I’M FINE, THANKS, AND YOU…?
About a dozen years ago, I had a client who apparently had never been taught the age-old reply to “How are you?”. Every time he called me, which was fairly often, I would do what I always do and start the conversation by asking him how he was. His response never varied. “I’m OK. I just wanted to bring you up to date…” Never once did he ask me how I, his ever-lovin’ agent, was doing.
Finally, one day I had enough. As he rattled off his long-winded opening salvo, I remained mum. When he stopped to take a breath – and apropos of nothing he had just said – I said in as dry a tone as I could muster, “I’m fine. Thanks for asking.”
He got the message and from that day to this, he almost always asks me how I am.
I bring this up to point out that it is not only important to be polite, it is also important to show some actual interest in the other person, no matter who he or she may be. It’s a habit that should come naturally, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always. Without it, you will appear to be self-centered (maybe you are) and nobody wants to do business with someone who only thinks of himself.
I think I’ll tackle manners as they relate to acting in a future blog. In the meantime, if you have any stories to share, well, you know what to do.