We all have dreams for our businesses. We envision growth, higher profits, stronger teams, more leads, and ultimately, a thriving, successful enterprise. Amidst these aspirations, we juggle multiple strategies and tools to make the vision a reality. However, there's one strategy - simple, yet powerful, often overlooked by most contractors - that forms the bedrock for all others. This single word is the magic that underpins our business success. Let's delve into the transformative power of "respect."
Defining respect can be simple, yet profound. The dictionary states it as "a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements." In the business context, it's about extending this feeling of admiration to each person we interact with - be it an employee, vendor, customer, or even ourselves. It's about asking, "What is the most respectful action I can take right now?"
Think about it. You may be in a sticky situation with a customer who's infuriated with your service. Before reacting, call a timeout in your mind and consider the most respectful action you can take at that moment. Respect reflects an admiration for the other person, showing them that you care about them as a human being. In the realm of business, it can mean understanding the other person's motives and priorities.
Respect is the bedrock of any businesses. It underscores the fact that people make purchasing decisions for their reasons, not ours. With every interaction in your business, ask yourself, "What is the most respectful action I can take right now?" This approach can solve a myriad of problems.
Importantly, respect isn't conditional. It doesn't matter if they deserve it or not. It's about maintaining your composure and respectfulness, regardless of how you're being treated by someone else. This might be difficult when our feelings cloud our judgment, but it's vital for long-term business success.
Respect manifests in several ways. One of the prime displays of respect is gratitude. Let's consider a scenario where a customer reaches out to you. Do you treat them as a burden or appreciate their call? This feeling seeps through your body language and the tone of your voice, leaving a lasting impression on the customer.
Or perhaps you have an employee planning to leave the company. Responding with gratitude, thanking them for bringing the issue to your attention, can significantly impact the outcome. This situation can either be an opportunity to strengthen your relationship, repair any underlying issues, or at least a chance for you to learn from the process.
Being a better listener is another form of respect. A startling statistic reveals that only 13% of customers believe their salesperson understands what's important to them. If you master the art of listening, you're already distinguishing yourself from a large proportion of your competitors.
Another crucial aspect of respect is how you value other people's time. Punctuality, not just for your appointments but in your responses and deliveries, reflects your respect for others. Proactively thinking ahead to minimize others' pain - whether they're employees, vendors, or customers - shows you value their needs and circumstances.
It's also about respect for property and personal space. In the home improvement industry, this can extend to respecting the client's pets or their personal items. Small gestures such as cleaning up after work, showing care for their property, or even unclogging a gutter while on a job can all indicate respect.
Respect also involves an open mind and constant learning. When you respect the people you work with, you're willing to learn from them, adapt and improve. This not only leads to personal growth but also contributes to a better business environment.
Many contractors, perhaps not intentionally, fail to extend this simple courtesy of respect to their employees, customers, and vendors. Preoccupied with their concerns, they overlook the impact that their attitude can have on others. If you truly wish to differentiate your business from your competitors, respect can be your secret weapon.