Not only does everything you do send a message – that message is received, and usually remembered – often for a long, long time.
Recently, my wife and I made a large purchase. I happened to show up directly after working out, so I was in gym attire.
Our experience involved two saleswomen, one who was a gem, and one who was rude and quite nasty. The nasty saleswoman was condescending, treated us as if we were beneath her, and indicated through her behavior that she could care less if we ever did business with her, or told anyone about our experience with her.
One problem – I know her boss. I also know a number of her regular clients.
I have not, and will not say anything to her boss or her clients, and I will not use her name publicly, name her employer, etc. I am no threat to her or her business.
The next person she treats like that might be.
The one thing that delivers an overpowering message to others – how you treat people.
Not just clients, spouses, employees, employers – everybody. If you think that no one takes notice, guess again. I have been told of job interviews blown because of the way a candidate treated the wait staff. I was recently told of a service provider who was rude to the security guard of an office complex visiting a prospect – guess who didn’t get the business? Elected officials publicly humiliated because of rude treatment of wait staff and poor tipping habits.
You never know who the person next to you on the subway is. Or who your waiter knows. Or the gentlemen pumping your gas (for NJ residents!). Or the sales clerk.
The list is endless, but the lesson is the same – every action sends a message, and you do not always have the benefit of knowing who the audience is.
An old favorite:
“Be careful of whose toes you step on today, as they may be connected to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.”