A business connection put a message up on Facebook a couple of days ago asking how people thought he should react to a business rival who was bad-mouthing him. Now my immediate reaction was to suggest kick him in the ankles and run away! But it is a serious question, how do we deal with people who just don’t play by the rules?
For the most part I would say just don’t give them any energy or attention at all. They are simply not worth it. The minute you engage with these people you bring yourself down to their level. The truth is if people feel they have to play dirty then they probably don’t have a lot else going for them. Either that or they don’t know how else to play.
You could, if you were feeling generous, spend your precious time and energy teaching them how the world really works. But wouldn’t you rather spend that time with people who get it already?
So what if they are taking business from you? The business they are taking is probably not business that will be useful to you in the long run anyway. The quality of your business is dependent on the quality of the decisions your clients make and if someone decides to do business with people like that they have already demonstrated that they make bad decisions!
Remember the rule – like attracts like! Let the cheapskates and the dishonest and the cheats play with each other, then they’ll have less time to bother the rest of us!
Stay true to your own values and integrity, and the right people will be drawn to do business with you.
And remember that old saying “Never wrestle with a pig, you’ll just get dirty and the pig will enjoy it”.