What Does Respect Mean To You? [Reader Question]

Hi Sarah! How are you? I like the list that you shared of 14 steps to get your clients to respect your time.

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I was wondering how I can apply it to my business, which right now doesn't involve client appointments per se. What is your advice about that?

Last week I published a blog post that discussed how you can get your clients to respect your time. I included 14 steps that applied very specifically to an appointment-based business.

Today, I will answer the above question that I received from a dear reader. She would like to know how she can get her clients to respect her time if she can’t follow the 14 step process. What are the fundamental principles that she can apply to her business?

I’m sure that she is not the only one wondering how to deal with annoying customers and vendors. You know, the ones that are always last minute and think they are the center of the universe… The people that stay late and just don’t respect your hours.

So, how do you get your clients or business associates to respect you?

It’s simple. Be the first one to offer respect. Respect yourself, respect your business, and respect your business relationships. In turn, people will respect you.

Respect in business is...

When you operate with dignity.

When your word is your bond.

When you show your commitment to your clients by having steady business hours.

When you prove yourself to be trustworthy.

When you don’t promise things that are unreasonable.

When you set realistic expectations up-front, even when it's uncomfortable.

When you admit mistakes and own up to them, willing to make things right.

When you take the high road, even when it’s not your fault.

When you graciously say no to opportunities that are not right for you.

When you demonstrate your value by charging professional rates.

When you accept multiple payment options, because you’re a real business.

When you are able to demonstrate your kindness by setting clear boundaries.

When you use contracts in your negotiations to prevent misunderstandings.

When you respect your client’s privacy and identity.

When you are professional in your communication.

When you have policies and procedures in place to run your business efficiently.

When you show gratitude with your words and actions. Little notes and gifts never hurt.

Respect. It means different things to different people. But underneath it all is the realization that you are enough. You are worthy of respect. Your business is an entity that is worthy of respect. And the people you are here to serve are worthy of respect, too.

What does respect mean to you?