On Saturday, Barb and I joined her new friends from the ferry to make apple cider. It was a perfect Autumn day – cold, crisp, and bright. The cider making was at the home of the husband and wife combination that have really pulled this group of commuters together (you may recall from a few Extra Points ago). The man’s name is Chuck, but he affectionately is dubbed “The Podfather,” after the name of the group (The Pod). The Podfather and his wife Deborah made sure that the 20+ people who came (including children) were greeted, given instructions, fed, and given a tour. The Podfather and Deborah were perfect hosts. They ensured that all guests were well taken care of and had a good time.

How hospitable are you in your business?

Sure, you are probably very cordial and kind to people you come into contact with on a daily basis, including customers, prospects, and employees. But there are many ways that I’ve seen where business professionals are inhospitable without really thinking about it.

Do you recognize yourself or your business in any of these – Don’t return phone calls or emails within 24 hours. Make leaving a voice mail painful and grueling (i.e. requiring your caller to punch 7 different numbers on an automated line that disconnects in the end). Show up late to meetings without calling. Don’t offer electronic voice mail as an option on your direct line or mobile device. Employ receptionists without basic skills required for the job (e.g. a personality). These are just a few examples and all that I’ve encountered in the past 30 days. I’m sure you have, too.

Technology has for some inexplicable reason made humans more lax in basic “hospitality” skills when it comes to business. It actually should have the opposite effect, yet professionalism has seemed to decline, making those that do these things stand out like a sore thumb…in a positive way. Take a cue from the Podfather and Wife…make your business associates the most important guests you have and treat them that way all the time. They just may reward you with their continued business and support!

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

This week’s quote –
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.”
— William Shakespeare

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