Anyone listening to my show Small Business Forum Radio(www.blogtalkradio.com/tonywilkins ) on a regular basis knows that I have a few pet peeves when it comes to doing business. See, in my day there were a couple of big no-nos that would almost certainly guarantee the loss of a sale or client. So I decided to give you my top rules for business etiquette. Think of it as an open memo to those “professionals” who don’t respect the time of others.
1. Show up for meetings-in person,conference calls and interviews. I recently had several so-called professionals booked and confirmed to come on my show. In fact, they contacted me to be a guest. All were sent confirmation e-mails and some were even confirmed 48 hours prior (per phone). And while it doesn’t happen very often. things do come up that prevent guests from showing up. I heard nearly every excuse from ” I forgot what time to call in” to I had technical difficulties. These people each contacted me to be a guest on the show for the exposure which is fine. But then to not show up or call is not just unprofessional but tacky as well. So I’ve instituted a solution. If a guest or prospects blows me off without so much as a call, I simply don’t do business with them when they eventually come around. If you don’t care about promoting your business on a nationally syndicated show,then why should I?
2. A” thank you” goes a long way before and after closing a sale. My rule is to always send an e-mail or make a phone call (sometimes both) to say thank you to a client for their business. It just shows that you’re interested in a long productive relationship and that you’re grateful for their business.
3. Turn of the phone during a meeting. Nothing chaps my hyde more than someone either taking a call or texting a message during a meeting with me. Show some respect and wait til the meeting is over to answer your phone.
4. If you’ve asked me to partner with you on a one time project then please respect my time; particularly if there is no immediate financial reward,referral or free publicity. While I appreciate every opportunity that comes my way, there is a sense lately that my time is not as important as the next persons. Waiting til the last minute to send needed information for a project. Not showing up for meetings. Behaving as if I should be doing most of the work on a project makes me less likely to work with individuals particularly when I’m not being compensated. Sad but true. Please understand that I’m just as busy as the next person and I want to always be of service but only to a point so please respect this.
5. And speaking of which…. Return phone calls and e-mails. If I’ve sent an e-mail or made a call to you then please return the favor. Particularly if it’s a prospect that has expressed interest in working with me. Being “too busy ” is never an excuse;even if you have no interest in working with me or doing business with me. A simple “Not interested” goes a long way. Just remember the door of opportunity swings both ways.
So what ever happened to business etiquette? For me it still exists . What about you?