You can judge a company by the way their people treat you
There was a moment I’ll never forget that made up my mind we needed to unfriend them on Facebook. A Stratlabber was on the phone with one of this companies main people and the conversations went something like, “do you think I have time to figure out where you’re going to setup your camera’s? I have more important things to do with my time.” It was harsh, it was completely uncalled for and I couldn’t believe someone would be so pompous. The ironic part was we were doing a video on this companies new and innovative approach to their industry. Wow, did we feel dumb. We trusted them. We put their logo on our website as a pride piece (have since taken it off).
It’s 2017 if you want to berate someone over the phone because you think they’re wasting your time all the power to you, but just know there are consequences. You can’t yell at someone too many times before they stop listening and stop caring all together. It’s a sign of your culture, if your people are that stressed out on the job that they scream and yell at the folks they’re working with, something needs to change. I don’t think you can operate like that for very long. Turn over increases, quality decreases, and anyone working there isn’t doing because they want to, but because it’s just a job.
You’re never too important to be nice to people
May we never forget this when we become important, you’re never to important to be nice to people. The best leaders I’ve ever met are the nicest, most humble people. You don’t need to treat people like subordinates. You don’t need to treat people like they’re less than you. No one has the right to ruin someone else’s day and the second you think you can yell and demand action, you end up looking ignorant.
“If you don’t want the business I can keep going down the list of website companies.”
This was the last line a fellow in Regina said to me on the phone one day when looking for a quote for a website. He started the conversation off in a condescending tone, was abrupt, and just didn’t seem like he enjoyed people. The final straw was when he said he could “keep going down the list of companies” if I didn’t want to give him a quote. I immediately laughed out loud (because I actually couldn’t believe someone would say that to another human), then told him to keep going down his list and hung up.
I’ll never forget that person. We don’t forget when someone treats us like shit, we make a mental note to always remember to make sure we don’t fall for it ever again.
On that note of we are judged on how we treat people, you can make people think more fondly of you just by how you treat them. Respect their time, support them outside of work and always, ALWAYS pay people fast. I’ve read that in a couple smart books now, the authors reasoning being that the reputation you get for paying people fast far outweighs your short-term cashflow problems.
When you’re small pay people fast, it means more to them than you
A business mentor once told me that when you’re small you should always pay people as fast as you can because they need it more than you and you’ll get a reputation for being generous.
We had a client we had to break up with recently. It was a long time coming. You know when you meet someone and in the back of your mind you think “there’s just something off about this person” or you get that weird feeling in your stomach? This happens in business all the time, usually when meeting a sleazy salesperson. Fast talkers, people concerned about the money, always trying to tell you how to do your job, stay away from these folks. The wrong client can cost you much more than the amount of money you’re getting paid. Your reputation is far more important than the pay check you’re receiving.
How long do YOU take to pay your suppliers?
It all started a long time ago when we began working with them. The first red flag was they always paid a month late. ALWAYS. It was weird, when asked, they said that’s the “pay cycle” they’re on. I didn’t know if they just invented something out of the blue or if I’d been fooled but I gave them the benefit of the doubt. Plus, I’m sure on one of my hungover days in class at university my Law Prof probably covered how long a business legally can take to pay you. We’ve had it happen before where people needed special accommodation to pay. Generally those folks don’t work with you very long. It’s best to identify them before they become too close and a breakup is the only answer.
“But we’re just a _________.”
No one is just a teacher any more. No one is just a marketing consultant. No one is just a mechanic. If you think your job is to just produce the product or service your company provides you’re in for a surprise. The problem is people always remember what you do beyond the product or service you provide. Your attitude dictates how you treat others in those moments. If your team treats someone with disrespect they must have learned that somewhere!
Don’t accept disrespect
Don’t allow people bad mouthing other people. If you allow it once, or do it yourself and tell others not to, you’re simply a hypocrite. This includes gossip and here-say. Don’t accept negative speak at work, the more people hear it, the more it’s okay to do it. That’s why we have a negativity horn, because anyone should be able to call anyone else out on being a negative Nelly!