Business Etiquette Practices and Tools to Connect

Practices that will keep you connected in the right ways with your market!

New Year New Attitude January 4, 2010

With all of the New Year Resolutions you set, how is your attitude to go with them? Have you ever heard the expression “attitude is everything”? Well, it most definitely is!  If your business is not reaching the results you want and people are not responding to you in a positive way, maybe it’s not your business model. What you express to others is generally what you receive in return. Over the holidays, I experienced numerous people complaining, whining and just down right negative about their business and life in 2009. Even though I listened and was empathetic, I’m not sure I will hire them for any future projects or purchase their products. Face it, most of us are facing the same struggles so what is the difference in our success and failures? In my opinion, it is the attitude on which we face them. There are all kinds of expressions I can give you: “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” or  “Fake it til you make it” but my all time favorite is “If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it”.

Challenge yourself for a week to look at everything with a positive spin and see what you get back. Even if you think you are positive in public, do you have the same attitude in private? Let me know what your results are after one week of this challenge.

I truly wish you all a Happy New Year and hope all your obstacles are turned into successes.

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Are You Respectful of Others Knowledge? October 20, 2009

What do I mean by that? Call it knowedge, training or just plain business know how. We all know doctors, lawyers and other professionals that have spent years earning their credentials. When we use or hire these professionals we expect to be charged for their services. If you met a doctor at a party or event, would you ask them for medical advice on the spot or would you mention your concern about a particular issue you are having and ask if it is something you should make an appointment for? As a general rule, we are respectful of their time and knowledge as we should be.

On the other hand, what if you met an author, business coach, trainer or another professional that has knowledge that was helpful to you? If you have questions for a business coach that you just met , would you ask for an appointment and pay for their time or would you  ask as many questions as you could get answers to? From my experience, people will attempt to gain as much information as possible with no respect for that person’s experience. Why do we have a tendency to take advantage of these professionals? For those of us that are not “certified” or “degreed” in our professional fields, does that make what we do any less valuable? Next time you meet someone that is knowledgable in a field that interests you, respect their time and intellect. I’m not saying you can’t have valuable conversations about your businesses; just be respectful of others knowledge.

My challenge to you is this: when you meet a professional and want to pick their brain, tell them you respect their time and knowledge and would like to know if you cross the line from conversation to business. We all want to learn as much as possible to help our businesses that we sometimes forget to set boundaries for ourselves as well as others.

 

Be Kind, Opt Out October 8, 2009

Filed under: Better Business Practices — Kay Wallace @ 11:04 pm
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Do you get tired of receiving so many emails every single day? What do you do with them? Do you delete them, unsubscribe or report them to spam? Are you a small business owner, entrepreneur, sales person or work on a commission structure that requires client communication? Why am I asking so many questions?

For those of us who attend networking events, belong to our local Chamber of Commerce or make face to face sales calls, we all have a collection of business cards that are probably put into a contact management system so we can follow up with those contacts.  If you have ever given your business card to someone that you would like to stay connected to, then you may have received an email newsletter or announcements from that contact. After 100’s of these contacts you start getting frustrated with so many emails. You may have given verbal and sometimes written permission (this is best business practice) to receive email but in frustration you report them as “spam”.  What you may not know is that most contact managements systems only allows an average of  only 1 spam report per 1000 emails. If a business gets 4-5 spam reports out of the 1000 emails, the contact management system shuts them down. Why should you care?

Let’s take a quick look at the other side. If you are that individual that has a collection of business cards and have been given permission to send information (should always be written permission) and you get those 4-5 spam reports and your service shuts you down, you suddenly find yourself starting over building your database again.

Whether you are on the sender or receiver side of this story; or maybe both sides, someone’s business is possibly affected in a negative way. We have all heard the old Blockbuster commercial asking people to “Be kind, rewind”. My suggestion is to “Be kind, opt-out”. By simply opting out of someone’s database, everyone wins. The sender isn’t shut down for spam and the receiver will no longer receive unwanted emails.

We are all trying to build our business and get our message out to those who want to read it and the intent is NOT to spam people.  Let’s all be a little more empathetic to the small business owners we meet along the way and simply select the “opt-out” link. Remember, you might be the sender next time.  What would you want the receiver to do?

BE KIND, JUST OPT-OUT

 

Social Media and Politics…

Filed under: Facebook — Kay Wallace @ 8:52 pm
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What you are saying on facebook? Is it helping or hurting your business relationships? I have 5 rules I adhere to when posting in my social media network. The one I want to talk about today is “NO POLITICS”. If you will think about your social media connections in terms of business, do you want to alienate half of your network by talking politics. Of course, if your business is politics then that’s an entire different arena.

So last week I’m checking my facebook page and watched an entire conversation unfold between two of my “friends” about a video. The conversation began when one of them posted this video and stated that it was political propaganda. To set the tone of the exchange for you, this was exact statement posted :

“How dare Obama ask me to pledge to serve him and give me a guilt trip. I am no mindless robot. I pledge to protest Obama. I have the right to disagree with his policies and he has no right to ask me to serve him without questioning him.”

Out of curiosity I watched the video and personally did not think it was in any way political but began to look at this person that posted it with his comment in a different light. You see, my purpose for any social media is to form relationships with people I would like to do business with or refer my network to. I had to ask myself “Can I recommend my network to this person?”. Within a couple of minutes, someone responded to his post disagreeing with his comment. Over the next 30 minutes I continued to watch their conversation.  Don’t ask me why, but I  could not stop reading; it was like watching a train wreck.  You are shocked and mortified at what is happening but you can’t stop watching. I won’t post the entire exchange between the two of them but will tell you what started as a political statement then went into a discussion about cults, brainwashing and government mind control. I was so stunned at the end of their conversation that as I ask myself the question again “Can I recommend my network to this person?”, my answer was a resounding “NO”.

As we post comments and have conversations on our social media platforms, keep in mind it is not only out there for everyone to read or repost but is also out there forever. Social Media is a public forum so before you post something ask yourself “Is this something I would say in front of an audience of thousands?”