Being Nice Matters In Business
You would be astonished at how many business owners are jerks or just not very polite to their own detriment. Some probably think that their attitude helps them, others may not realize how off-putting they are to deal with and the rest probably just accept that it’s who they are. At the end of the day, the customer really doesn’t want to deal with someone who isn’t pleasant to do business with.
Note: If you are just rolling over and accepting that you are just not a pleasant person and do not think you can change, you are wrong. You can change at any time you are ready and reap the benefits of doing so.
I have found in the decades of doing business either as a B2B or B2C that honey gets you way more repeat business as well as positive word of mouth than vinegar will. The operation needs to survive and continue bringing in new deals so the doors can remain open. This is where a smile and some quality interactions come in. This is everything from greeting people when they walk in the door all the way to reacting to a bad deal gone awry in the correct manner. People want to know that you are not only great to work through issues with but also someone who they find easy to talk with. In other words, be nice damn it!
My hairdressing teacher told me in high school that the key to a good interaction in the salon or barber shop is to avoid politics, religion, and sex. That to me has always been a great starter in not just being professional, but also being nice. Avoid topics that could turn the mood upside down. Who wants to engage with someone who is always going on about the government or the new scandal in the Vatican? Not me and most of your customers don’t want to either. They might not even be on your side and once they know you are the “opposing” idea they may walk right on out anyways.
Besides the conversation no-no’s there are plenty of other ways to be nice as well. To start the day off with a “good morning” to your employees or customers is a great first step. How about asking them how they are doing and listening to their responses? I know this sounds very basic, but you would be surprised how many business owners don’t do the very basics. They are unaware or don’t care because they are the boss. This couldn’t be further from effective when you are trying to make sales or have your workforce perform at it’s highest levels.
While serving in the military I prided myself on being polite, charming, and making sure everyone got what they needed in all interactions. Well, unless you were a jerk and then I didn’t do much for you. That is just how the world works. You have to give a little to get a little and attitude goes a long way in that. You might think of the military as being a place where you use fear, yelling, or threats to get things done and sure, some do but it isn’t very efficient. I want people to want to work for me. Everything goes so much easier this way.
My advice is to put a real smile on, get your head straight, and make it contagious. People will react positively to someone who is really nice and not just faking it for the almighty dollar.
Not So Nice Employees
Maybe you are the nicest person in the world and everyone compliments your demeanor. Great, the first half of this wasn’t about you, but rather your peers across the street. You might have some folks working for you that could be less than desired though. I have had employees that hated coming to work (not because of me) or always had something negative going on in their lives and dragged it into the office. Get rid of that as fast as possible is my advice to you. Fire, remove, counsel, or whatever it is that you can do to remove that attitude will be rewarded.
People that come to the office with negative “vibes” will bring down everyone around them. Don’t think about it too long because it’s really happening whether or not you are seeing it. It’s like me coming home and my wife is upset because of something I did or did not do. She doesn’t really have to tell me, I just feel it. The same goes for a bad attitude. People know it and it brings everyone else down too. This transfers right over to every interaction that they will have with a customer unless they are very self-aware and can turn it on or off as needed.
Avoid those people and focus on the positives. I understand that bad days happen and you might have to give a day off to someone if they need it. The point is that a manager should know how to handle a situation like this and bring those bottom lines up. You need these people happy unless you manage an Amazon Warehouse and it’s just about the numbers. I really hope Amazon does something there.
Bring Those Smiles Home
It’s hard to fake happiness and really mean it but you can do everything you can to create a positive environment for everyone to want to come and make the best out of each day. We want sales, happy employees, and positive growth. That all starts with a positive mental attitude, a warm place to work, and employees that are grateful they have that amazing job and boss. These are all very difficult to achieve so don’t think you nailed it and move on. Really take a hard look to see if you have done everything possible to bring those smiles through the door and do the very best that you can.