Happy belated Valentine’s Day.
If I had to mention one book that had the single biggest influence on my business life, it would be this one – and I discovered it by accident. I just happened to be at a conference in the USA where Tim was speaking, and was blown away by what he was saying. I bought the book soon afterwards.
What Tim was saying in his keynote presentation, and that the book explains in greater detail, was a way of interacting with people that I was unconsciously doing already. I’d never even considered that I was doing something that others were not. Tim’s presentation opened my eyes to how I was approaching people in business, and that more of us should be doing the same thing.
Love Is Part Of Building Trust – And Building BusinessIf you’ve never read the book, it’s message is basically to give without expecting to receive. To go out of your way to help others in business, your employees, your customers, like you would treat family.
Nine years ago such talk would have had you dismissed as some sort of pot-smoking hippie. Today, with all the talk about “social media” this, and “client engagement” that, it seems that Tim’s message was prophetic.
Yet, based upon the actions of many business people I meet, you would think that they live by the tenet of “Treat Them Mean To Keep Them Keen.” Too many business people disrespect colleagues, employees and clients with actions at work that many would see as being no more than simple common courtesy.
What do I mean?
If we have an existing business relationship and I send you an email, then I expect a response back from you. It doesn’t have to be the same day, or even the same week, but I do expect you to get back to me. If it’s to say ‘no’, then say it. If it’s to say “not yet”, then say it. If you don’t have any news to give me at all, then give me the 30 seconds that it takes to let me know. Show Me The Love.
Say What You’ll Do. Do What You SayIf I’m your customer and you’ve promised something to me, then you better live up to the deal. If you promise me that the feature that I’ve requested is coming in the next version of your product, then make sure that it’s there. If I have a problem, don’t recite some “read the small print” nonsense to get out of your obligation. And if I’m in the wrong, use the opportunity to show me that you care. Show Me The Love.
Reading your emails every time your Crackberry / iPhone / whatever goes-off during a meeting is being rude and disrespectful. It doesn’t matter whether I’m your employee, supplier, customer or business contact. If you’re more interested in what has been emailed to you then what we’re saying face-to-face, then maybe I should leave right now and send you an email (that’s assuming that you’ll reply, of course). Show Me The Love.
“But I’m not like that,” you say. “I value your business, your contribution, your value. I was busy. I was having a bad day. I forgot.”
Perhaps that’s true. But to quote Longfellow “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”