What {Not} To Do in Business

I have a big project I'm working on (read: goal and/or obsession) which will require me to use the products and services of many people. These people stand to make some pretty coin from my purchases. As I move about the world, I am constantly sorting, sizing up and vetting the folks I meet because I might need them ~ or my clients or contacts might need them. As I've been interacting with a few of these people, they have either demonstrated "what not to do" in business or "exactly what to do." (To protect the innocent, I am going to be very general in this post. If you think I'm talking about you, I probably am.)

Rule #1: Be nice! (a.k.a. Never be rude. To anyone. Ever.) I have a seven-figure project coming up in the next few months and I will need to hire someone to help me. I met someone who looked great on paper, came with a recommendation, and seemed perfect. When I called her to suggest we get together for lunch or coffee, she said she just didn't have the time. In fact, she insulted my ladies luncheon she was invited to participate in as a guest. What's 20% of $1 million? Just checking.

Rule #2: Be nice! (a.k.a. Never be rude. To anyone. Ever.) My husband and I visited an upscale store today. We were taking pictures of the items we intended to come back and purchase. They threw us out for taking pictures. What's the general retail mark-up these days? Anyone heard anything about a recession?

Rule #3: Be nice! (a.k.a. You guessed it: Never be rude. To anyone. Ever.) I have known someone for several years I thought for sure I would use when the time was right. This person, while normally congenial, was rude and dismissive of me. I won't be using them on this project, either ... as a matter of fact, the person I found as a replacement is fantastic and I'm already really enjoying our relationship. I've already made a referral that stands to make them tens of thousands of dollars in addition to what they'll make when I press the go button.

What to think about doing instead: The new person came by with chocolate covered strawberries just to introduce themselves to me and let me know they are of service. Oh my goodness! Fantastic! Not only can I not wait to close the deal, I can't wait to refer them more business!!

Or try this: We went to Bloomingdale's today. I'm studying French and the lady selling us our stuff is from Marseilles, France. So I spoke to her in my limited and broken French. She was wonderful and gracious and told me she is there every weekend if I want to come back and practice. Now I have two reasons to go back: lots of stuff to buy and French to practice.

The moral of the post is: Be nice! Even if you are in a bad mood, are having a bad day, the dog died, and the kids are failing math, be as gracious as you possibly can. You never know when being gracious is going to help you do well by doing good.


MindyMom said...

Great post Honree. I agree that being nice goes a long way.

Love your new blog look too, I used to have the same template. ;)

Morgan Day said...

Would love to forward this post to a few folks I once crossed past withs ;) But maybe that wouldn't be very nice.
I'll let Karma take care of things instead...and keep doing what I believe IS the key to business + relationships:Treat everyone as if they are your mentor/best ally/key to success/. If they don't return the same, kindly move on to someone who will!

Success is just not fun unless it is win-win and honorable!

Thanks for being such an amazing coach, Honoree.