Thursday, October 7, 2010

Professionalism and 5 Ways to Maintain It

Professionalism. Some people simply don't understand or know the meaning of the word because they've been placed into a position of power without having to use very much of it. The problem with that is when you lack professionalism in your daily interactions with potential and current clients that prevents them from wanting to work with you. That causes them to either A. change their method of doing business with you or B. just not do business with you.

When you build a reputation for doing bad business that looks bad on any company you are associated with. When you build a reputation for being unprofessional, that takes money out of your pockets. Have you ever noticed those companies or managers, or high ranking officials who seem to ALWAYS be on a new venture? It's not because they are risk takers per se, it's normally because they have to. They strain their relationships with the people around them. So the only way to get new clientele or business is to continuously build new relationships before the previous one gets worn out.

Don't let this person be you. The goal of being a business owner or high ranking official is to make lasting relationships and create loyalty. If it looks like you use every person you come into contact with or you have a bad way of handling business then you have failed at the overall goal of business.

Below are 5 ways to maintain your professionalism, no matter what position you are in.
  • Treat people how you want to be treated. It's not just something you learned as a child, it carries you across a broad spectrum of situations. If you don't like it when people treat you a certain way, then you shouldn't treat them that way. Treat people how you want to be treated and they will always be respectful to you whether you work with each other again or not.

  • Don't waste time. Time is money, but unlike money time can't be regained. If you tell me you will get back to me in 48 hours or less and it takes you a week to return a phone call. I'm just not going to do business with you. Especially in the event industry, quick decisions are the difference between being able to do something and having to let it go. Don't waste my time because I won't waste yours.

  • Cut out the middleman. Have you ever had to go through 50 million people to get to one person? And once you've reached that person, you are contacted by another 45 thousand people to get the answer that you seek. I understand that we are all busy in this game of life, but you'd save so much time and man power by simply contacting me yourself.

  • Be truthful. In business, sometimes we take on more than we can chew. We think we are able to handle particular projects or ventures but deep down we know that it is just not possible at this particular time. Be truthful. If you can't handle it, NO PROBLEM! Just let me know before I start making plans. I'd rather you hurt my feelings telling me the truth, than to hurt my feelings lying and then having to take care of the damage it caused.

  • Respect. The most important thing. Respect my time. Respect my money. Respect my feelings. Respect my business. We don't have to like each other, but as long as we are doing business of some kind, respect me in total because it will get you very far.

With everyone wanting to be a mogul of some kind, professionalism has a tendency to go out the window. It's sad. Some people think that their position in a particular company or movement gives them the exemption of being professional. When in reality, it's your professionalism and everything else that makes people want to support you and what you are doing. No matter where you are in life, carry your professionalism like it's all you have.

The Unemployed [but Empowered and Professional] Entrepreneur

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