Business Etiquette 101 reminder- Don’t Ignore what’s right in front of you.
Yesterday was one of those days where frustration mounted and by the end of the day I wanted to shout out from the rooftop I WILL NOT BE IGNORED. But in the end it was a gift because it gave me incentive to write this post. The word IGNORE- to disregard or neglect is not a word you ever want to be associated with in business or in your personal life. You want people you do business with and spend time with to feel valued.It takes some pretty basic manageable effort to make that happen. Yet time after time people seem to forget or ignore what’s really right in front of them.
Real Example– Name will be changed as a courtesy (boy are you lucky MR. D.)
Imagine you are business and you have a supplier that you have given many projects to. Yet you never get a “Thank You” of any kind. Not a simple email asking how you are- or thanking you for your business. Not a gift card, or a small thank you gift, no email no snail mail zippo nothing. You are about to issue a new po to this company for a project that has 2000qty but yet you have this nagging annoying feeling of- why am i giving this company my business when they don’t appreciate it. So you send a really kind nice email to the owner of the company letting him know that you like their product and are about to order 2000 more yet, you don’t feel appreciated. Now imagine if you possibly can (achemmmm) that you don’t hear from that owner- day one-two-three nothing. Gee are we surprised? And that nagging annoying feeling you have has now turned to a full scale IRKED. So you call and leave a message- once or twice, and then finally you get Mr. D we will call him. (common the D is for DUGAN- yeah right). And after 2 seconds of conversation you can see already why his employee doesn’t nurture the relationship because MR. D. misses the point completely and WHINES about how with smaller margins they don’t have time to do anything else. Ok I can see you all waving your hands in the air because I know my “people” are all very saaavy. While he was so busy Whining about how his margins are smaller he could have simply said- i’m so sorry to hear that, we so appreciate you and would love to make you feel appreciated. Instead, you guessed it- Mr. D. isn’t getting my PO his competitor is.
Getting business is hard, but keeping it is harder. You have to put work into it. It must be nurtured. Reaching out to your client to get to know them in business goes along way. Simple emails when they are NOT ordering from you to check in, see how THEY are doing. A quick note mailed (yes i said mailed- snail mail, let’s keep the postal workers postal for a little longer), an email is fine of course but a note is great too. You can send a small thank you gift- well i had to say that, that’s what my company does- A shout out on your company website or facebook page without giving TMI. But to IGNORE-Disregard-slight-neglect- do you really think that is going to keep the business?
Real Example 2: really happend yesterday as well. we will call him (the trainer_ hmmmmm, i’m seeing a pattern, both men)
I emailed off a form on a personal trainers website, a request to chat about possibly working with him. So I had already found his site, read about him and decided to take the time to request a chat. This “trainer” could have sealed the deal fairly easily. He did call back in a timely manner BUT THEN, after only 2 minutes on the call he said “I have to call you back, my client just walked in, I will call you in a few hours”. Don’t ever make a business call if you can’t finish the conversation. You are better off waiting and hour or so. Now who of you reading this can answer what happened next. You got it. He never called back. Chances are he just forgot. DON’T JUST FORGET.Because when you remember, I can assure you- I won’t be giving you my business and non of you should either. Do what you say your going to do. If you say your going to call someone back then do it, promptly at the time you said. The backlash on that is so prevelant. The person you IGNORED-slighted and neglected is going to tell other people and some of those other people could very well be someone you already do business with.
Let’s Recap. Business Etiquette 101:
- Remember that keeping business takes building strong relationships.
- If you truly care about your customers it will show in your actions.
- Don’t ever ignore an email or a VM- send a response within an hour or two if at all possible but certainly within that same day.
- Don’t ever make a business call if you can’t complete it at that time- you can send a quick email letting them know you will call them later- and then do so.
- Go the extra half a mile and send a note every now and then saying THANKS.
- Be a man of your word. If you say your going to do it- then DO IT and dare i say do it well.
- Give a shout out every now and then to your clients on your webpage or facebook without divulging too much info. They will know who they are : )
- Don’t ignore what’s right in front of you.
- Remember that your business depends on these clients. Appreciate them in a real way. It will show.
Share one of your stories with us. We’d love to hear.