Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Being Gracious in Business

It’s the holiday season I can already tell. It seems that this time of the year people’s nerves seem to be on edge. Or is the economy or a combination of both? Or is it that some individuals who are in business just don’t understand that being gracious in business dealings will help to build a lasting relationship with a client or potential client. And hopefully that lasting relationship will lead to future business and/or referrals.

Here are some of my recent musings that have prompted me to write this blog.

Sometimes people may not need your product or service when you initially talk with them. If you’re gracious during your interaction, they might remember you the next time someone says, “Do you know someone who sells XYZ?” Or they may even come back to you months later and say OK now the time is right and I want to buy your product or service.

Sometimes you may order something and when you received it, it just wasn’t what you expected. And if the person is gracious about letting you return it, you might be more apt to try and do business with them the next time you were looking for other products that they sell.

Sometimes people just don’t respond to your time table. People are busy. Life happens. People forget. Your priorities are not their priorities. I’ve always heard that sugar works better than vinegar or if life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Sometimes a gentle nudge as a reminder works a whole lot better than sending a nasty gram/email. You never know what problems or issues they may be dealing with.

Sometimes having a cheerful, positive, and helpful attitude will promote you and your business far more than you know. I recently helped to put together a Holiday and Gift Bazaar. We did a lot of work promoting it, but we did not have the turn out that we had wanted. Most everyone was gracious and understanding and blamed it on the economy, etc. I was very impressed with one individual whose attitude and actions went far beyond my expectations. She even sent us a thank you note telling us how much she appreciated how professional everything was done and that she appreciated all our efforts. Now, she sells a product that I typically purchase from someone else, but because of her graciousness, the next time I am in need of this product, I will be ordering from her, referring her, and finding ways I can help her with her business.

And Sometimes I have been know to lose my cool as a consumer and pull out the ‘B’ card. I regret it when I do. Recently I had been trying to get an issue resolved. The person I was dealing with had done a wonderful job except for one little thing and she was a friend. She had to work through her company for a solution. I have to give her credit; she handled herself and me very graciously. She found and provided me with an acceptable resolution. I had been giving her glowing testimonials, but after that I am even more ingratiated to her. I recommend her every chance I get and I will do business with her again.

Here are some quotes to consider for doing business. I offer them for us to ponder this holiday season and throughout the year.

• Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
• If you help enough people get want they want, you’ll get what you want. Zig Zilar
• Givers Gain – Ivan Misner
• Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart. ~Henry Clay
• Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors. ~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
• It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice. ~Author Unknown
• Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are. ~Author Unknown
• Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~Mark Twain
• The fragrance always lingers in the hand that gives the flower

I hope the saying that ‘Nice guys (gals) finish last’ isn’t true. And even if it is, I would rather be remembered as being gracious in my business dealings.

In gratitude,
Annette S. Walden
Marketing Solutions Consultant


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