Just Be Nice

February 1, 2013 8:14 pm Published by

My wife, during her career as a teacher, used to comment to me about the importance of a good school secretary in maintaining a smooth running school. She had experienced several, in her particular case, all female. A good one could be the benevolent caring motherly type one moment, and Margaret Thatcher the next. Staying on her good side was well advised whether you were a teacher or principal0. Circumvention was a strictly ‘at your own risk’ proposition. Businesses I would argue, have much in common with the school environment. The initial contact of any organization must be capable of dealing with all variety of individuals seamlessly and efficiently without getting flustered, agitated or distracted. Most often, they are the filter through which outside calls reach the employer. If then, (for no other reason than self interest), dealing with them with courtesy and professionalism would be well advised.

Our industry (real estate) is ripe fodder for the purveyors of sales tools, motivational seminar presenters and the like- as the saying goes, ‘you can always sell the salesman’. It is not uncommon that I receive calls from folks wanting to sell our agents their materials. And so it was, that I receive the following message from our front desk:
‘Tucker Cheeseman (fake name), of XWZ Marketing (fake name)… (phone number) regarding training and keynote speakers Bubba Lou (fake name) Ike Candleman (fake name) – VERY aggressive and demanding etc….’
To sum up: I receive a call from someone I do not know, speaking rudely to someone that I do know. Bubba and Ike are wildly successful, and if the goal is making money, they have scored more than I ever will. Yet, the approach seems to me curious at least, obnoxious at worst, and I did not return the call.The next day, Mr. Cheeseman called again, and this time I happened to be in my office and we were connected. He was charming, excusing himself for interrupting my ‘busy day’, and assuring me that he would not take much of my ‘precious time.’ I assured him that he was correct, and our conversation lasted all of 15 seconds!

I have always had a strong aversion to canned sales speeches, and rehearsed replies to objections, so in truth, Mr. Cheeseman had his work cut out for him even if he had treated our staff with respect. But he did not, so he made my inevitable rejection of his services much easier. Respect of your clients is, in my opinion, the hallmark of good business. If you do not start with respect, you can not end with good business. And while it might not necessarily be a guarantee of a successful business, it is a guarantee of a clear conscience. It’s also a more efficient way of getting through to the principal.

Thanks for reading,

Jeff Neumann

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