That's the crazy part on these apps, whether it's Uber, DoorDash, Instacart.

Adam Strum:

If a customer complains to the platform that they a didn't get their order or

Adam Strum:

their order was missing items, the blame will always fall because they can't

Adam Strum:

afford to lose the restaurant or store.

Adam Strum:

So the blame will always fall to the delivery person.

Adam Strum:

Even though we may not have stolen anything.

Adam Strum:

Even though we may not have stolen anything, even though we may have done

Adam Strum:

everything right, we'll get dinged.

Adam Strum:

And if you get dinged one or two times more than you should,

Adam Strum:

they'll de platform you.

Adam Strum:

And then you don't have that platform to work with anymore.

Freddy D:

Right.

Freddy D:

So it makes sense that if this is a reoccurrence at this particular

Freddy D:

location to fire that, that location, basically, like you said, it's a

Freddy D:

review and not, you know what, that's.

Freddy D:

ABC, restaurant, no pass.

Freddy D:

I'll go to, DEF because they got their act together.

Adam Strum:

Exactly.

Adam Strum:

I mean, we have I'll give you, I'll give you actual names because they'll

Adam Strum:

be proud that I'd be talking about them.

Adam Strum:

I have a pizzeria here in my area called Vin Citorios.

Adam Strum:

It's an Italian restaurant and pizzeria.

Adam Strum:

I love going to them.

Adam Strum:

I've met the owner.

Adam Strum:

I've met his wife.

Adam Strum:

I know most of the employees by name.

Adam Strum:

When I walk in, it's like Norm at Cheers.

Adam Strum:

They're like, Adam, great.

Adam Strum:

And if they have a catering order, as long as I'm on the road, they'll request me.

Adam Strum:

Now the opposite is true of another restaurant in the same exact parking

Adam Strum:

lot that does Thai food and it's called

Adam Strum:

And there's constantly sauces missing, items missing, and I will only take

Adam Strum:

an order from that restaurant if there's nothing else available.

Adam Strum:

I don't like to completely fire.

Adam Strum:

What I like to do is suspend.

Freddy D:

Okay.

Adam Strum:

Cause you never know when you might need, I need to

Adam Strum:

make 8 more to complete my day, make 400 for the day, be happy.

Adam Strum:

And incomes this 8 order from UFAS.

Adam Strum:

But I do know when I go there to double check that order before I take

Adam Strum:

it and go deliver it, make sure it's hot, make sure all the sauces, cause

Adam Strum:

they do tell you what's in the order.

Adam Strum:

Make sure the receipt matches everything in the bag before

Adam Strum:

I take it to my car and leave.

Adam Strum:

So it's going to take me a little longer.

Adam Strum:

But I will go to the restaurants that I would if I could fire them, but

Adam Strum:

only if it's a necessity or there's a good reason to I try to make sense.

Adam Strum:

I try to skip a lot of restaurants that cause problems or have long

Adam Strum:

wait times or sometimes they don't make the order to you show up.

Adam Strum:

Well, now that's crazy.

Adam Strum:

I just spent 15 minutes driving here.

Adam Strum:

This could have been ready and bagged.

Adam Strum:

But instead you wait for me to drive all the way here

Adam Strum:

before you even start cooking.

Adam Strum:

Now my poor customer, the end user, right, they're waiting an hour for their food.

Adam Strum:

It makes no sense.

Adam Strum:

Right?.

Freddy D:

So that's a trifecta lose.

Adam Strum:

Exactly.

Adam Strum:

I mean, I look for efficiency.

Adam Strum:

It comes from 20 years of corporate.

Freddy D:

No, it makes sense.

Adam Strum:

I look for efficiency.

Adam Strum:

I look for profitability.

Adam Strum:

It doesn't have to be high profitability because now I'm only working for me.

Adam Strum:

I'm not answering to shareholders.

Adam Strum:

I'm not answering to a board of directors.

Freddy D:

I'm answering to me and the boss of my house, which is the missus.

Freddy D:

But that's it.

Freddy D:

I'm only answering to those two entities so I can be a little more flexible.

Freddy D:

I can make a little less profit.

Freddy D:

To create more superfans to create more businesses that want me to come and pick

Freddy D:

up the food or more customers that want me to be the one delivering their food.

Freddy D:

Right.

Freddy D:

Now, do you also, I think you mentioned that you also drive people around.

Freddy D:

So you do like Uber and Lyft stuff.

Adam Strum:

Occasionally, but not often.

Adam Strum:

I'm not big on having strangers in my car and I've come to the conclusion.

Adam Strum:

When I sit down and think about it, most people are calling an Uber or

Adam Strum:

Lyft for one of three major reasons.

Adam Strum:

One is they don't have a car, and that's fine.

Adam Strum:

But the other reasons are they're too drunk to drive, or they don't feel well.

Adam Strum:

And in both of those cases, my car is at risk of needing a very

Adam Strum:

thorough cleaning afterwards.

Adam Strum:

And that eats up a lot of time, and it's quite expensive, actually, at times.

Adam Strum:

I try not to have people, I'd rather have any kind of, I've

Adam Strum:

delivered television sets.

Adam Strum:

I've delivered 20, 50, 60 items from home goods.

Adam Strum:

So, I've delivered all kinds of things, but I prefer not to take people unless

Adam Strum:

it's a really slow day for deliveries.

Adam Strum:

And then I'll turn on taking people, but you know, it also requires you get your

Adam Strum:

car up to snuff and, the people are going to say, Oh, it's very nice in here and

Adam Strum:

it doesn't matter what my car looks like inside if I'm delivering goods or food.

Freddy D:

Right.

Freddy D:

Okay.

Freddy D:

Makes sense.

Freddy D:

That makes sense.

Freddy D:

It's, those are, good points there.

Freddy D:

So what actions should a driver do or really avoid, I should say, when

Freddy D:

it comes to engaging customers?

Adam Strum:

That's a very good question.

Adam Strum:

Avoid over interacting.

Adam Strum:

Keep it short, keep it sweet, because they're waiting for whatever you're

Adam Strum:

bringing them, even if it's a person.

Adam Strum:

They're waiting for the end users, waiting for their food, their

Adam Strum:

items, or their family member.

Adam Strum:

They're not in the mood for a long conversation.

Adam Strum:

So you want to keep it short and sweet.

Adam Strum:

I'll give you a quick, for instance, I'm picking up pizza.

Adam Strum:

I get there.

Adam Strum:

I text the customer and just say at the restaurant waiting for your order.

Adam Strum:

That's it.

Adam Strum:

Once I have it, I'll tell the customer that I have your pizza

Adam Strum:

on board and I'll say ETA and give them an ETA 10 to 15 minutes.

Adam Strum:

This way, at least they're prepared.

Adam Strum:

If they have dogs, they can move the dogs away from the front door so

Adam Strum:

they don't go nuts when I knock etc.

Adam Strum:

If they have a sleeping kid, they can tell me, they can text me back

Adam Strum:

and say, you know what, don't knock.

Adam Strum:

I'll meet you outside or leave it at my door, which I can do.

Adam Strum:

You can document those.

Adam Strum:

So, that's it.

Adam Strum:

Keep it simple, but make them feel like you're treating them with extra respect.

Freddy D:

And that's important because, I've used.

Freddy D:

Some delivery services or I've, I've gone on rides and stuff and there's

Freddy D:

times where the platform app says, going to be there in 15 minutes, 15

Freddy D:

minutes go by, nothing's happened.

Freddy D:

You don't see the car moving.

Freddy D:

You don't see anything happening, and I've had where the person just flaked

Freddy D:

and it just gave me a bad impression of not only the person but the platform

Freddy D:

that was utilizing it So the fact that you were taking that extra step to

Freddy D:

tell person, hey, I'm at the pizzeria.

Freddy D:

I'm waiting.

Freddy D:

I got it I'll 15 minutes.

Freddy D:

That gives your third customer, the acknowledgement that their

Freddy D:

time is valuable and you're giving them a heads up, which in turn

Freddy D:

is great customer relations.

Adam Strum:

Exactly.

Adam Strum:

It's letting them know someone cares that they're getting their food or

Adam Strum:

items delivered on time by someone who actually respects them without the

Adam Strum:

third end user, the platform and the stores don't have customers, right?

Adam Strum:

So, they're quite important in the chain.

Adam Strum:

They're just not as important as the stores to the business runner like me.

Adam Strum:

Platform is somewhat important, but the end user is actually the third in the

Adam Strum:

link of three, as far as importance goes.

Adam Strum:

And as long as you're being respectful to them, it's a non entity.

Adam Strum:

You follow me?

Adam Strum:

You don't even have to think about the end user, the customer that you're delivering

Adam Strum:

to, because if you respect them enough to tell them, Hey, I'm at the restaurant.

Adam Strum:

They 10 minutes before it's ready.

Adam Strum:

Then on my way, keep it short, keep it sweet, show them respect.

Adam Strum:

Once you have the food on board.

Adam Strum:

Be there in 10 to 15 minutes, and that's all you need to do.

Adam Strum:

As long as you're doing those two things for your end user, you can concentrate

Adam Strum:

on the two that are important, which are the restaurant and the platform.

Adam Strum:

I use the platform where I don't get orders and, I need the business to want

Adam Strum:

to recommend me as much as possible.

Freddy D:

Right.

Freddy D:

Which goes right into my next question, which is, what ways can a

Freddy D:

driver interactions enhance customer experience, converting them into superfans

Freddy D:

that helps drive positive reviews?

Adam Strum:

That is where going above and beyond comes in.

Adam Strum:

So quite often, Especially on the lower pay orders, you'll find that it's

Adam Strum:

students or seniors or disabled people.

Adam Strum:

They order more, believe it or not, because they can't

Adam Strum:

get out and do it themselves.

Adam Strum:

Half the time, students are busy studying.

Adam Strum:

A lot of them don't have cars and they want to order from places far away.

Adam Strum:

They're not going to take two buses to go get Pad Thai.

Adam Strum:

I mean, it's just not going to happen.

Adam Strum:

Right.

Adam Strum:

Seniors, they don't like to go out in the evenings.

Adam Strum:

If they're hungry at seven o'clock and it's already dark out, the odds are

Adam Strum:

they're not going to want to jump in their car and drive and take the risk of

Adam Strum:

driving at night, et cetera, et cetera.

Adam Strum:

And for disabled people, these are the bulk of customers.

Adam Strum:

For me, anyway, I see more of those than I do.

Adam Strum:

regular average everyday people, regular average everyday people

Adam Strum:

tend to jump in the car and go get the pizza themselves, to be honest.

Adam Strum:

Now I do get, a fair share of those.

Adam Strum:

So above and beyond, I've texted them.

Adam Strum:

I'm coming, right?

Adam Strum:

I get there.

Adam Strum:

I'm walking up to the door.

Adam Strum:

They opened the door.

Adam Strum:

I see they're in a wheelchair.

Adam Strum:

I asked them, would you like me to put this on your table for you?

Adam Strum:

You want me to carry it in if it's groceries, which I

Adam Strum:

do quite often groceries.

Adam Strum:

Do you want the bags in any specific spot so that it's easier

Adam Strum:

for you to get access to them?

Adam Strum:

Go above and beyond because not only do customers have the ability to tip when

Adam Strum:

you've completed your order on every app, all of the major apps allow for an

Adam Strum:

add on tip after you complete the order.

Adam Strum:

But again, you've built a super fan, you've built someone who's

Adam Strum:

going to tell the platform that you went above and beyond.

Adam Strum:

Right.

Adam Strum:

And the platform will disseminate that to the restaurants, and they

Adam Strum:

might if they weren't willing to talk to you because they're too busy.

Adam Strum:

And, I've gone to lots of we have a Benihana not far from here.

Adam Strum:

They are packed every night, there's an hour wait for a table

Adam Strum:

no matter what time you go.

Adam Strum:

They don't have time to talk with me or interact with me management's running

Adam Strum:

around like chickens without heads.

Adam Strum:

But if the platform is telling them hey we've sent one of our

Adam Strum:

senior dashers our best dashers to pick this one up, they'll actually

Adam Strum:

come out, they'll say hello to me.

Adam Strum:

And there's my in there.

Adam Strum:

There's my superfan building right there, right?

Adam Strum:

That's your opportunity.

Adam Strum:

I didn't even have to do it.

Adam Strum:

The customer did it for me, right?

Freddy D:

Right.

Freddy D:

And yeah, so now the owner's gonna say, I appreciate you delivering this

Freddy D:

because you're making the restaurant like the Benihana's you're saying

Freddy D:

you're making a Benihana look like a rock star to the customer because

Freddy D:

they've got a good delivery service.

Adam Strum:

Exactly.

Adam Strum:

And they're getting their food hot and fresh and you're talking

Adam Strum:

sushi or cooked Japanese food.

Adam Strum:

That's what Benihana does.

Adam Strum:

Sushi sits too long without a refrigerator.

Adam Strum:

You don't want to go near it and Japanese hot food, if it gets cold,

Adam Strum:

basically becomes a grease ball.

Adam Strum:

So, you need to keep your hot food separate from your cold food.

Adam Strum:

And you need to, I actually keep a bag with several of those freezer

Adam Strum:

bags, those ice bags, those ice packs.

Adam Strum:

Right.

Adam Strum:

So I have a cold bag and I have a hot bag in my backseat at all times.

Adam Strum:

And I give you up the orders.

Adam Strum:

I pack them properly before I start driving.

Adam Strum:

I have a drink carrier, a professional one.

Adam Strum:

It's, solid plastic, has eight holes, holds eight cups.

Adam Strum:

I don't have to worry about spilling a customer's drink ever.

Adam Strum:

I mean, people don't think of these little things, but

Adam Strum:

these little things mean a lot.

Adam Strum:

I've had customers when I'm walking up with their six or eight drinks from

Adam Strum:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and they're like, I didn't know how you were going

Adam Strum:

to carry those, but that's amazing.

Adam Strum:

I'm like, well, I wanted to make sure you got your drink full.

Adam Strum:

It'd be terrible to get half a cup, wouldn't it?

Adam Strum:

And they start laughing.

Freddy D:

Well, because again, you're treating this as a business.

Freddy D:

It's not a hobby.

Freddy D:

It's not a.

Freddy D:

Gig, this is a business and you're treating it as a business

Freddy D:

and you're treating it as the owner of the, your business.

Adam Strum:

Now I have a little, like you do, I have a little in there

Adam Strum:

because I've owned several companies.

Adam Strum:

So I know what it's like to be a business, right?

Adam Strum:

And I wish younger people would just take a little time or even older people retire.

Adam Strum:

This is a great job, gig, whatever you want to call it.

Adam Strum:

Business to own for retirees.

Adam Strum:

I mean, nobody can live on a social security check anymore, not with the way,

Adam Strum:

last four years have gone with inflation.

Adam Strum:

And I'm talking both presidents.

Adam Strum:

It's not political.

Adam Strum:

Let's say from 2018 to 2022 prices went up, rents have gotten outrageous.

Adam Strum:

So social security doesn't cut it.

Adam Strum:

And I hate when I see seniors on their feet at Walmart for six hours

Adam Strum:

straight being a breeder at the door.

Adam Strum:

That's what they give seniors to do, or cashiering.

Adam Strum:

Seniors shouldn't be on their feet that long.

Adam Strum:

It's not good for circulation.

Adam Strum:

They should be moving around more.

Adam Strum:

These people stand still.

Adam Strum:

This job allows them to sit for at least 60 percent of the time because

Adam Strum:

they're driving, and the other 40 percent, they're never standing still.

Adam Strum:

They're walking into the store, grabbing the items.

Adam Strum:

They're walking up to the customer's house.

Adam Strum:

They're placing the items or handing the items.

Adam Strum:

It keeps them active.

Adam Strum:

And it's a great additional income.

Adam Strum:

Yep.

Adam Strum:

20, 20 hours a week.

Adam Strum:

You can probably make 500 a week if you're disciplined.

Freddy D:

Yep, and what's a tip that you can give that ensures that you

Freddy D:

receive a good tip from the customer.

Adam Strum:

Okay.

Adam Strum:

On some platforms, you don't know whether or not you're going to

Adam Strum:

be tipped till after you deliver.

Adam Strum:

And on some, you know what, there's at least X amount of

Adam Strum:

tip before you take the order.

Adam Strum:

So the door dash, the tip is included.

Adam Strum:

So when they send the amount, they're going to pay you to do the order

Adam Strum:

in the very beginning, before you accept it, you're getting at least X.

Adam Strum:

But to boost the tips, just follow what I taught in customer service,

Adam Strum:

just follow the three keys, listen and hear, think, then speak.

Adam Strum:

Sometimes speech is not your mouth moving, but speech is what you do.

Adam Strum:

Just like with the first amendment, speech, freedom of speech can be art,

Adam Strum:

but you don't have expression can be art.

Adam Strum:

There's no verbalization there.

Adam Strum:

It's just a painting.

Adam Strum:

The same thing happens here.

Adam Strum:

When you get to somebody's door, does the door open out?

Adam Strum:

If so, make sure the food is off to the side so they can open

Adam Strum:

their door and get to it, that they don't have to knock it down.

Adam Strum:

I've seen so many people, so many delivery drivers in their rush thinking,

Adam Strum:

if I rush really fast, I'll get more deliveries and I'll make more money.

Adam Strum:

But at the same time, yeah, you'll make more money, but you'll be

Adam Strum:

deplatformed within a month because you've made so many mistakes.

Adam Strum:

Slow and steady does win the race.

Adam Strum:

That's been the key since the beginning of time.

Freddy D:

Right.

Adam Strum:

Slow and steady.

Adam Strum:

Get it right.

Adam Strum:

Be kind at all times.

Adam Strum:

Even when the customer's being obnoxious, be kind because then they go inside

Adam Strum:

and they think about it while I was yelling at this guy and it's the

Adam Strum:

restaurant that packed the bag, not him.

Adam Strum:

And the bag is sealed by the restaurant.

Adam Strum:

A lot of them have that tape now that they take everything closed with and they'll

Adam Strum:

go back inside and they'll consider it.

Adam Strum:

And I've had 10 and 20 tips come in an hour after I finished my shift.

Adam Strum:

And those are from people who were angry at the delivery point.

Adam Strum:

They're yelling at me, why did it take an hour for my food to get here?

Adam Strum:

Well, I don't know.

Adam Strum:

I've only had your order for the last 16 minutes.

Adam Strum:

Four minutes to go pick it up and 10 minutes to deliver it to you and

Adam Strum:

two minutes to converse with you.

Adam Strum:

That's it.

Adam Strum:

That's the extent of my involvement in this transaction.

Freddy D:

Yeah, you got proof of that because you texted him.

Freddy D:

Hey, I'm here picking up the food and I'm on my way.

Freddy D:

So, they've got that window that was at 16 minutes.

Freddy D:

That's it.

Adam Strum:

So they're not thinking that though.

Adam Strum:

They're so angry about the hour.

Adam Strum:

But when they go back inside and they realize I didn't yell back at them.

Adam Strum:

I didn't fight back.

Adam Strum:

I simply stated, I'm glad I was able to get it to you.

Adam Strum:

It's still hot.

Adam Strum:

Enjoy your meal.

Adam Strum:

Even though they're yelling at me that it took an hour, when I drive away

Adam Strum:

and they get to thinking about it.

Adam Strum:

Most people, and I'm being honest here, even when they're really crazy people, but

Adam Strum:

most people will get to thinking about, I abused him and none of it was his fault.

Freddy D:

Right, the conscience takes kicks in.

Adam Strum:

And so I'll get higher ratings, even if I don't

Adam Strum:

get tips, I'll get higher ratings because every delivery gets rated.

Adam Strum:

One to five stars.

Adam Strum:

My rating on DoorDash is a 4.

Adam Strum:

96 out of a five, which is extremely high.

Freddy D:

Right, so, before we started the show, we were talking a little bit

Freddy D:

and you said you've got a technique that that doesn't burn you out.

Freddy D:

So what is that technique?

Adam Strum:

That technique is being married for 26 years.

Adam Strum:

My wife actually delivers with me.

Adam Strum:

Not every time, but most of the time because she's bored if she just sits

Adam Strum:

home and I'm not home and, just watches TV for hours, she'd rather be out there.

Adam Strum:

It's good exercise, get fresh air, get sunshine.

Adam Strum:

So we do this together and we run the business together.

Adam Strum:

And a lot of husbands and wives run mom and pop businesses.

Adam Strum:

And that's what this is for me, a mom and pop business, run them together.

Adam Strum:

Now not everybody's married, not everybody's spouse, if they are married,

Adam Strum:

would want to be in a car delivering food.

Adam Strum:

That doesn't mean you can't find a buddy.

Adam Strum:

A friend, someone else who's retired and just walking around at the park,

Adam Strum:

feeding the ducks, someone else who complains all the time that, he

Adam Strum:

needs to get his car fixed, but he just doesn't have the extra cash.

Adam Strum:

You'll hear that all the time, right?

Adam Strum:

Tell him, look, I'll do all the driving.

Adam Strum:

All you got to do is when we get to an address, get out of the car, walk

Adam Strum:

it over to the door, put it down, take a picture and get back in the car

Adam Strum:

and I'll split the earnings with you.

Freddy D:

There's no downside on that one because it still stays in the house.

Adam Strum:

Exactly my point.

Adam Strum:

Well, for me, it stays in the house.

Adam Strum:

Yeah, my wife and I, but if it was a friend, heck, the good news about

Adam Strum:

that is if it's a friend and you split the earnings, at least you're

Adam Strum:

splitting the work so that there's no differential, it's the same, you're

Adam Strum:

doing half the work you had to do alone.

Adam Strum:

You're also able to park where you wouldn't normally be able to park

Adam Strum:

because you don't have to park you can stand For instance in the handicap

Adam Strum:

spot standing is legal parking is not As long as there's someone in

Adam Strum:

the car who can move it if requested You're not going to get a ticket.

Adam Strum:

You can stand at some fire pumps.

Adam Strum:

You can stand in some no parking zones.

Adam Strum:

Sometimes parking is really tough to find at some of these restaurants, if they're

Adam Strum:

popular their parking lots packed Correct.

Adam Strum:

Yeah.

Adam Strum:

Or Starbucks with the drive through blocks the part you can't

Adam Strum:

even get into the parking lot.

Adam Strum:

Well, now I can double park.

Adam Strum:

Leave someone who can move the car if requested, and I can run in and

Adam Strum:

grab the order and be back out.

Adam Strum:

So, there's a lot of pluses to having that second person in the car, plus you

Adam Strum:

can concentrate on driving and let them work the app, let them check the address

Adam Strum:

let them map the address, let them handle the phone because they're not driving.

Adam Strum:

You'll have less accidents.

Adam Strum:

You'll have less close calls.

Adam Strum:

You won't have to speed too many drivers speed.

Adam Strum:

It's crazy.

Adam Strum:

So, having that second person in the car who can hold the food, make sure

Adam Strum:

it doesn't spill, sometimes you'll have six or seven trays of food.

Adam Strum:

You make a hard right turn.

Adam Strum:

Those trays start toppling.

Adam Strum:

You got to pull over, fix everything and then get back to driving.

Adam Strum:

You save a lot of time.

Freddy D:

Yeah, it's a co pilot.

Freddy D:

Basically, it's just like flying an airplane,

Adam Strum:

Call them in the industry, by the way, in the

Adam Strum:

industry, we call them the co pilot.

Freddy D:

Oh, there you go.

Adam Strum:

Yeah.

Adam Strum:

And it just, like I said, if it's a friend, split the money with

Adam Strum:

them, work a few extra hours, you'll be less tired because you're

Adam Strum:

not doing all the work yourself.

Adam Strum:

You could still make the same amount, but you're also helping out a friend.

Adam Strum:

And when you help out a friend, they become a super fan too.

Freddy D:

Yep, absolutely.

Adam Strum:

So it's a no lose proposition.

Freddy D:

Right.

Freddy D:

Any other tips that you can share to that would be benefit

Freddy D:

gig workers like yourself?

Adam Strum:

Definitely.

Adam Strum:

There's about four, four tips.

Adam Strum:

Get a memo notebook, just a simple binder notebook.

Adam Strum:

And when you're doing deliveries of any kind, whether it's food, dry goods,

Adam Strum:

blood tests, A lot of communities and a lot of businesses are gated, which

Adam Strum:

means getting in can be a problem.

Adam Strum:

You take your book, you mark your address, you mark that gate code

Adam Strum:

the one time you're given it.

Adam Strum:

And the next time you show up, you're able to get right in.

Adam Strum:

You don't have to sit and wait for someone to either A, open the gate or B, send you

Adam Strum:

by text the gate code so you can get in.

Adam Strum:

So that's number one.

Adam Strum:

It saves a lot of time.

Adam Strum:

Keep a record.

Adam Strum:

Keep a record.

Adam Strum:

Of deliveries that go south, whether it's delivering people as well

Adam Strum:

for Uber and Lyft drivers who, shuttle people all over the place.

Adam Strum:

There are some people that get in your car and immediately want to

Adam Strum:

start talking religion, politics, and everything that you really don't

Adam Strum:

want to talk to strangers about.

Adam Strum:

You don't want those people.

Adam Strum:

Make a note of it.

Adam Strum:

And if you see that person pop up on your screen, just say, you know what,

Adam Strum:

I'd rather not pick them up today.

Adam Strum:

Give me a different one.

Adam Strum:

Time is everything.

Adam Strum:

When doing gig work of any kind, it's all about time management.

Adam Strum:

So if you can save yourself time, you can do more orders in the same

Adam Strum:

amount of time that you're out there.

Adam Strum:

So I can do two deliveries an hour and there'll be picture

Adam Strum:

perfect from beginning to end.

Adam Strum:

And I mean, picture perfect, or I can do four deliveries and

Adam Strum:

make sure I'm above average.

Adam Strum:

If I'm doing four, I make twice as much money.

Adam Strum:

So I'd rather be above average than picture perfect, which is

Adam Strum:

why I say keep it short and sweet.

Adam Strum:

You don't want to have a long conversation with your customer.

Adam Strum:

You just want them to know that you respect them, that you're going

Adam Strum:

to do the right thing by them.

Adam Strum:

And I've actually gone back to stores for customers.

Adam Strum:

How about that one?

Adam Strum:

I've had a delivery of, let's say, wings and a soda.

Adam Strum:

And I get there and they're like, it's supposed to be two sodas.

Adam Strum:

It is.

Adam Strum:

Okay.

Adam Strum:

I paused my app.

Adam Strum:

I'll go back and get you the other soda.

Adam Strum:

What's it supposed to be?

Adam Strum:

You call the restaurant and let them know they forgot to pack it.

Adam Strum:

Now the customer has a job to do.

Adam Strum:

You follow the logic here.

Adam Strum:

I'm sure you know it, but yeah, you're turning your, that customer's becoming

Adam Strum:

your superfan of the fact twice over.

Adam Strum:

Because not only am I making them feel like, Hey, I respect you so

Adam Strum:

much, I'll go back and make sure the restaurant does the right thing for

Adam Strum:

you and gives you your second soda,

Adam Strum:

but that's the above and beyond you were talking about earlier, right?

Adam Strum:

I also want the customer though, to do a little bit of work for it by

Adam Strum:

calling the restaurant and telling them they forgot to pack the second soda

Adam Strum:

so that it's ready when I get there.

Freddy D:

Right?

Adam Strum:

So it only takes me an extra five minutes to go back

Adam Strum:

and come back because I don't, I already know exactly where I'm going.

Adam Strum:

I don't need A directional map or a GPS or any of that.

Adam Strum:

I've done that for plenty of customers, especially if they

Adam Strum:

tip well, I'll be honest, you tip well, you get better service.

Adam Strum:

That's the same in a restaurant.

Adam Strum:

When you go to eat, you tip.

Adam Strum:

Well, the waitress is going to always take better care of you.

Freddy D:

They'll remember you.

Freddy D:

And, oh yeah, this is the guy.

Freddy D:

This is the good guy.

Freddy D:

We all take care of this guy.

Adam Strum:

Well, that guy left me a 20 for one sandwich last time.

Adam Strum:

I'm going to make sure his food comes out first.

Freddy D:

Sure.

Adam Strum:

It's really not difficult and people make it difficult.

Adam Strum:

There are about a thousand channels on YouTube of DoorDash

Adam Strum:

drivers saying, watch me DoorDash.

Adam Strum:

And when I watch them DoorDash, my stomach turns at all the mistakes they make.

Adam Strum:

And they complain that DoorDash is ripping them off.

Adam Strum:

And I'm like, no, you're shortchanging yourself by not following procedure.

Adam Strum:

For a business.

Adam Strum:

You're a business.

Adam Strum:

You don't work for DoorDash,

Freddy D:

Exactly.

Adam Strum:

The mindset is wrong.

Adam Strum:

It's I use mindset that proves I'm corporate America, right?

Adam Strum:

Mindset is wrong.

Adam Strum:

You don't work for DoorDash.

Adam Strum:

DoorDash actually works for you.

Freddy D:

Now, do you ever do deliveries where you're requested by a customer.

Freddy D:

Specifically through a platform?

Adam Strum:

Not on doorDash, but on Uber Eats, a customer

Adam Strum:

can request a specific driver.

Adam Strum:

On Instacart, they can.

Adam Strum:

On Spark, which is Walmart's delivery service, they cannot.

Adam Strum:

There are a couple of others.

Adam Strum:

LabCorp is different because it's not a platform.

Adam Strum:

Like I said, it's a corporation.

Adam Strum:

But on the other platform apps, it's 50 50.

Adam Strum:

Half of them do allow a customer to choose their driver, if that driver is available.

Adam Strum:

If the driver's offline, of course, then it's just going to

Adam Strum:

go to the next available driver.

Freddy D:

So that's where it's really important to build that superfan with

Freddy D:

that customer so that on the platforms that where they can request you as

Freddy D:

the driver, that's the it's customer relationship and having them as your

Freddy D:

business superfan because it is your business and that's the big differentiator

Freddy D:

because if I'm, if I'm on Instacart and I say, Oh, Adam's available, great.

Freddy D:

I'm going to request Adam to go pick this up.

Adam Strum:

I want Adam to shop for me because I always get

Adam Strum:

fresh produce when he does it.

Adam Strum:

I always get non dented boxes.

Adam Strum:

I always get, and well, you can make, you can, like I said, there

Adam Strum:

are chance, there's a chance to make three super fans with every delivery.

Freddy D:

Right.

Adam Strum:

The platform can become your superfan because your ratings are so high

Adam Strum:

and you're showing that they are a, an excellent service for the customer to

Adam Strum:

use because a customer who wants to order from say, McDonald's has six choices.

Adam Strum:

They can order through DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates, et cetera.

Adam Strum:

They have a bunch of choices.

Adam Strum:

Why do they want DoorDash?

Adam Strum:

That really nice guy who comes with his wife and his wife comes out and

Adam Strum:

brings it right to us and let's order through DoorDash so that they bring it.

Adam Strum:

Yeah, that goes back to, customer relationship building those

Adam Strum:

relationship and getting turning those people into business superfans.

Adam Strum:

So exactly.

Adam Strum:

And like I said, you have with every delivery, you have three chances to

Adam Strum:

turn three entities into a super thing.

Adam Strum:

So they have the business and the customer.

Freddy D:

So there you have it.

Freddy D:

Adam, it's been a pleasure.

Adam Strum:

It's always a pleasure when I get to talk to you, Frederick.

Freddy D:

Well, thank you, buddy.

Freddy D:

And we'll look to have you on the show again.

Freddy D:

And again, if you're looking for delivery and you're on one of the platforms where

Freddy D:

you can request Adam Strum is your guy.

Freddy D:

Yep.

Freddy D:

It would come up out of Adam S.

Freddy D:

And if you see Adam S as a driver, just request me, you'll be respected.

Freddy D:

That's the most important thing.

Freddy D:

Your order will be respected and you as a person waiting for whatever you're

Freddy D:

waiting for will also be respected.

Freddy D:

All right, Adam, thank you much.

Adam Strum:

My pleasure.

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