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Weekly Furniture Message From Margo - Respect A Customer's Right To Get Angry and Other Retail Tips

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Manners matter, especially in business, right? So why are so many mis-mannered deeds and actions taking place in business settings everywhere? The answer is simple. It’s because we allow it in ourselves and in others, and over time we slowly lower our own standards of what we are willing to do and to expect.
We all know it’s not nice to be rude or impolite, but so many of today’s business practices allow us to excuse ourselves from general good manners in the name of technology, business status quo, or saving time. I say Phooey. People are still people, and all of us respond best to those who are considerate towards us. We would all rather work with and around decent people, and we all prefer to do business with those who are aware of their effects on others. Manners can make us winners in the business world.
Here is a quick list of 7 business etiquette tips that are especially important to me, personally. Enjoy reading them, and put them into action this week as the holiday approaches, and into the new year for a more prosperous business life.
1. Treat your customers like gold. Add to this your vendors and sales reps, too. Oh, and add your co-workers and employees to that mix! Being kind, responsive, and going the extra mile is like inviting someone into your home and making them feel welcome. It is the best business advice you will ever receive.
2. Allow co-workers to get credit. Don’t be a hog, and worse, don’t take credit if it is not due to you, even if you think no one will ever find out. YOU know, and that should be enough! Be willing to share the glory or give it all away to those who really deserve it.
3. Respect a customer’s right to be angry. If someone is unhappy, you must find out why, and take their concern seriously. This is not about you. First, get calm by showing kindness, then listen wholeheartedly. Next, acknowledge their concerns, and finally work together with them to find solutions. NEVER scold a customer, never tell them no one else has ever had that complaint, and never make them feel put down in any way shape or form. Instead, THANK them for taking their valuable time to communicate with you. You will likely win their future business, and learn important ways to improve your business as well.
4. Don’t fudge on donations! Don’t collect donation money from your customers (via a jar on the counter or the famous phrase at checkout, “Would you like to donate a dollar to…) and then turn the money into the charity using your businesses name as the source of the giving. YOU or your business did not do the giving, the customers did, and they should get credit for that. I personally think asking customers for a donation is a fine line, since that is not why they came to your business, and it makes people feel pressured. I also think it can border on using others to make ourselves look good. If you do collect for charity from your business, be sure to give your shoppers the credit, since after all, the money did come out of their pocketbooks, not yours.
5. Keep a clean mouth (and keyboard). Look, I get it! This is the new era and the new economy. But when did decency get unplugged? We can still be a modern society without becoming uncivilized and thoughtless. I cannot tell you how many people cuss openly and often on Facebook, in emails, and at important business meetings, even seminars. It seems to be almost a fad, where “cool business peeps” use thick profanity to “prove” they are “being themselves” and not phony. I heard Tony Robbins use a filthy cuss word at a huge event, and I was shocked, and very disappointed. Worse than that though, the recording of that event was used online for marketing purposes. In my opinion it made Tony look really slimy. Now, I am by no means a Mother Theresa, but being professional still means using a professional manner and good judgment, which will always be tied to trust.
6. When calling others, be considerate of their time. When you phone a co-worker, business colleague, or customer, don’t just start rambling about why you called. Always first ask, “Is this a good time for you”? It may or not be, but you will avoid frustrating others by asking this simple question. They will respect you more for this one small consideration.
7. Stop obsessing over your cell phone. If you are in a meeting, turn your cell phone off. If you are visiting with a customer, turn your cell phone off. If you are having lunch with a colleague or business contact (or your mother for that matter), turn your cell phone off. What has happened to us is almost comical, but in reality it is pretty sad. We are leaping so much towards the next moment that we miss the golden opportunity that is right before us— the time we have to meaningfully connect with those we are with! If you have taken the time to be with another, be there totally, and let them know they are the most important person to you at that moment.
Have a Wildly Wonderful and Exciting Holiday,

Margarett (Margo) DeGange, M.Ed. is a Business and Design Coach in the Home Fashions Industry. She creates and delivers custom training programs for managed businesses and their sales consultants to help them communicate better with customers and increase sales and profits. Margarett is a Writer and Professional Speaker, and the President of The DeGangi Group and The DeGangi School of Interior Decoration, with both on sight and on-line courses in Interior Decorating, Marketing, and Redesign. For almost 20 years she has helped individuals and managed business owners in the interior fashions and decorating industries to earn more while fully enjoying the process.

Two of Margo’s popular products for furniture store owners and their sales professionals are The Decorating School Crash Course Power-Ed Pack (9 design lessons on video/audio with 12 hours of content), and the matching Decorating School Crash Course Learner Files to measure learning, provide added interactivity, and motivate sales consultants to own their opportunities for growth.

Visit Margo DeGange’s website at www.DecoratingForProfits.com  for more information. Send email and questions to her at Margarett@furninfo.com.

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