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Words: come back to bite you

Tweet I have a word of warning, I’m not going to name names, but I know who you are. I learned very early on in life that what you say can come back to you. When they do their effects are often amplified. This is very true when you are in business. If you have [...]

I have a word of warning, I’m not going to name names, but I know who you are.

I learned very early on in life that what you say can come back to you. When they do their effects are often amplified. This is very true when you are in business. If you have a client facing role, if you go to a job interview, if you are sitting with friends around a coffee in a mall you words have a far wider reach than you think.

Read on to see 5 rules to live by

Rule One: Never bad mouth another business
Often times when you are pitching for work, or maybe you’ve taken over someone elses work, you will have a chance to comment on their work. Don’t be drawn into this. I know of clients who deliberately try to draw a negative comment from you and they will store it up to use it against you later.

Rule Two: Never lie during a pitch – sales or not
The amount of trouble a little white lie can cause can be catastrophic. A number or two out today, a hundred or so out tomorrow. It will catch up with you and eventually you will be forced to come clean. Start out honest, stay honest and you will never have to back track from your lies.

A note here: don’t let your systems lie either. I remember when I built myStats I had the opportunity to inflate numbers to make it look good and get more sales. Everyone else was doing it. I decided not to. Sure it cost me in sales, but I sleep well at night. Don’t let you applications lie for you.

Rule Three: Get your facts right, before you speak
A good sales person will try to understand you and your interests. They will tailor their pitch to you, to make it more acceptable to you. I know a lot about the IT and Technology sector, and a lot about businesses in this market. Never try to make stuff up about businesses and make sure if you are talking about Dell or Apple or Sony, then get your facts right. You have no come back to someone who says “Sorry, not right, Dell didn’t do that, and if you got that wrong then how can I trust your pitch?”

Rule Four: The customer is always right
This old saying has been forgotten far too easily. Sure I know there are times the client is wrong (when they are screaming down the phone at you), but I tell you, the client is always right – even when they are wrong. It’s easier to let them rant, then cool down. You can always talk to them again later. My father told me once “For the sake of the friendship, say sorry, it doesn’t matter who is wright or wrong” – this is so true in business, the customer is always right. Let them feel looked after, you can re-educate them later.

Rule Five: Never talk bad about another person
This is the one that started this post. I heard through my network that someone who took over some of my old clients was bad mouthing me. I happen to know that said person is very young and has a lot to learn about business, networks and community. The web development community is small, NZ is even smaller. I know who you are, I know what you said. I might tolerate it quietly and rant on my blog, others have encouraged me to sue for defamation.

Summary:

  1. Never bad mouth another business
  2. Never lie during a pitch – sales or not
  3. Get your facts right, before you speak
  4. The customer is always right
  5. Never talk bad about another person
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