The basic message is that if you want to be respected for your abilities as a professional, and grow your business by building meaningful relationships, then you need to consistently follow some simple rules. Following these rules shows that you respect and value others, and consequently have earned the right to be referred by someone to someone else. In other words, someone is willing to risk their relationships on you.
These rules are:
- Show up on time
- Do what you say
- Finish what you start
- Say "please" and "thank you"
Pretty straight-forward, aren't they? Yet how many of us really have incorporated these into our daily business and personal lives? Be honest with yourself.
After thinking about these rules it became clear that they apply to companies as well.
In considering our own company, how do we fare? I'd like to think pretty well, because our core values -- the principles that guide us in every decision and action -- are Respect, Integrity, and Continuous Improvement. From the standpoint of referability, however, do we 1) begin orders as planned, 2) provide the quality and service we promise, 3) meet our confirmed delivery dates, and 4) show our appreciation to our customers and suppliers?
Again, I'd like to think we do a good job on all fronts and, therefore, have earned the right to be referable. But then I'm not the customer, and theirs is the only opinion that matters.
How do you fare?