Global Entrepreneurship Week: Unleashing Ideas
The Age of Minding Your D*mn Business

If Times Are So Tough...

Duh By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Why are people still:

1. Not returning customers' (or potential customers') phone calls? I called a local direct mail house (with whom I've done business before) at least five times over the past week.  Nada.  Which means nada more biz from me or my clients.   

2. Not following up on every potential bit of business - even it's not immediate?
  It's all who knows you. Phone calls and email are still cheap.

3. Acting like customers have no choice? 

4. Treating their small customers like little people?

5. Not saying "thank you" for favors and referrals?

6.  More interested in talking to each other than to me, the customer standing there in the store,
wanting to buy something!  (Store owners, spend some time on the floor and at the door - and make sure your employees feel like they're part of the business.  Customers = Revenues = Jobs).

7. Taking phone calls while in the middle of meetings?  Hello?  I'm the potential business or referral source RIGHT here, RIGHT now in front of you...and you answered your phone while I was in mid-sentence. 

Yes, time are indeed tough, but I'm amazed at how many think that rudeness is the way to succeed. My friend, Mary Ellen Merrigan does an excellent riff on this theme, Got Rude? Check if You're Fed Up.

P.S.  This rudeness thing goes both ways. GET OFF THE PHONE while you're checking out at the store.  Treating the service people like machines is terrible behavior. 

P.P.S.  Your vendor today could be your customer tomorrow.  Duh-oh! 


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Joan Reeves

Rudeness? Oh, my, did you hit my hot button! I have come to the point where I'm totally for banning cell phones while driving, dining in restaurants, standing in front of a cashier at the grocery store, at movies.... My list goes on and on. I embraced cell phones from the minute they became affordable for the general population, but enough is enough. I cannot think of a shopping trip in the past year when either the sales clerk was on the phone or a customer in front of me was yakking away while a cashier patiently waited. To the woman who regaled all of us yesterday at the supermarket checkout: Honest to God, if we wanted to know about your hysterectomy, we'd have asked!

Dr Wright

I completely agree with you. The people who are doing well are following up, calling back, treating people like important people no matter what level they are working in. We entrepreneurs need to look at how much 'bad times" we bring on ourselves. I love this current economy because it is shaking out the people who are marginal in service and attitude.

I noticed people who are doing well, do call back, this is a new time, time for doing things differently.

Dr. Wright
The Wright Place TV Show

Barbara Ling

So very true. It's astonishing how rude not only vendors can be, but customers as well (think "customer is always right" even when demanding what you have never provided in the past).

I think if we all treated one another how we desire it ourselves...the world would be a much more productive place.

A little bit of courtesy can move mountains...every time.

Data points, Barbara


Brava, Brava, Mary! I am stunned by the short-sighted approach to client/customer/prospect relations that way too many companies exhibit. What can they be thinking? I am responsible for selecting vendors for two different companies and the percentage of prospective suppliers behaving poorly are scarily high in both cases. Once bitten, I never offer a second chance for redemption, because time and quality are too precious to gamble on. It's time to wake up and smell the losses. Companies sacrifice business with every ill-mannered interaction.

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