Etiquette may sound like a focus of times past. Miss Manners and her lore educated a generation on “Please,” and “Thank you,” for young people. Many times, the study of etiquette quickly turns the focus to right external behavior. However, I find this misses the point entirely. Etiquette is about the other person, not you. It is consideration for others and how they would like to be treated to be made to feel important and respected.
In the marketplace, I find it increasingly important to show kindness, respect and etiquette. How we treat people and exercise our creativity to make others feel special fuels our ability to connect. Here are some observations I have had on the topic as well:
- Congruence. Every day you interact with people, it is an opportunity to create a special moment. Sadly, most people are self-focused and miss the opportunities. Turning interactions into memorable experiences can be as simple as bringing an unexpected gift for a friend to let them know you appreciate them. If you are in the business of selling or marketing, your lack of ideas likely stem from a lack of congruence. Practicing etiquette for others forces creativity coming from care.
- Connection. Treating others well continually can be tiring if it does not come from your core values. Your core values are rooted in your belief system. People can sense when you are selfish. It’s a barrier to connect. If you can’t connect, how can you build trust? Trust is the key factor required for selling or marketing your products or services. Habitual etiquette informed by your core values creates connection opportunities. We trust a person when we sense they have our best interests in mind. Lacking the peripheral vision to meet needs, both spoken or unsaid, insulates you from opportunities to connect.
- Credibility. If you are at a restaurant with a potential client, they are observing everything about you. If you treat the waiter with disdain or unkindness and then turn to your client with a smile and discussions about the opportunity to do business together, think about that picture. Your credibility is shot. On the one hand, you are flattering to gain business. On the other hand, you treat people who provide service without consideration. Your reputation isn’t something that can be broadcast. It’s earned by observations and behaviors.
Here’s the point – treat others well and go above and beyond. It’s not a show. It should be in all the little things. Hold the door open for others. Be eager to help and be of service. Treat vendors and business partners with as much respect as you do to customers. It’s a small world and your own ability to be creative with ideas comes from the genuine life you live with others.
What have been your observations regarding etiquette and its relationship to marketing and selling?