Who wants to do business with (or work for) a cranky person? When it comes to doing business with someone, whether that’s a customer, supplier, boss or employee – the fact that they can do the job is important. The fact that the pricing is right is important also. But almost as important is whether doing business with you is painful? People do business with people they like, know and trust.
Argumentative business owner?
That consistent something extra
I know a tradie who lost builder’s work because he constantly complained about fixes after the other trades had come in. He not only wasn’t happy going back but demanded substantial extra payment. The builder has a job to do. A client is not going to be happy taking over a home with faults in it. Things have to be right; these are brand new homes. This tradie knows this happens EVERY time; so build that expectation into the price and into your schedule. Quite similar is the lawn mowing guy; you know the cut grass will get onto the paths and will need the blower pulled out. It’s simply part of the service. Getting snappy with the builder or customers achieves nothing (other than a lighter schedule).
Who is this person?
Over the years I’ve seen business owners get onto social media and rant. Seriously, have a go at all the sundry and sledge where it’s just not suitable. People have asked me “Who is that irritating person?” They build a reputation but is it the rep they should want or need? Why would you do business with someone who is constantly having a go at everyone, is rude and often offensive? Not me. I suggest to people that you disconnect from that person online and certainly don’t engage with them. Life is too short to put up with people like that unless you absolutely have to (ie their your boss, and even then you may find yourself refreshing your resume).
Engage that filter!
I’ve been around the block a few times, so I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen customers abuse suppliers, customers get abused, employer to staff and staff abuse their boss. I recently even saw a professional (in fact, he was a specialist professional) literally call his client a f***ing #$^%^#. As I’ve witnessed these instances, I’ve understood why it’s happened, but cannot condone or justify it actually occurring. If you have a temper, walk away and cool down. If you love to rant on the keyboard, email that special message to yourself first and do not send it for 24 hours. Ask yourself, what purpose will it serve? Most importantly, think about the ramifications BEFORE you speak and engage that filter. Particularly when it comes to staff, it’s just not on. Not only will you lose a great team (which costs a business a fortune) but you may well have a Fair Work claim on your hands.
Achieve more using honey
Being nice will achieve so much more than being rude and cranky. “Honey gets more flies than vinegar” is incredibly true. People will do the bare minimum they have to (or less) if you’re abusive. They are not inspired to go that extra mile to assist you. However, (especially in a time of frustration) if you are nice, pleasant, understanding and communicative around what you need – then you will have far more chance of someone trying to resolve your problem. If you’re nice to them, they will like you and will appreciate your patience and essentially reward it with top effort. Try it – being nice will achieve a much better result for you. Also, being super nice to someone who is being angry with you diffuses the situation; it’s hard to be cranky at someone who’s being ultra-pleasant, helpful or nice.
Don’t burn bridges!
When it comes to selling and engaging new clients, not everyone is going to come on board. You might spend literally months trying to get a job or get a client on board. You’ve wooed them, spent hours and hours on proposals and then at the last minute they go elsewhere or change their mind. Frustrated? Sure! But rather than undoing all that great work and venting your frustration on them (or being rude or blunt) instead, accept it graciously. Sometimes people will choose a cheaper (and yes, perhaps inferior) option and if you’ve left the door open and left them feeling welcome to reconnect, if that option doesn’t work out – they may well come back to you. All that hard work won’t have been wasted. Burn that bridge, and yep, it was all in vain.
I remember many years ago, one of my sons locked himself in the boot of my car (long story). RACQ was called and the guy is struggling with the lock. My son is getting distressed but I knew that my ranting, putting on a scene or hassling the RACQ guy would achieve absolutely nothing. I worked to calm the child and soon enough he was free. Afterward, the guy said to me “Thanks so much for staying calm; that allowed me to work much faster.” Like being pleasant to someone achieves results, so does remaining calm in a crisis situation. When you don’t add the extra burden or your behaviour onto someone, they can just work to get their job done. Your ‘tantrum’ only makes their job harder and slows achieving a positive outcome.
And what about you?
I’ve got to ask this question – do you enjoy being cranky, grumpy and argumentative? I guess some people do, but it will elevate your stress levels and ongoing, excess stress is not good for your health. Do you want to be happy and attach other happy people around you and have a business which is thriving, or do you want to push everyone away, be grumpy and generally not do well? Like I said in the beginning, people do business with those they like. They may tolerate someone for a short time, or for a specialist purpose, but ongoing, they will move on. That’s not healthy for your business. An unhealthy business doesn’t make money and now you’ve potentially added to your stress in the area of business struggle.
The first step is acknowledging that you need to work on your manner. This may be through counselling, anger management, reading, meditation or even sheer determination that you DO want to change and improve yourself, your business and the business relationships you have with others. I do not specialise in this counselling, but can certainly refer you to someone who can help.
Make a Spectacular Day!