Two short verses from Scripture deliver a good business model for anyone to follow, especially Catholic business professionals. The first verse reads: “Whatsoever you do, do it with the heart, as to the Lord and not men” (Colossians 3:23), and the second reads: “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men” (Ephesians 6:7, NIV).
These two verses give a good business model for serving others: serve people as if I were serving God Himself, and do it with my whole heart. But we sure can’t do this on our own. Striving to love God with my whole heart and mind and strength, and love others because He loves them. That’s a tall order!
As Catholics we know how much we need the grace of the Sacraments to empower us so that God can pour out His love to others through us. The Golden Rule comes to mind here: treating others as we would like to be treated—that is, with respect, courtesy and kindness.
For me, the following practical tips help keep me focused on serving others. See what you think…
1. Be willing to serve. If you don’t have this one down, it would be difficult to do any of the other tips listed below. Have the intention of wanting to make the other person’s life better, whether he or she be a client or a prospect or a mere inquirer.
2. Grow in Holiness. Do not neglect your prayer life. Frequent the Sacraments. God will order your day. Let Him work through you.
3. Know what you are talking about. Be well-prepared before any appointment or presentation.
4. Keep track of appointments and commitments. Your word is your bond. If for some reason you can’t make an appointment or commitment, call immediately and reschedule . Then follow through.
5. Be on time. Nothing shows respect for a person like punctuality. Respect his time and he’ll be more inclined to respect yours.
6. Make your customer or client the sole focus whenever talking together. Let him know he is the most important thing to you at the moment. To the best of your ability, do not allow distractions. Don’t take any phone calls or allow others to interrupt.
7. Have a friendly facial expression. Try at least to look pleasant. Smile.
8. Be sincere. A relaxed manner will put your prospect/customer at ease. Always tell the truth. Integrity is of the utmost importance. Trust fosters trust.
9. Take the time to listen to your customer. Really listen for his needs, then write them down. Follow through.
10. Provide excellent customer service. Work hard to follow up with your clients.
Catherine Moran has owned her own home-based business for the past 13 years. But she wasn’t always her own boss. Prior to working for herself (but not by herself), she was employed as a professional hairstylist for 27 years. However, long hours of standing, not to mention the chemicals involved in her original profession, took a toll on her health. When she discovered the health, and later also wealth, benefits of what became the home-based business she now runs, it provided her with income stability and growth to transition out of hair-styling. Moran still enjoys working with people, but now she’s helping them with their health and income, according to their individual needs and desires.. Go to www.HopeInaCan for more information. (updated from orig post 12/9/2011).