I’m reading a book, “Jesus, Entrepreneur,” by Laurie Beth Jones. It talks about becoming a “Spiritreneur” — or a Holy Spirit-led entrepreneur. When I googled her, the first website to come up was hers. The second was “Laurie Beth Jones Scam.”
It’s easy to label something a scam when it deals with the Bible because it’s a text largely considered open to interpretation. But usually, I find that the most plain parts are the most likely to be twisted. Like “thou shalt not steal.” Physically removing a piece of property is stealing. Doing work for your business on someone else’s dime and not paying sales tax is stealing too, no matter how much “they can afford it.”
Putting an “I’m a Christian” stamp on your work opens you up to expectations (sometimes unrealistic) and criticism (sometimes unwarranted). Use with caution: it’s more than just your name on the line.
As an entrepreneur, the pleasure of your customers, quality of your work, good customer service, personal attention (for the small guys), and compliance with legal statutes should be of utmost importance. Doing that, plus giving charitably, will bring you a good name — in this economy and God’s economy.
What baffles me is that many people who openly proclaim your faith in your business don’t often scrutinize their business practices. The bad ones ruin it for the good ones, especially with phone etiquette.
TODAY’S TIP: In a book called “The 10 Minute Marketers Secret Formula,” by Tom Feltenstein (fantastic read), the author states that price is not the #1 consideration in most consumers minds when buying, it’s the service they receive. When receiving a call, announce your business and your name, or say “Hello, this is (your name).” Change your voicemail to a more professional greeting (not one with music in the background — do people still do that?). For example,
“Hello, you have reached Brian Thompson of brianlthompson.co. We are either on the line or with a customer, but your call is important to us. Please leave your name, contact information, and the nature of your call, and we will return it as soon as possible. Thank you.”
Announce your website in your message. If the customer gets impatient, they can browse my website for information and maybe even send me an e-mail. I did not say I was “busy.” You are never busy for a client, even if you are busy. Calls are never returned “at your convenience.” That statement puts me off, and it’ll put your customers off. “At your convenience” means “when I feel like it.” If you don’t feel like returning their calls, why would they feel like patronizing your business? Call them back, even if you have no intention of using them. It’s courteous and you never know who that person may know that you know. Word of mouth can build or kill your business.
Author Brian L. Thompson is the president of Great Nation Publishing and author of the Christian fiction thriller The Lost Testament, and The Revelation Gate, due for release on June 7, 2011. You can read more about Brian by visiting his author site.