What Ever Happened to Doing Business On A Handshake?

Sealing a deal.Every day I’m privileged to interact with people who do business. From the cable guy to a budding entrepreneur to the executive in the coffee shop who is looking for a quick fix before starting a long day.

Truthfully (and sadly), the majority don’t leave a lasting impression.

But there are a few who stick with me.

Last fall, I needed someone to help me pick up the million leaves that seemed to keep falling and a neighbor said, “Oh, you have to call Benito.”

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say… I’m a different person because of interacting with him. The way he runs his business is impressive, to say the least.

It may be small, but it is mighty.

The list of reasons is long but here are a few things that, after getting to know him, have impacted me profoundly.

He is always smiling.

This may be silly to some, but to me Benito is an absolute pleasure to be around. You can tell he is thankful for the work. He thoroughly enjoys both what he does and his customers.

He values people and quality work over the money.

I’m a firm believer that if you do good work and really care for the people you serve, the money will follow. When I met him at a rental home we own a couple of weeks ago I said, “I’m so sorry, Benito, I forgot to bring cash. Would you mind if I paid you next time I see you?” His response? “Of course, no problem.” He meant it. Sure, he’s in business to make money.  But it is clear that is, by far, not his first priority. As a result, he has new customers calling him every day.

He is humble.

His unassuming manner makes me want to know him more. And makes me want to be a part of his success. He doesn’t tell me how great he is, or how differentiated he is from the competitors. He just does great work and lets that speak for itself.

He is consistent.

I don’t have to call him to show up. He always seems to come right when the yard needs care. Because of that, his current customers are his best source of new customers. And if they’re anything like me, there is no one else they’d recommend. I’ve already sent him 6 new customers. I love referring him. His book of business is full. Because he is good. And kind. And trustworthy.

He is responsive.

When I call and leave a voicemail, he calls back. When I need him, he makes the time. He makes himself accessible. And, somehow, he makes me feel like he actually enjoys it when I call. I’m certain I’m not his only customer who feels this way.

He does business on a handshake.

His word is his word, and his work is proof of how much he cares. I would never use anyone else, even if they were less expensive.

So, how about you… Why do you do what you do?

This is an important question. Most people start a business because they have something – an expertise, a product, a knowledge – that can help someone else.

Return back today to the reason why you started doing business in the first place.

And, when you shake a hand, look someone in the eye and let that be your promise that you’re going to do business differently.

Because people matter. And they deserve your very best.




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