Little Things Matter, a Whole Lot
Actions, even small and insignificant ones, can remarkably influence the overall perception of an individual. When we talk about nuances, we’re talking about the clues that shed light on the greater self. They show how a person takes time; makes time; makes the effort to execute countless details.
Consider two self-employed businessmen, Adbul and Sonko, who were both vying for a grant from an angel investor from the U.S., Mr. Martin Smith. Each of them scheduled a lunch date with Martin Smith to discuss his business plan.
On the appointment day, Sonko dressed for the lunch in bleached style jeans with a polo T-shirt. After ‘brainstorming’ in the presence of Mr. Smith, they decided on which restaurant they wanted to go to. After they sat down, Sonko, right away launched and kept the conversation focused on the purpose for which they had met. He spent the entire lunch time talking about his business mission, vision and strategy with laser focus. There wasn’t any deviation to talk about anything personal.
Abdul on the other hand dressed a little above his potential client. He put on a jacket. He wanted to establish trust. He didn’t want to assume anything. Before the meeting, Abdul had called Mr. Smith’s personal secretary to inquire about his favorite menu. Abdul therefore chose the restaurant Mr. Smith would love and also arrived at the restaurant earlier and pre-ordered for Mr. Smith (risky?). He also googled Mr. Smith’s career background and made some notes for himself. When Mr. Smith arrived, he was surprised to know that Abdul had chosen his favorite restaurant. He was even shocked when it turned out that the first part of the conversation was all about Mr. Smith’s career background and professional accomplishment. The then spent the rest of the time discussing Adbul’s project goals, current financial requirements, and projections.
Now tell me, assuming all things remaining the same, which of the two men do you thing Martin Smith would like to build a long term relationship with as an investor? I think he’ll go for Abdul. Did you also say Abdul?
We live a fast-paced society driven by mobile phones, social networking, email and business lunches and 30-minute coffee sessions that are packed with business-only discussions with no room for nuances.
However, in spite of the overemphasized on business value sessions, personal relationships and nuances play vital roles in securing any competitive bid or maintaining business relationships in the long term.
We tend to believe that the best resume wins the position all the time but most recruiting managers will tell you that in many cases, this is a fairy story. There are many factors that come into play. Actions, even small and insignificant ones, can remarkably influence the overall perception of an individual. When we talk about nuances, we’re talking about the clues that shed light on the greater self. They show how a person takes time; makes time; makes the effort to execute countless details.
Sonko set out to get what he needed for his business. To him, the slogan goes ‘Business time is money’. He assumed that’s how Smith Martin also thought and treated relationships. Adbul, on the other hand, took the trouble to build a relationship with his potential client and a lifetime business partner. He chose his client’s favorite restaurant for the meeting. He mastered his client’s background in order to facilitate a personal conversation that would open the window into the business discussion. These are business etiquettes, these are nuances, and they’re little things that may seem insignificant but can pull down mountains. These stuff can act as deal breakers.
They don’t come naturally. You got to take time and pain to develop and nurture them. If you want to be relevant and be counted in the 21st Century business world, then there’s no alternative