We’re not sure about you, but one of the first things we remember being taught when we were growing up as kids were two simple phrases: “please and thank you.”
These two phrases don’t take more than a second each to say; however, the impact they have can last a lifetime.
You want or need something, you say “please.” Someone helps you in some way, or does something nice for you, you say “thank you.”
Growing up, we were taught manners and we have embodied them through all the aspects of our lives. For us, manners equal having respect for each other, manners equal being a genuine person with awareness of situations we find ourselves in.
At the end of the day, good manners are a basic element of leading a good life.
Simple enough, right?
Well, as we experienced last week in a potential business transaction with a referral, having good manners is not always the case, nor simple.
We would guess pretty much every person is taught “please and thank you” growing up, so we are not sure why this was left out of the conversation by a person we had a business dealing with last week.
But, the simple fact of the matter remains; this person’s manners (or lack of them) cost their business a potential $24,000 (or more) per year contract.
Our company offers exclusivity to certain clients we work with; this is because of how aggressive they want to be in regards to how much of their market share they want to own.
So, when we sign up a company that is focused on selling a product or a service, we will not sign up any of their competitors who also focus on selling the same or very similar product or service.
This is one of the ways we like to prove our loyalty to clients, as our exclusivity ensures we help them become the best in their industry.
We have a few clients who truly benefit from this deal.
Sure, as a company, we lose potential revenue because by offering exclusivity to certain clients we, as a result, must turn down some other businesses at times.
It’s not always fun to watch money slip away, but it is always fun to see our clients appreciate the fact that our relationship to them and their results is more important than us just padding our pockets with more cash.
Relationships and Results: it’s been our tagline for the five + years we have been in business and we stand behind it time and time again.
For us, it’s the right thing to do, and we enjoy doing the right thing because karma always smiles back on us.
SENDING BUSINESS TO “COMPETITORS”
Call us dreamers, call us idealists, but we like to believe there is enough business in the world for everyone to enjoy a certain level of success.
We do not look at companies/individuals who provide the same service as us as competitors, because there’s no need to.
What are we competing for or against – the limited number of accounts out there to secure? Nope, because we believe in abundance and that there’s enough for everyone.
Are we competing to be better than other companies? Nope, we just want to continue to be the best company we can be, better than WE were yesterday.
We understand every person and every company is unique and has certain strengths, so why try to measure up against anyone but you?
If we continue to learn and grow and provide the best service possible to our clients, and keep our intentions pure, we “win” and no one can ever take that away from us.
So, when opportunity presents itself to us and we are unable to accept it because of our exclusivity deal(s) with current clients, we have no problem (we actually enjoy it) sending that deal to people and companies we know who CAN help them.
A $24,000 + (Per Year) DEAL LOST
Last week we approached someone we know who provides similar services as us about a new client we would like to send their way because we could not work with them due to our exclusivity with a client we’ve had for over four years.
Now, call us naïve, but we thought their first response would be something along the lines of:
“Thank you,” or, “thanks for thinking of me,” or, “I appreciate it”; basically, any acknowledgement of appreciation, shown with basic manners and respect.
INSTEAD, the immediate response was along the lines of “I want more.”
We sat back in our chairs and looked at each other in disbelief… because it is hard to believe something like this was happening.
If this was any indication of how they would treat this new client we wanted to send them, it was a sure sign to NOT send this client their way. We always want to make sure we send clients to someone who will treat them with the same level of respect and trust that we would.
Not only did this referral drop the ball with their initial lack of basic manners, they went on to further secure NOT GETTING THIS DEAL by showing no signs of gratitude at the end of the conversation.
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
Even though this potential referral showed no signs of being grateful for the opportunity at the beginning of our conversation, we kept thinking it would come at the end of the conversation.
Boy, were we wrong.
We discussed a few details and we did our best to learn more about their business and what they were looking for in a new client, to ensure the business we were possibly sending their way would be a good fit for them.
After spending about 15 minutes chatting with them, it became obvious this person lacked some basic business etiquette and WOULD NOT be a good match for this new client.
To wrap up the conversation, after WE THANKED THEM FOR THEIR TIME AND ANSWERS, all we got was a “sure thing.”
So, we offer you, (instead of another business) a $24,000 + per year opportunity, we take the time to get to know your business, so we can send you a client that matches what you’re looking for, and instead of a simple “thank you” at the end, all they have to say is “sure thing.”
BACK TO BASICS
We deal with businesses/people from time to time who seem to have forgotten that it’s NOT all about the newest technology and cutting edge strategies.
Sometimes, getting new business and holding onto current business comes down to the basics – do you treat others as you would want to be treated?
Times have really changed in recent years thanks to the influx of social media, different software to automate certain aspects of business, and much more.
WHAT HASN’T CHANGED, and what we believe will never change – is doing what’s right (deep down we all know what this means, whether or not we want to do it is a totally different thing) and treating people with respect (having manners is a great way to express this).
We see more and more companies pop up and call themselves legit and then we interact with them and come to realize they’re in it for the wrong reasons, or, they are so caught up “in the game” they have forgotten to stay true to what allows the best businesses to succeed for the longest periods of time: respect for your customers and respect for your vendors.
Without these two key elements at the forefront of your business, it’s only a matter of time until things begin to crumble.
Two simple words – “thank you”, could have secured $24,000 + revenue in just the first year for this referral.
BUT, focusing on the money and “more, more, more” lost them the deal – oh, how easy it should have been to simply say, “thank you”, instead.
THANK YOU MOM AND DAD
To wrap it up, THANK YOU Mom and Dad for teaching us manners at an early age and for helping us cultivate it throughout the rest of our lives.
Why? Because if we were reading this blog post and someone told us we just lost six figures in potential revenue over the next few years because we didn’t have basic manners, WE WOULD BE KICKING OURSELVES!
And we have more than just one client we could have sent their way, so hypothetically they may have just eliminated their chance of making much more than six figures with their relationship with us.
A little reminder to all of us: get back to basics – “please and thank you” go a long way, and have and show respect for others at all times.