This is the kind of greeting that I often dream of hearing as I’m reluctantly making my way to the local gent’s hairdressers just around the corner from Martin Print H.Q.
However, the reality never quite matches my hopes.
Instead, I usually get something along the lines of;
“Oh no, not you again! Are you really due another haircut so soon? You’re determined to ruin my day, aren’t you? Oh well, sit down and be quiet, and try not to scare off my other customers. Don’t touch anything either, I’ve got my eye on you…”
To be fair, it’s not quite as bad as it may sound. I’ve been enjoying this kind of ‘banter’ with my local hairdresser for years. Besides, he’s the only one around for miles, so he knows that I’m unlikely to take my custom elsewhere.
I’m fairly sure that he wouldn’t treat new clients like this. If he did, his business would never have lasted much longer than a week…
But are Small Business owners ever in danger of accidentally annoying customers and colleagues with Bad Business Etiquette? Could some of us be at risk of displaying common rude behaviour without even realising it?
I got thinking about this topic as I settled back down at my office desk again, following my typically blunt experience at the Hairdressers.
Doris, our resident cleaner, popped her head round the door to say hello.
Well, kind of.
”Oh no, you’re back again!” she cried. “I was going to clean your office, but you’re in my way again. You’re always in my way! Can’t you just go away and do something constructive instead of sitting there and pretending to look busy? Why don’t you go and get your hair cut or something? What? You have? Oh, right. It looks terrible. Did you ask for your money back?”
You know, any normal person might start to feel paranoid about constantly soaking up so much abuse in one day!
But, fortunately for everyone concerned, I’m far from normal.
And I know for sure that no harm or malice was intended in any of these abrupt conversations. No offence was taken.
I’m also fairly confident that most of us would never dream of communicating in such a seemingly discourteous manner in the professional arena of Small Business – either to customers, business associates, or fellow team members.
But what if we’ve picked up some bad business habits which cause offence without our knowledge?
Here are some of the most common examples of rude business behaviour which should be avoided at all costs…