Lots of people in the web industry can recall an instance where they’ve been at a conference or tradeshow and had an interaction that didn’t pay benefits. The scenario is like this…

The business person strides up to a table, perhaps hoping to grab a free tape measure, flashlight or squeeze toy. In some situations, the goal of flicking a business card into a raffle fishbowl looms large. And sometimes the attendee gets away unscathed…without having to discuss products, services or anything with the sales person.

But sometimes the booth or table visit ends in confrontation. It’s a situation where one of the two folks in the interaction is taking advantage of the other. The business person is snagging free stuff or the vendor is cornering a lead and buries them in the hard sell.

That’s where the issue of professional courtesy comes in.

I’ll be the first to say it. If you’re the attendee, shame on you for diving in just to win some schwag. If you’re only going to conferences to get some pens and thumb drives, stop wasting vendors’ time.

Next, if you’re an overbearing sales pro who sees booth visitors as obstacles to be overcome and conquered, cut it out! There’s no reason we all can’t play nicely with each other and in the end we’ll all come out ahead.

The reason children are taught lessons like using the words ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ when they’re young is because those lessons are supposed to last a lifetime. Somewhere along the way, corporate goals flushed away our etiquette so we’re only investing in relationships to get the WIIFM.

What’s In It For Me?

You’ll find, that regardless what side of the table you’re on, a smile, a genuine greeting and a little curiosity will help you be more successful. That goes for vendors, too. Don’t treat everyone like a fish to be shot in a barrel. Take some genuine interest in visitors – you’ll find that you’ll get a better response in the long run.

Because everything we do in web industry has to do with relationship building. From saying hello all the way to designing and building websites for whomever wants and needs them. So, next time you’re in a situation where you might take someone for granted in a business setting…or anywhere…think about please and thank you.

Think about relationships. You’ll often find that there’s a better, more beneficial outcome for all parties concerned if you focus more on building a relationship and not just making a sale or grabbing a gift.