17: Learn the Secret to Earning 6 Figures as a Gig Driver with Adam Strum

Summary

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.

Guest

Raised in Brooklyn NY, went to Brooklyn College, and studied law and marketing. Worked for Verizon Communications for 20 years then left to work on helping people resolve financial crises. Retired from debt relief in 2020 (because of health related issues) and began working the gig economy now self employed driving for various companies such as Doordash, Uber Eats, Spark, & LabCorp.

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Episode Transcript

17: Learn the Secret to Earning 6 Figures as a Gig Driver with Adam Strum

Freddy D:  Raised in Brooklyn, New York, Adam Strum went to Brooklyn College, studied law and marketing, worked for Verizon Communications for 20 years, and then left to work on helping people resolve financial Cris. Adam retired from debt relief in 2020 because of health related issues and began working the gig economy, now self employed, driving for various companies such as Doordash, Uber, Eats, Spark, and Labcorp. Welcome, Adam. Let’s talk about where you got started in doing gig work these days.

Adam Strum: Okay, Frederick, it’s great to be here with you. I’m really happy that you invited me. Yeah, I do gig work now, but I was a corporate giant. I worked for Verizon for 20 years, helped shape their customer service department. I left there in the financial meltdown of 2008 when they offered me a very nice chunk of change to leave my office and got to pursue the things I love when I went to college back in the, well, let’s just say when stegosaurus is where your transportation to school. Back in the 80s, when I went to college, I studied law and I studied marketing, and neither one of those came into play in the customer service industry that I was working with. So I got to flex my muscles on what I had learned in college by joining the debt relief industry and working with attorneys, helping consumers get out of debt. And after learning for about two years, I went off on my own and opened several companies, two of which I sold for a profit and one of which I am actually closing out shortly because gig work has taken over and my income from gig work has exceeded my income from legal work.

Freddy D: That’s crazy. So when you think about that, that’s just not heard of. So what is it that you’re doing different in gig work, and how did the career working in customer service at Verizon contribute to you being successful in gig work?

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Adam Strum: That’s a really good question. And when I was in customer service at Verizon, there were two rules, because the Public service commission would listen to every call that was made by every rep I had under me, by myself, and by my management team. So we had to be very customer friendly, even when we knew the customer was wrong, which happens quite often, especially in retail or retail service. I took that training with me to debt relief and was able to put people at ease. In fact, you worked with me in the debt relief business for a short while. So you’ve seen me disarm angry customers?

Freddy D: Oh, absolutely, yes.

Adam Strum: Remember that my favorite customer is the angry customer, because there’s a three step method that anyone can use if they want to be perfect. At customer service, all you’ve got to use is three of your faculties in order every time. And you will be great at customer service. You use your ear first and make sure you don’t just listen, but you hear what they’re telling you. Then you use your brain and siphon out what they’re actually angry about. And once you’ve got that, then use your mouth and chat with them and show them your understanding of their situation. And an angry customer will be eating out of your hand. And it’s the easy way that comes with my marketing knowledge from college as well. I mean, it all blends together. And that’s what made me successful in the debt relief industry. I had the giants of debt relief reaching out to me all the time. I helped launch national debt relief. When they first launched, freedom made me several offers to come on board. But I preferred doing it my way because my way was more customer centric.

Freddy D: Right? Which is at the end of the day, that’s how you build superfans, is basically the customer becomes your fan. And they now promote your organization, or you individually as being part of that organization that can take care of their needs because you understand them, you listen to them, and then you actually follow through and doing what you said you were going to do.

Adam Strum: Exactly. And truth is, I’ve had almost as many referrals to me from previous clients as I get stray leads from different sources. So building that superfan base is everything. Doing the right thing for your Customer is everything. Because when you do the right thing for your customer, they’re going to talk about you. You become memorable. You become different than everybody else. You actually hear what they’re saying and cater to what they need from your business, whatever business that may be. At this point, for me, it’s delivering food and dry goods and home goods and things like that. I do the same thing now that I’ve always done as far as customer service, ears, brain, mouth, I just do it in a different way and for a different purpose.

Freddy D: So how can drivers leverage gigs to establish themselves with meaningful connections with customers and thereby opening doors for future opportunities? Let’s talk about that.

Adam Strum: Okay. Happily, in fact, I want people to know that I don’t just talk the talk. I walk the walk. I deliver for Doordash, Uber, Eats, for Spark, and for Instacart, as well as for Labcorp, the blood test giant. So I’ve done all the major apps and they’re all exactly the same as far as the concept, which is you have three customers that you’re catering to as the delivery person with every delivery. First, there’s the platform. Whether it’s Doordash or Spark or Instacart, whatever the platform may be, they’re your customer. They’re asking you to deliver for them. They’re coming to you. You’re an independent contractor. You’re your own business, so they’re your customer. And it’s important to realize that Doordash is your customer, or whoever you’re delivering for is your customer. In addition, the restaurant or the store or the mail facility is also my customer because they want me to take their product, their service, and bring it to the client, which is my third customer. And the most important thing is not the end result. It’s the middle one. It’s the businesses you pick up from. And here’s why. Whether it be Instacart, Doordash, Uber eats all of those platforms, allow restaurants to choose particular drivers for harder or bigger or more intense deliveries. So it’s more important to actually make friends with your restaurants that you pick up from or your retailers that you pick up from. Make sure they remember who you are, and they’ll request you for more orders and for more delicate or larger or more high paying orders than they would anyone else. And that’s what I’ve done. I’ve established relationships with almost every restaurant in my zip code at this point, thanks to two years of gig work.

Freddy D: Well, so basically, you’ve turned those organizations into superfans of Adam Strum. And so that’s the secret right there, is they know that you’re reliable, you’re timely, you’ve got the right personality. And so it’s okay. I got six drivers or ten drivers. I got ten fingers up. So ten drivers up here.

Adam Strum: That would be a little strange. So I’m glad it’s only ten.

Freddy D: Yeah, but I got ten that I can pick from. But you know what? I’m always going to go with Adam because I know that Adam is going to be there on time, deliver it, the customer is going to be happy. They’re going to reorder from my organization, and the platform that feeds you all that stuff is going to be happy as well, because they’re making a percentage of the transaction. So it’s a trifecta win.

Adam Strum: Exactly what I was explaining. All three customers happy is a win situation. Doordash is just happy when somebody takes the order, to be honest with you, they’re both Doordash deals mainly in numbers, you know what I’m saying? Because they have anywhere in the greater Phoenix area, which is my marketplace. They have anywhere from one to 500 drivers on the road at any given time, which is a lot of drivers. Now, greater Phoenix area is rather large. I mean, you have six cities, but 500 drivers on the road, and you have people that take this position of, I’m going to be my own business and I’m going to drive for this platform, whichever platform it may be. But then they sit there and turn down all the offers they’re getting. They’ll sit there and decline because you’re allowed to decline any offer. Let me ask you this. If somebody asked you to bring them a pizza 18 miles for $3, would you do it? Because I wouldn’t. It costs more in gas than it would to deliver a pizza.

Freddy D: Yeah, no, it makes sense. You got to make a business decision.

Adam Strum: You make sense now. Eventually, they’ll find someone who’s much closer 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 making the platform angry when you decline. Now, every platform has its numbers that they want you to meet. They don’t want you to decline 50 orders in a row. That’s not good, because then they’re wasting time sending you orders. They might as well just move on. But I keep my acceptance to about seven out of every ten they send me. I’ll take any reasonable order because it gives me a chance to build another super fam wherever they’re sending. And I may not make a lot on this one, but, heck, I get to go to a pizzeria in tempe, and I get to meet the owner, and I get to joke with them and put them at ease and let them know that I have six pizza bags in my car and a catering bag, and I get to tell them, hey, if you have a delicate delivery, I’m a master at customer service. Make a mark. Because they have my name and my delivery driver number on their screen that’s given to them by doordash or Uber or whoever sent me there. And so I build, like you say it, I build those superfans one at a time, and then I get called back. And catering orders can really be a large amount of money. 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. Labcore, which is the last one, is not a platform, obviously. They’re a corporation, right, for Labcorp. Basically, they’ll give me an itinerary and ask me, do I want to do it. So labcorps will send me interstate to go pick up from places they don’t have regular drivers. Might be 2300 miles trip, but they’ll compensate me really well for the 10 hours of day I’m going to have to give them to make this round trip, anywhere from 30 to 50 an hour, usually.

Freddy D: But if you think about that, to get that kind of an account takes building the relationship. You might get in the door, but to keep that type of an account and to keep getting those long projects, those that’s paying you four, five, $600 for a day, you’ve got to get them to be your superfan. To turn around and says okay, again, goes back to, we got ten drivers. Well, we know that Adam can get it done. He’ll be there. He’ll do it. He’s got the right personality, and we know that he’s reliable. 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 podcast, something that most people never think of in the gig economy. I have a surface pro, little baby laptop, and it’s in my car when I start driving and that first order comes in, I can see where I’m going to be sent, and I can type that into my surface pro before I say yes or no to this order. And see, have I had problems at that location before? Have I had problems with the customer before the restaurant? And if I have, I just decline it because I don’t need problems. Efficiency is the key to keeping everything moving smoothly.

Freddy D: Right?

Adam Strum: And so that’s something that the kids today, the 18 to 23 year olds who do this, and most dashers are in that zone. They’re in college and just trying to make enough money to get by. They don’t do something like that. It doesn’t even occur to them to do something like that. And they think of themselves as employees of Uber Eats or DoorDash, and they’re not. They don’t realize they’re actually running a business. And this is their chance at that young age to run a successful business so that when they graduate into whatever field they’re coming out in, they’ll already have experience at running a business, at marking your tax deductions down, knowing where your price points are, all the other things that come into running a business, whether or not you need employees or you can contract outwork, because it’s always cheaper to contract outwork than to hire employees.

Freddy D: Sure.

Adam Strum: A lot about business from doing gig work. If you remember that, you don’t work for the platform that you work for.

Freddy D: You, and you got to be able to be smart enough to fire customers. So what you just basically said is, in a sense, is, oh, this location didn’t have their act together. Last time I went and dealt or did a delivery for them, the food wasn’t correct. Everything else. So when you delivered it, the customer was unhappy because their order was messed up, had nothing to do with you. You’re just a mechanism. But guess who catches it? You catch it.

Adam Strum: Exactly. I can be deplatformed for that. That’s the crazy part on these apps. Whether it’s uber, Doordash, Instacart, if a customer complains to the platform that they didn’t get their order or their order was missing items, the blame will always fall because they can’t afford to lose the restaurant or store. So the blame will always fall to the delivery person. Even though we may not have stolen anything, even though we may not have stolen anything, even though we may have done everything right, we’ll get dinged. And if you get dinged one or two times more than you should, they’ll deplatform you, and then you don’t have that platform to work with anymore.

 Freddy D: Right. So it makes sense that if this is a reoccurrence at this particular location, to fire that location, basically, like you said and say, review. And you know what? That’s ABC restaurant. No pass. I’ll go to eef because they got their act.

Adam Strum: Give you. I’ll give you actual names because they’ll be proud that I’d be talking about them. I have a pizzeria here in my area called Vincentorios. It’s an italian restaurant and pizzeria. I love going to them. I’ve met the owner. I’ve met his wife. I know most of the employees by name. When I walk in, it’s like norm at Cheers. They’re like, Adam, great. And if they have a catering order, as long as I’m on the road, they’ll request me. Now, the opposite is true of another restaurant in the same exact parking lot that does thai food, and it’s called Euphys, and there’s constantly sauces missing, items missing. And I will only take an order from that restaurant if there’s nothing else available. I don’t like to completely fire. What I like to do is suspend.

Freddy D: Okay?

Adam Strum: Because you never know when you might need. I need to make $8 more to complete my day. Make 400 for the day. Be happy. And in comes this $8 order from you. But I do know when I go there to double check that order before I take it and go deliver it, make sure it’s hot, make sure all the sauces, because they do tell you what’s in the order. Make sure the receipt matches everything in the bag before I take it to my car and meet. So it’s going to take me a little longer, but I will go to the restaurants that I would if I could fire them, but only if it’s a necessity or there’s a good reason to that makes sense. I try to skip a lot of restaurants that cause problems or had long wait times, or sometimes they don’t make the order till you show up. Well, now, that’s crazy. I just spent 15 minutes driving here. This could have been ready and bagged, but instead, you wait for me to drive all the way here before you even start cooking. Now, my poor customer, the end user, right? They’re waiting an hour for their food. It makes no sense, right?

Freddy D: That’s a trifecta lose.

Adam Strum: Exactly. I mean, I look for efficiency. It comes from 20 years of corporate.

Freddy D: No, makes sense.

Adam Strum: I look for efficiency. I look for profitability. It doesn’t have to be high profitability, because now I’m only working for me. I’m not answering to shareholders. I’m not answering to a board of directors. I’m answering to me and the boss of my house, which is the Mrs. But that’s it. I’m only answering to those two entities. So I can be a little more flexible, I can make a little less profit to create more fans, to create more businesses that want me to come and pick up the food, or more customers that want me to be the one delivering.

Freddy D: You also, I think you mentioned that you also drive people around. So you do like Uber and Lyft stuff.

Adam Strum: Occasionally, but not often. I’m not big on having strangers in my car. And I’ve come to the conclusion, when I sit down and think about it, most people are calling an Uber or Lyft for one of three major reasons. One is they don’t have a car, and that’s fine, but the other reasons are they’re too drunk to drive or they don’t feel well. And in both of those cases, my car is at risk of needing a very thorough cleaning afterwards. And that eats up a lot of time. And it’s quite expensive, actually. At times, I try not to have people. I’d rather have any kind of. I’ve delivered television sets. I’ve delivered 20, 50, 60 items from home goods. So I’ve delivered all kinds of things, but I prefer not to take people unless it’s a really slow day for deliveries. And then I’ll turn on taking people. But it also requires you get your car up to snuff, and people are going to say, oh, it’s very nice in here, and it doesn’t matter what my car looks like inside if I’m delivering goods or food.

Freddy D: Right, okay, makes sense. That makes sense. Those are good points there. So what actions should a driver do or really avoid? I should say, when it comes to.

Adam Strum: Engaging customers, a very good question. Avoid over interacting. Keep it short, keep it sweet, because they’re waiting for whatever you’re bringing them, even if it’s a person they’re waiting for the end users waiting for their food, their items, or their family member. They’re not in the mood for a long conversation. So you want to keep it short and sweet. I’ll give you a quick for instance. I’m picking up pizza. I get there, I text the customer and just say, at the restaurant, waiting for your order. That’s it. Once I have it, I’ll tell the customer that I have your pizza on board, and I’ll say, eta, and give them an EtA, ten to 15 minutes. This way at least they’re prepared. If they have dogs, they can move the dogs away from the front door so they don’t go nuts when I knock, et cetera. If they have a sleeping kid, they can tell me. They can text me back and say, you know what? Don’t knock, I’ll meet you outside, or leave it at my door, which I can do. You can document those. So that’s it. 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 some delivery services or I’ve gone on rides and stuff, and there’s times where the platform app says, going to be there in 15 minutes. 15 minutes go by, nothing’s happened. You don’t see the car moving, you don’t see anything happening. And I’ve had where the person just flaked and just gave me a bad impression of not only the person, but the platform that was utilizing it. So the fact that you are taking that extra step to tell person, hey, I’m at the pizzeria, I’m waiting. I got it. I’ll be there. 15 minutes. That gives your third customer the acknowledgment that their time is valuable and you’re giving them a heads up, which in turn is great. Customer relations.

Adam Strum: Exactly. It’s letting them know someone cares that they’re getting their food or items delivered on time by someone who actually respects. Without the third end user, the platform and the stores don’t have customers, right? So they’re quite important in the chain, they’re just not as important as the stores. To the business runner like me, platform is somewhat important, but the end user is actually the third in the link of three as far as importance goes. And as long as you’re being respectful to them, it’s a non entity. You don’t even have to think about the end user, the customer that you’re delivering to, because if you respect them enough to tell them, hey, I’m at the restaurant, they said it’ll be ten minutes before it’s ready, then on my way, keep it short, keep it sweet, show them respect. Once you have the food on board, be there in ten to 15 minutes. That’s all you need to do. As long as you’re doing those two things for your end user, you can concentrate on the two that are important, which are the restaurant and the platform, where I don’t get orders and I need the business to want to recommend me as much as possible. 

Freddy D: Right, which goes right into my next question, which is, what ways can a driver interactions enhance customer experience? Converting them into superfans, that helps drive positive reviews.

Adam Strum: That is where going above and beyond comes in. So quite often, especially on the lower pay orders, you’ll find that it’s students or seniors or disabled people. They order more, believe it or not, because they can’t get out and do it themselves. Half the time, students are busy studying. A lot of them don’t have cars and they want to order from places far away. They’re not going to take two buses to go get pad Thai. I mean, it’s just not going to happen. Seniors, they don’t like to go out in the evenings if they’re hungry at 07:00 and it’s already dark out, the ods are, they’re not going to want to jump in their car and drive and take the risk of driving at night, et cetera, et cetera. And for disabled people, these are the bulk of customers. For me anyway. I see more of those than I do. Regular, average, everyday people. Regular, average, everyday people tend to jump in the car and go get the pizza themselves, to be honest. Now, I do get a fair share of those. So above and beyond, I’ve texted them, I’m coming, right? I get there, I’m walking up to the door, they open the door. I see they’re in a wheelchair. I ask them, would you like me to put this on your table for you? You want me to carry it in? If it’s groceries, which I do quite often. Groceries. Do you want the bags in any specific spot so that it’s easier for you to get access to them? Go above and beyond. Because not only do customers have the ability to tip when you completed your order on every app, all of the major apps allow for an add on tip after you complete the order. But again, you’ve built a superfan, you’ve built someone who’s going to tell the platform that you went above and beyond.

Freddy D: Right.

Adam Strum: And the platform will disseminate that to the restaurants. And they might if they weren’t willing to talk to you because they’re too busy. And I’ve gone to Laza. We have a Benihana not far from here. They are packed every night. There’s an hour wait for a table. No matter what time you go, they don’t have time to talk with me or interact with me. Management’s running around like chickens without heads. But if the platform is telling them, hey, we sent one of our senior dashers, our best dashers, to pick this one up, they’ll actually come out, they’ll say hello to me. And there’s my in, there’s my superfan building right there.

Freddy D: Right. That’s your opportunity.

Adam Strum: I didn’t even have to do it. The customer did it for me.

Freddy D: Right. And. Yeah. So now the owner is going to say, I appreciate you delivering this because you’re making a restaurant like the Benihanas. You’re saying you’re making a benihana look like a rock star to the customer because they’ve got a good delivery service.

Adam Strum: Exactly. And they’re getting their food hot and fresh. And you’re talking sushi or cooked japanese. Hanadez sushi sits too long without a refrigerator. You don’t want to go near it.

Freddy D: Correct.

Adam Strum: And japanese hot food, if it gets cold, basically becomes a grease ball. So you need to keep your hot food separate from your cold food. And I actually keep a bag with several of those freezer bags, those ice bags, those ice packs.

Freddy D: Right.

Adam Strum: So I have a cold bag and I have a hot bag in my backseat at all times. And I give the up the orders. I pack them properly before I start driving. I have a drink carrier, a professional one. It’s solid plastic, has eight holes, holds eight cups. I don’t have to worry about spilling a customer’s drink ever. I mean, people don’t think of these little things, but these little things mean a lot. I’ve had customers when I’m walking up with their six or eight drinks from tropical smoothie cafe, and they’re like, I didn’t know how you were going to carry those, but that’s amazing. I’m like, well, I wanted to make sure you got your drink full. It would be terrible to get half a cup, wouldn’t it? And they start laughing.

Freddy D: Well, because again, you’re treating this as a business. It’s not a hobby, it’s not a gig. This is a business, and you’re treating it as a business, and you’re treating it as the owner of your business.

Adam Strum: Now, I have a little like you do. I have a little in there because I’ve owned several companies, so I know what it’s like to be a business.

Freddy D: Right.

Adam Strum: I wish younger people would just take a little time or even older people retire. This is a great job, gig, whatever you want to call it, business to own for retirees. I mean, nobody can live on a Social Security check anymore. Not with the way the last four years have gone with inflation, and I’m talking both presidents. It’s not political. Let’s say from 2018 to 2022, prices went up, rents have gotten outrageous, so Social Security doesn’t cut it. I hate when I see seniors on their feet at Walmart for 6 hours straight, being a greeter at the door. That’s what they get seniors to do. Or cashiering. Seniors shouldn’t be on their feet that long. It’s not good for circulation. They should be moving around more. These people stand still. This job allows them to sit for at least 60% of the time because they’re driving and the other 40%, they’re never standing still. They’re walking into the store, grabbing the items, they’re walking up to the customer’s house, they’re placing the items or handing the items. It keeps them active and it’s a great additional income. 20 hours a week. You can probably make 500 a week if discipline, yes.

Freddy D: And what’s a tip that you can give that ensures that you receive a good tip from the customer?

Adam Strum: Okay. On some platforms, you don’t know whether or not you’re going to be tipped till after you deliver. And on some, you know, there’s at least x amount of tip before you take the order. So at DoorDash, the tip isn’t. So when they send the amount they’re going to pay you to do the order in the very beginning, before you accept it, you’re getting at least. But to boost the tips, just follow what I taught in customer service. Just follow the three keys. Listen and hear. Think. Then speak. Sometimes speech is not your mouth moving, but speech is what you do. Just like with the first Amendment. Speech. Freedom of speech can be art. Freedom of expression can be art. There’s no verbalization there. It’s just a painting. The same thing happens here. When you get to somebody’s door, does the door open out? If so, make sure the food is off to the side so they can open their door and get to it that they don’t have to knock it down. I’ve seen so many delivery drivers in their rush thinking if I rush really fast, I’ll get more deliveries and I’ll make more money. But at the same time, yeah, you’ll make more money, but you’ll be deplatformed within a month because you’ve made so many mistakes. Slow and steady does win the race. That’s been the key since the beginning of time, right? Slow and steady. Get it right. Be kind at all times. Even when the customer is being obnoxious, be kind, because then they go inside and they think about it. Now, I was yelling at this guy, and it’s the restaurant that packed the bag, not him. And the bag is sealed by the restaurant. A lot of them have that tape now that they tape everything closed with. And they’ll go back inside and they’ll consider it. And I’ve had ten and $20 tips come in an hour after I finish my ship. And those are from people who were angry at the delivery point. They’re yelling at me, why did it take an hour for my food to get here? Well, I don’t know. I’ve only had your order for the last 16 minutes. Four minutes to go pick it up and ten minutes to deliver it to you and two minutes to converse with you. That’s it. That’s the extent of my involvement in this transaction.

Freddy D: Yeah. You got proof of that? Because you text them, hey, I’m here picking up the food, and I’m on my way. So they’ve got that window that was at 16 minutes. That’s it.

Adam Strum: They’re not thinking that, though. They’re so angry about the hour. But when they go back inside and they realize, I didn’t yell back at them, I didn’t fight back. I simply stated, I’m glad I was able to get it to you. It’s still hot. Enjoy your meal. Even though they’re yelling at me that it took an hour. When I drive away, and they get to thinking about it. Most people, and I’m being honest here, even when they’re really crazy people, but most people will get to thinking, I abused him and none of it was his fault.

Freddy D: Right.

Adam Strum: The conscience kicks in, and so I’ll get higher ratings. Even if I don’t get tips, I’ll get higher ratings because every delivery gets rated one to five stars. My rating on Doordash is a 4.96 out of a five, which is exceptionally high.

Freddy D: Right. So before we started the show, we were talking a little bit, and you said, you’ve got a technique that doesn’t burn you out. So what is that technique?

Adam Strum: That technique is being married for 26 years. My wife actually delivers, not every time, but most of the time, because she’s bored. If she just sits home and I’m not home, just watch tv for hours, she’d rather be out there. It’s good exercise, get fresh air, get sunshine. So we do this together, and we run the business together. And a lot of husbands and wives run mom and pop businesses, and that’s what this is for me, a mom and pop business. Run them together. Now, not everybody’s married. Not everybody’s spouse, if they are married, would want to be in a car delivering food that doesn’t. Can’t find a buddy, a friend, someone else who’s retired and just walking around at the park feeding the ducks. Someone else who complains all the time that he needs to get his car fixed, but he just doesn’t have the extra cash. You’ll hear that all the time, right? Tell him, look, I’ll do all the driving. All you got to do is, when we get to an address, get out of the car, walk it over to the door, put it down, take a picture, and get back in the car, 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. Well, for me, it stays in the house. Yeah, my wife and I. But if it was a friend. Heck, the good news about that is if it’s a friend and you split the earnings, at least you’re splitting the work. So there’s no differential. It’s the same. You’re doing half the work you had to do alone. You’re also able to park where you wouldn’t normally be able to park, because you don’t have to park. You can stand, for instance, in a handicapped spot. Standing is legal. Parking is not. As long as there’s someone in the car who can move it if requested, you’re not going to get a ticket. You can stand at some fire pumps, you can stand in some no parking zones. Sometimes parking is really tough to find at some of these restaurants, if they’re popular. Their parking lot, correct?

Freddy D: Yep.

Adam Strum: Or Starbucks. The drive through blocks the part. You can’t even get into the parking lot. Well, now I can double park, leave someone who can move the car if requested, and I can run in and grab the order and be back out. So there’s a lot of pluses to having that second person in the car. Plus you can concentrate on driving and let them work the app. Let them check the address, let them map the address, let them handle the phone because they’re not driving, you’ll have less accidents, you’ll have less close calls. You won’t have to speed. Too many drivers speed. It’s crazy. So having that second person in the car who can hold the food, make sure it doesn’t spill. Sometimes you’ll have six or seven trays of food. You make a hard right turn, those trays start toppling. You got to pull over, fix everything, and then get back to driving. You save a lot of time.

Freddy D: It’s a copilot, basically. It’s just like flying an airplane.

Adam Strum: Call them in the industry, by the way, in the industry, we call them the copilot.

Freddy D: Well, there you go.

Adam Strum: And it just, like I said, if it’s a friend, split the money with them. Work a few extra hours. You’ll be less tired because you’re not doing all the work yourself. You could still make the same amount, but also helping out a friend. And when you help out a friend, they become a super fan, too.

Freddy D: Yes, absolutely.

Adam Strum: It’s a no lose proposition.

Freddy D: Right? Any other tips that you can share that will be benefit gig workers like yourself?

Adam Strum: Definitely. There’s about four tips. Get a memo notebook, just a simple binder notebook. And when you’re doing deliveries of any kind, whether it’s food, dry goods, blood tests, a lot of communities and a lot of businesses are gate, which means getting in can be a problem. Take your book, you mark your address, you mark that gate code the one time you’re given it, and the next time you show up, you’re able to get right in. You don’t have to sit and wait for someone to either a, open the gate or b, send you by text to gate code so you can get in. So that’s number one. It saves a lot of time. Keep a record keep a record of deliveries that go south, whether it’s delivering people as well. For Uber and Lyft drivers who shuttle people all over the place, there are some people that get in your car and immediately want to start talking religion, politics, and everything that you really don’t want to talk with strangers about. You don’t want those people. Make a note of it. And if you see that person pop up on your screen, just say, you know what? I’d rather not pick them up today. Give me a different one. Time is everything. When doing gig work of any kind, it’s all about time management. So if you can save yourself time, you can do more orders in the same amount of time that you’re out there. So I can do two deliveries an hour and they’ll be picture perfect from beginning to end, and I mean picture perfect. Or I can do four deliveries and make sure I’m above average. If I’m doing four, I make twice as much money. So I’d rather be above average than picture perfect, which is why I say keep it short and sweet. You don’t want to have a long conversation with your customer. You just want them to know that you respect them, that you’re going to do the right thing by them. I’ve actually gone back to stores for customers. How about that one? I’ve had a delivery of, let’s say, wings and a soda. And I get there and they’re like, it’s supposed to be two sodas. It is. Okay. I pause my app, I’ll go back and get you the other soda. What’s it supposed to be? You call the restaurant and let them know they forgot to pack it. Now the customer has a job to do. You follow the logic here. I’m sure you know it.

Freddy D: But yeah, that customer is becoming your superfan of the fact twice over.

Adam Strum: Because not only am I making them feel like, hey, I respect you so much, I’ll go back and make sure the restaurant does the right thing for you and gives you your second soda.

Freddy D: 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 calling the restaurant and telling them they forgot to pack the second soda 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 and come back because I already know exactly where I’m going. I don’t need a directional map or a gps or any of that. I’ve done that for plenty of customers, especially if they tip well, I’ll be honest, you tip well, you get better service. That’s the same in a restaurant. When you go to eat, you tip well. The waitress is going to always take better care of you.

Freddy D: They’ll remember you. And, oh, yeah, this is the guy. This is the good guy. Take care of this guy, that guy.

Adam Strum: 20 for one sandwich. Last time. I’m going to make sure his food comes out first. Sure. It’s really not difficult and people make it difficult. There are about 1000 channels on YouTube of Doordash drivers saying, watch me Doordash. And when I watch them doordash, my stomach turns at all the mistakes they make and they complain that Doordash is ripping them off. And I’m like, no, you’re shortchanging yourself by not following procedure for a business. You’re a business. You don’t work for Doordash.

Freddy D: Exactly.

Adam Strum: It’s a mindset is wrong. I use mindset that proves I’m corporate America. Right? Mindset is wrong. You don’t work for Doordash. Doordash actually works for you.

Freddy D: Now, do you ever do deliveries where you’re requested by a customer specifically through a platform?

Adam Strum: Not on DoorDash, but on Uber Eats, a customer can request a specific driver. On Instacart, they can. On Spark, which is Walmart’s delivery service, they cannot. There are a couple of others. Labcore is different because it’s not a platform. Like I said, it’s a corporation. But on the other platform apps, it’s 50 50. Half of them do allow a customer to choose their driver if that driver is available. If the driver is offline, of course, then it’s just going to go to the next available driver.

Freddy D: So that’s where it’s really important to build that superfan with that customer. So that on the platforms where they can request you as the driver, it’s customer relationship and having them as your business superfan, because it is your business. And that’s the big differentiator. Because if I’m on Instacart and I say, oh, Adam’s available, great, I’m going to request Adam to go pick this up.

Adam Strum: I want Adam to shop for me because I always get fresh produce when he does it. I get non dented boxes. Like I said, there’s a chance to make three superfans with every delivery.

Freddy D: Right.

Adam Strum: The platform can become your superfan because your ratings are so high and you’re showing that they are an excellent service for the customer to use. Because a customer who wants to order from, say, McDonald’s has six choices. They can order through Doordash. Uber eats, Grubhub, et cetera. They have a bunch of choices. Why do they want DoorDash? That really nice guy who comes with his wife and his wife comes out and brings it right to us. And let’s order through DoorDash so that they bring it.

Freddy D: Yeah, that goes back to customer relationship, building those relationship, and turning those people into business. Superfans.

Adam Strum: Exactly. And like I said, with every delivery, you have three chances to turn three entities into a superfan. So there you have the business and the.

Freddy D: So there you have it. 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. And we’ll look to have you on the show again and again. If you’re looking for delivery and you’re on one of the platforms where you can request Adam strums your guy. Yep.

Adam Strum: It would come up Adam s. And if you see Adam s as a driver, just request me. You’ll be respected. That’s the most important thing. Your order will be respected, and you, as a person waiting for whatever you’re waiting for will also be respected.

Freddy D: All right, Adam, thank you much.

Adam Strum: My pleasure.
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