Are bad manners, rather than bad marketing, losing you business?

A few days ago I was contacted by a recruitment consultant via a LinkedIn message. He wanted to discuss an opportunity with me and gave a brief outline. I am not looking for a new job, but it was interesting and in a market area that meant I might be able to refer someone from my network even if it was not suitable for myself, so I responded positively.

With a couple of further messages back and forth we agreed a time of day and the number he could call me on. He didn’t. At the end of that day I messaged him to say he obviously had had a problem or clash, so I would make myself available the next day. Silence.

Why no simple response, even if it was “something’s changed, can we cancel our discussion?” – i.e. good manners.

Wasted costs, lost sales and reduced future business.

This has meant that not only has his current search lost potential suitable applicants but also he has wasted effort. After all, I didn’t respond to an ad, he made a point of viewing my LinkedIn profile (I checked) and entering into a messaging conversation. In addition he has potentially lost future business because I will surely not use his services and will tell others about it.

I know, I know – we ALL have horror story experiences about the lack of courtesy or professionalism of the recruitment industry, but it is not just them.

It happens in all sectors

I went out for a bite to eat yesterday with my brother-in-law and in his local pub afterwards he was constantly checking his phone. Upon quizzing him about his lack of good manners (perhaps I am feeling my age) he explained that he was trying to book accommodation for a weeks break in Cyprus and was waiting on confirmation from the owner about availability. In his words “if you run a small business surely you are keen to reply quickly to any positive lead, otherwise you could be losing sales which could be essential?”. He then went on to tell me about an architect they have engaged to remodel the front of their property and who is in the process of finding contractors for the work but seems to keep going off the radar. As he says, if she has not made progress he wants to know that because it will impact when the work might get done and when they have to be prepared for the disruption. A “no news” update message is as important at real progress. It’s not only common courtesy!

If you add to those situations the fact that I have been waiting 3 days for a response from a venue I might like to hire for the Lonely Owner small business support organisation I am a involved with, then in less than 1 week I have personally been touched by 4 examples of where the lack of a simple communication may have negatively impacted a business. I expect that you can also cite numerous others.

The right attitude not a new tool

It’s not as if the tools are not available to make those simple communications happen. CRM tools, marketing automation, email services or just plain phone calls are all easy to use. As an example, in the INNOVO B2B marketplace platform we have consciously developed tools to help buyers and suppliers keep on top of their negotiations to and fro so that valuable communication can continue. However, the existence of tools such as these might make it easier, but they do not immediately endow you with ‘good manners’. That takes an attitude of putting yourself in the buyers shoes and recognising what you would want or expect in their position and delivering that level of communication and service yourself. How often do you really look at yourself from your buyers point of view?

So are you losing business through what I would call ‘bad manners’?

Originally published on INNOVO Blog

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