November 1, 2014

There are Times When Business is Personal and Not Just Business

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when business is personal

Some people believe one needs to make decisions based upon the bottom line 100% of the time. If it benefits you, great. Otherwise, discard the idea. Emotional decisions in business benefit no one. On the other hand it is said, what you put out into the atmosphere will be received back many times over.

After all, it is your business and friendship of which we are speaking, so what is it you wish to receive back?

It just might be a good idea to stand back to reconsider which side of the line you are currently positioned. A balanced and fair approach to requested favors usually play out the best.

Questions to consider the next time a friend asks for a business related favor:

1. How Will a “No” Decision Affect Your Future Relationship?

Unfortunately, most people do take a “no” answer personally. Particularly when they are asking a friend to buy from them. Therefore, listen carefully and ask insightful questions to get to the bottom of the proposed request.

The better the understanding of what is being offered, the more informed you become. It enables you to deliver a more intelligent response as to why the proposed service might, or might not be, a good idea for you to pursue.

2. What Will be a Fair Approach for all Parties?

After asking your questions and hearing explanations, ask where you may learn more. Usually, a website is connected with the request. Research the website to the fullest detail. Compare this with other information online.

Doing your homework prior to giving an absolute answer of “no” or “yes” will work to your favor. Even if you are inclined to say “no,” the knowledge gained will lend credibility to your decision.

Explain your thought as to why you are negative about proceeding. Give your friend an opportunity to possibly correct a misinterpretation. If there was none, and assuming your friend is reasonable, your research and decision will be respected. Obviously you will be hailed as a great friend should you decide to move forward.

3. Further Communicating Your Thought

Jumping the gun, you may have been referred to another because it was assumed you would say yes. But instead, you said no. Should you be called for a referral, tell the caller why it doesn’t fit your current circumstance, but do not bad mouth the service or your friend. Instead, do your best to speak more to the credibility of your friend.

Should you accept the service upon seeing the benefits, wait to experience the service for a couple of months to determine if it lives up to expectations. If expectations are met, then do your friend a favor by spreading the word.

In summary, by remaining neutral on the subject and doing your due diligence about the service, you are proceeding in a highly professional manner with which no one can argue.

Should you be able to spread good word, you encourage your friend to reciprocate. This is where putting out goodwill into the atmosphere is returned favorably. And this is also the igniter for the Smooth Sale!

No Thanks Photo via Shutterstock

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Personal Branding Blog The Personal Branding Blog is part of the Small Business Trends Publisher Channel, offering branding and career advice from Dan Schawbel and his team of experts. The blog helps professionals build a powerful brand to remain competitive in the job market.

5 Reactions

  1. You are doing business with individuals, not with companies, to say it in a meta way. So, business is always personal, in a way.

    • It will always be personal. You need to be personal with your clients, your suppliers and your customers. In the end, a business is about solid relationships that profit from one another through some form of exchange. It can be money for goods, money for services or services for goods. Regardless, a business is only as good as its relationships.

  2. It takes knowledge and skill to answer ‘no’ in such a way that will not backfire. The key is communicating the reason behind the ‘no’ in a non-offensive manner and to try to get them to understand your side through a proper explanation.

  3. It all depends on circumstances. I have a cleaning business. Some of my subcontractors are my friends. I had to say no to many of them with an explanation why I said no. Some accepted the situation, some less. But they are all in the business, they know how hard to earn a money.

  4. Research the product/service just like you would any other product/service. If the product/service your friend solicits to you turns out to be great be a good friend and spread the word even more than you normally would because 1) you know it is a good product and 2) they are your friend.

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