Courtesy in Business

thanks- for-your-businessI have noticed more recently how much business is changing. The changes are coming at breakneck speed and of course there’s no stopping change. I guess that’s a good thing. To be honest I really have no idea. Change by natural law is a constant and one thing we can be certain of. I suspect the noticeable changes in business has something to do with the rate of speed commerce is moving.

Unfortunately, one of the consequences of rapid change in some areas is showing up as a lack of courtesy in business. This doesn’t seem to be evident as much with the neighborhood dry cleaner or the ever ready tow truck driver, but more in the the realm of business to business relationships. Is it becoming the norm to treat fellow business owners with dismissive behavior – unless you need them?

In a recent conversation with a friend in the cyber security business he related to me a story of an incident that he is finding more common than not. He and his colleagues were asked to introduce cyber security measures into an advertising firm that discovered that they were quite vulnerable to hacker attacks. After a pleasant meeting that lasted over the entire afternoon they parted company with a handshake and a promise of doing business together.

To make a long story short, the advertising agency without apparent reason took a distant position with no resulting explanation. They didn’t even have the courtesy to answer follow-up emails or phone calls. No doubt they determined they had good reasons for not hiring my friend’s security firm, but why not just tell them? A simple one line email from the advertising company telling my friend’s group that they decided to go in a different direction would have been so much more appropriate than ignoring them. What do you think?

Another friend who owns a construction company had been courting the city council of a nearby municipality to do a historical restoration on a specific landmark. The landmark was considered a town treasure and a part of its heritage. After literally years of meetings and establishing a good relationship with the city officials the town finally asked for RFPs – request for proposals.

My friends’ proposal was an inch and a half thick addressing any and all concerns that would be a part of the restoration. A week after submitting what he thought was the lead proposal, to his surprise he inadvertently discovered the town had sold the historical site to a private buyer. The new owner, as far as my friend knew was never part of the prior equation. His construction company was no longer even considered as a possible option and this news hit him right out of the blue. Where was the courtesy in business there?

These are just two recent stories I’ve heard, but both friends seem to think it’s just the way business is done these days. I say too bad, and maybe I am old fashion when it comes to these matters. Generally, I don’t have to deal with these kinds of inconsiderate practices since I am my own boss. I know what I’m doing and I am the only one capable of hitting me with a surprise.

Maybe you have settled for that’s just the way it’s done and accepted the lack of courtesy in today’s business. Heck maybe these are familiar practices and perhaps even the way you run your business relationships. Personally I think there’s room for improvement and communication is a vital key to any aspect of smooth and ethical commerce.

We all deserve better, how are you leveraging the internet to help grow your business?

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