Principle One: Don’t Criticize, Condemn, or Complain.
~Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Thank you for the great advice Dale, I use this principle in my daily business. Here’s how:
Don’t criticize – This is a tough one. When potential clients come to me and ask me to review their sites, I try hard not to be overly critical. I think it is better to show what I can do for them to improve. But I typically try not to go negative. After all after 3-5 years the best sites are out of date and behind from a technical standpoint. So even when I look at the fugliest websites, I do not degenerate the previous designer/developer.
Don’t Condemn – I am fortunate in that my client retention rate is among the best in the business. But on occasion we lose clients. I have seen a lot of my competition quick to condemn former clients, saying the nastiest things imaginable. To me going negative is never helpful. People never want to around negative people. So I wish people well, and go about my business. The funny thing is, many times old clients come back to you. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence as they say, and if you provide good service, clients we’ll stick with you and even if they leave, many times will return to the fold. And even if they don’t, they may refer you to friends and business associates. So don’t burn the bridge.
Don’t Complain – Lets face it, business can be challenging. If it was easy, everyone would own their own business and live happily ever after. So when clients come to you and challenging tasks, don’t complain, get it done. After all, you are getting paid for this. Don’t get me wrong I’m not telling you to do things that are out of scope for your particular project. But I am saying to be flexible and remember the old adage,”the customer is always right”. The funny thing is when we start out of business our goal is to be so busy we don’t know what to do with ourselves. But then, once we do get to that point, we find ourselves complaining. Remember: No one likes a complainer. I know I certainly don’t want to listen to somebody bitching. So keep upbeat, don’t complain, and get the job done.
Bottom Line: Stay positive, be upbeat and leave your negativity at the door. People will want to do business with you, rather than the Negative Nelly down the street with the bad attitude.