OH what I have learned in the past few months about / from some business owners whom I have contacted , May or May NOT shock you!
If you are not shocked by the way in which people treated you when you tried to reach out to them to do B-2-B; you may be definitely stunned by their behavior that broke the model of proper, professional courtesy to you and unfortunately cost them future sales from you and your network.
In my last blog post under the category “Business Etiquette” we explored “Validating Sales & Marketing Incoming Calls- Stop & Listen it may be your product/service they are trying to sell”. In this post we will go a step beyond the validation of the call coming in to your business from another business to the callers perception of you and your business based on your response to their sales call.
Will it cost you future sales and business reputation?
If you or one of your employees treat an incoming caller rudely, no matter who they are or why they are calling; you will lose potential business now and in the future for evermore. Continue reading to learn how to make sure that when that caller talks about you and your business, it’s all good!
When that call or interaction happens with a potential client you need to know :
Always extend a professional courtesy.
Listen to their introduction before you speak.
(You may have to limit the time if they do not take a breath during their introduction. Remember the call may not be valid and you are not entirely held to this standard when they have forgotten the Golden Rule themselves- still be courteous though when you interrupt; do it politely)
Use this opportunity to Network:
If you have given their pitch true consideration- meaning you are not just trying to hurry them off the phone but you have listened and still do not have a need for their service. Consider this a networking opportunity to not only pitch your own services to them and their network but to also refer them to someone else who you think might be interested. How else are we going to revive the ShopLocal theme if you cut people off before they open their store to you?
What NOT to Do:
When you hear them start their introduction/ pitch don’t immediately spout off to them and say, “I’m not interested, I don’t have time for this”, and hang up on them!
Don’t tell them to hold for a moment and never come back to the line. (Did you seriously get a kick out of that?)
Don’t ignore them and never reply after they have spent quality time with you during the proposal stage where you acted interested.
Don’t lie to them and say you never got the information when you know you did. (Remember, what you do comes back on you)
Don’t damage your business’s reputation in a 5 second response. ( Losing any business by means of rudeness will pay off in the end, it’s just not the kinda payoff any business can afford)
OMG dear friend, are you serious? You believe that type of behavior is acceptable in business? If it wasn’t acceptable in kindergarten; you would think one would have learned it’s definitely not acceptable in a professional environment.
However, you may be surprised to know that 2-3 business owners out of 10-15 that I spoke with here in our local market treated me just that way when I called. And even though I first announced, “I am a local small business owner….” is now a good time for you?; they still said about the same thing and still just hung up.
How far do you think you will go in today’s market behaving like a school kid? How long do you think you will last in business? What would you think if that were you on the other end? Would you recommend that business to another person? NO but you will undoubtedly talk about them and steer people away from their business and harmful verbal abuse! At least I would hope so anyway.
When you think about being a business owner and how you should represent your business; business etiquette, customs, protocols, culture, and a slew of other variables should come to mind when you interact with anyone and at anytime.
Haven’t you heard about the 30 second pitch? Where you should always be ready to give account of the who what when where how of who you are, what you do for business, and how you can help the next person? I am sure you have. IN fact I bet you have practiced it a hundred times or more.
Imagine the next time you’re in the elevator, at a networking meeting, at lunch, or anywhere where you believe a potential customer is standing next to you. You know this is your chance to show and share your spill with them, a potential customer. You start out saying, “Hi, I am Jolly Joe, I own Jolly Joe’s Cafeteria …..” And the person whom you are introducing yourself to begins to squint their eyes, tighten their lips, and you start seeing steam come out their ears”. You start looking at them like OMG, what in the world is wrong with this person????
And then, they POLITELY say to you, “Oh yes, I know you. HI, I am Harry Salesman, Owner of 4 B-2-B, we spoke briefly last week when I called you”. Hahhahahah,, What will you do then?
How bout this: Next time you get that call or email with someone pitching their service or product to you; you make sure you and all your employees react the same way; professionally. Be professional, extend the same courtesy you expect to receive when the shoe is on the other foot.
Folks, I am here to help you not hurt you with this information. I truly want to see us all succeed. IF you want your business to grow there are services and products you will need and some of the calls that you receive may have them to offer you. How do you know whether or not you need the one from the LOCAL business owner who is calling you if you don’t take the time to listen and then decide.
The business owners, especially the small business owners here in the USA have been reprimanded so many times for not exhibiting good manners when conducting business. Let us learn together the proper way to do business and count it just as important as we do the proper way to set an eating table.
Learn the protocols of business for all the types of people you do business with IF you want to keep doing business.
Here are a few good resources to get you started- set some Professional Boundaries when it comes to Business Etiquette:
Jacqueline Whitmore is a leading international etiquette expert http://etiquetteexpert.com/
FUN Business Etiquette Interactive Test by: USA Today (15 ?) http://www.usatoday.com/img/content/flash/getiquettequiz/flash.htm
Dale Carnegie Not returning phone calls is bad for business http://www.dalecarnegiewaysf.com/2011/05/05/no-response-is-a-response/
Beyond shopping local learn to do business global: WWW.Worldbiz.com
Retrieved from Bing, Photos by : Image Establishment, World Biz.com, Manners.com, smallbusinessesdelivered.com, store.teambuildinginc.com, anksimage.com,
IF you are looking for a local Ohio Business consultant who is able to also be global; I am for hire. send an email to Contact@ExceptionsToTheRules.com;
I will respond within 24-48 hours.
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