We all encounter business people who behave in ways that say far more about them than they may ever realize. They are almost universally unaware of their boorish behavior and its consequences, but the fact is that people judge us by our worst actions and treat us accordingly. Be it Freek, Bloviator, Time Hog, or Rusher, here are four Business Boors for whom you need to be on the lookout.
Freek. Businesses exist to turn a profit and provide a living for their owners. Then, why is it that some business owners expect that you’ll provide your product or service for Free? After all, they’re in the same boat as you, aren’t they? Would they give you their product or service for Free? Why should any business provide products or services at no cost when the beneficiary will turn around and profit from it? Sure, you may elect to follow this path as part of a larger strategy but, this is a sure sign that your prospective client doesn’t fully value your time, talent, product or service and that they’ve lost touch with their own entrepreneurial journey. Being diligent during your sales process will help you avoid misunderstandings about pricing and value.
Caution: You may be a Freek if you’ve ever told a vendor that you “can get it for free” from someone you know. Really? Even if it were true, it simply underscores the lack of appreciation for the value of one’s product or service. This behavior reveals more about you than it does about your vendor’s pricing. A business coach can help you see the big picture and develop communication strategies for optimizing value from vendors and your own customers.
Bloviator. How many business people have you encountered who rambled on about their marvelous companies and their brilliant leadership without asking a single question of you? When you encounter a Bloviator, you’ll no doubt never regain the time they suck from your life. Be on guard so that you can identify bloviators early in the conversation and tactfully shift your attention to another person who is interested in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Caution: You may be a Bloviator if you leave a business or fundraising event without having asked questions and listened intently for at least two-thirds of the time you were there. People really only care about what you have to say if you first show that you're interested in them. A business coach can help you develop meaningful, productive business relationships and networking strategies.
Time Hog. Know someone who is chronically late for appointments? Or who takes far longer than the promised 15 or 30 minutes? Your time is valuable and they just don’t seem to appreciate that fact. Often, they don’t value their own time and are more than willing to waste yours. This is rampant in business and is the cause of many hard feelings and lost opportunities. Don’t be afraid to jealously guard your time. If someone abuses their time commitment to you, move on to your next priority for the day and forget about them. You’ll be doing yourself, and possibly them, a favor.
Caution: You may be a Time Hog if you ask for ten minutes and later find yourself talking 20 minutes into the meeting. Police yourself rigorously and you’ll likely be given the courtesy to continue. Abuse others’ time at your personal peril! A business coach can help you refine your approach.
Rusher. Hurry up and wait. How many times have you had to drop everything to provide a response that just sits endlessly on someone’s desk? Nothing is more frustrating, is it? The Rusher is a cousin of the Time Hog and stems from the lack of respect for the value of your time. The best way to combat Rushers is to carefully manage expectations regarding your typical turnaround times for various deliverables and added costs for expediting. If it’s a client or a prospect who’s got you chasing your tail, be sure to take the opportunity to debrief with them and your team to best determine how to avoid a repeat experience.
Caution: You may be a Rusher if you often find yourself pressuring vendors and subordinates to get you answers right away. It may be time for serious introspection into your communication weaknesses and, possibly, unrealistic expectations. A business coach can help with this.
For more help navigating the sometimes treacherous waters of business and for improving business results, click here.