A Business Jerk is a Jerk is a Jerk is my interpretation of the transitive property of equality. If A = B and B = C, then A = C. End of math lesson.
You deal with Jerks in the business space. I have dealt with Jerks in the business space. This scenario becomes problematic when you, as a Businessperson of Worth, feel obligated to continue doing business with them.
Some of these Jerks may be your current boss.
Some business people are just plain business jerks. No matter how much emotional intelligence and empathy you apply to understanding their context and history.
You can’t save them from themselves. They don’t want to be saved, or enlightened by your products, services and platforms.
Business jerks are never satisfied with your output. There’s always something wrong, even if you follow specifications to the letter.
Business jerks like gaining real estate inside your head. They erode your self-confidence as a Businessperson of Worth.
Business jerks like just who they are. They like putting dedicated business people like you, their employees, and their clients through hoops.
It’s their MO. It makes for one toxic way to run a business, doesn’t it?
Business jerks are different from conscientious leaders who assume risk and conduct due diligence before making a decision.
Business jerks are different from thoughtful leaders and skeptical buyers who have to weigh their decisions against the broader implications of a project moving through their organization.
Business jerks are different from naysayers who question everything everyone has to say, because they are risk averse by nature and view change as a daunting task.
Here’s the Big Idea to keep in mind: it’s not about you. It’s all about them. Business jerks treat everyone the same way they treat you.
Business jerks don’t know any other way to be.
So don’t take it personally. Ever.
Business jerks are dedicated to throwing people under the bus. They never have anyone’s back consistently. They enmesh you in a perpetual tangle of argument and illogical double talk to prove they are always “right.” They work behind-the-scenes and make everyone second-guess themselves.
You have worked with a few of these types of folks, haven’t you? I always end up feeling empathy (and sympathy) for their employees… and their families.
My advice to you: stop beating yourself up trying to win a deal with a business jerk. No amount of logic, empathy and insight will save them. Walk away from that deal, like a lot of other folks have.
My advice to you: take a good look at your customer base and identify your business jerks. I’ll guarantee the amount of hassle they give you doesn’t justify the size of their account.
A Business Jerk is a Jerk is a Jerk is my go-to formula to use when qualifying customers. Some folks are simply not worth your valuable time and expertise.
Making your numbers isn’t worth losing your sanity in the process. You are better than that.
Cut yourself some slack. There are plenty of solid business people out there waiting to do business with you.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a business coach and management consultant. Her Workshops create Playbooks for startups and small to mid-size companies who want to grow, expand and sustain their businesses, but are wrestling with unpredictable revenue streams. Her Playbook on leadership, business development and collaboration strategies, including tools, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.