Words of Wisdom and Inspiration for the aspiring entrepreneur from Frank Covich, Founder of the National Association of Independent Business Brokers (NAIBB)
by Frank Covich
Focus on Being Nice in Business Dealings.
Today’s message is inspired by my having read an article offered by Mark Cuban of the Shark Tank venture capital show. Mark is a dynamic self-made billionaire. I admire him for his professionalism and his style of always being straightforward. When he offers advice to help people, we should all take note. Mark’s article was about the importance of being nice in business dealings, and it’s a great topic.
My spin on being nice in business starts with having an awareness of how you come across to others in all aspects of building and expanding your new business. What is nice? The definition is: polite, enjoyable, pleasant and agreeable. In presentations it can also mean that you’re being correct, accurate, conforming to fact and truthful. People like nice. It helps build credibility and offers a platform for expecting nice in return.
I have found that most people meet with their “guard up.” Whether you are selling a product or service on the phone or visiting a person in an office, choosing the nicer approach will most always help you to make a good impression and diffuse any tension. Take some time to think about the many elements of being nice in business.
What helps you to make a positive face-to-face impression? Grooming, how you are dressed, how you approach a person with a warm hand shake are just a few. Do you pull up at a meeting place with a dirty, messy car? People do notice these things. Addressing all of these issues can help you to make a nice and lasting impression.
Many years ago, when I lived and worked in New York City, I met a very nice man. His name was Mr. Blackston. Mr. Blackston was about 75 when I meet him. I was looking at his business, which was for sale. He was known as Blackston 5thAvenue. He developed his business of supplying top-quality women’s large-size bras by mail order. For more than 40 years, he was the expert in his field of garment distribution. This was an interesting niche business.
What impressed me most upon meeting Mr. Blackston was that he taped a penny to his business card and said when he handed it to me, “You are now richer from meeting me”. I kept that card and still have it as a reminder of this amazing and clever business man who, to the end, was charming, smart and enjoyed meeting everyone. He always made a nice impression. I am certain that everyone who he met will always remember him. His nice impression transcended his life.
Another factor to be aware of is how you leave messages on someone’s voice mail, as well as your own recorded voice message. Your message is really important. Even little things can be off-putting. For example, some people say, “I will call you back at my convenience”. That is not a smart message. I would say, “I will call you back as soon as possible”. Why? The latter message says that your client/customer is important to you and is not just a call back when it’s convenient.
In sales, as I’ve said before, a nice presentation is always a way to warm your way into a person’s decision place. People want to make good decisions, so helping them to gather all of the information they need to make a positive decision is a very nice path to a final sale or contract.
If you own a business with employees, training is also always important for enhancing the image of your business. Nice is great, but it does not always mean smart. It’s your job to take some time with your employees who will sell or service your business clients. Just because you hire someone who says they have experience does not mean they were trained properly or as you would like.
Scripts are important for people who answer phones. You want a nice image being built for your business, and there is nothing worse than spending money to advertise and getting someone to call only to have the call mishandled. It happens all the time. I consult for a criminal/family law firm, and over the years new people have been hired to answer the phones. It’s actually a hard job. People in distress want a sympathetic and organized person to talk with. If I need an attorney, I need immediate help. Putting a person on hold is not cool. Dealing with the need for client information is vital. It takes training and skill to help a potential client to feel good about their call. Think about how nice your employees deal with calls.
In my theme about the importance of being nice in business dealings, I would offer these additional considerations. A formal follow-up message, pulling “the old school” card, is a really classy way to go. I do not mean a text or an e-mail. Try sending a potential client a nice note, have some small invitation-sized cards made up. After an important meeting or sales presentation, try sending a nice card by mail. Say something like, “It was really nice meeting with you. Thank you for your time. Please call me with any questions. My direct number is (contact number here) Regards, Tom Harmon”.
In summary, I can state firmly that focusing on just how important the concept of developing the “nice factor” is in all of your business dealings will be paramount to your success.
To learn more about my program and the science and art of business brokerage, please visit www.bebizbroker.com. Let me show you how you can start your practice fast, economically and with total confidence.
All the best,