I have a friend who’s attracted a few ticks into her life, and they are making her unattractive to do business with. In the last year, she’s picked up a manager, a publicist and a marketing consultant. While the marketing consultant and publicist have been a godsend to her business, the personal manager just ticks people off.
A tick in business is a parasitic person who inserts themselves as a “screen” and wards off business opportunities. Many times, the tick intends to be a helper and doesn’t mean to be offensive. Regardless of your business, you appreciate the help because you can’t do everything by yourself. So you let this person represent you in some capacity.
The difficulty comes into play when your helper turns out to be a bridge troll — keeping others from doing deals with you. They might have an abrasive personality or be overly aggressive. If you have a values based business this can be especially damaging to your brand as a potential customer might be alarmed with the rough treatment they are getting when they attempt to engage with you.
How quickly do we delegate decisionmaking out to others without first asking how their deal-side manner is? Do you screen any representatives of your business for their personality and outlook?
Remember, the tick behaves wonderfully to you as the host company. You may need to do some research or step back and observe how a potential representative behaves with others. Do your homework before you turn over the reigns of representation to another person. If you don’t, you might end up ticking off your customers and hurting your future business prospects.
Recommended read: The No Asshole Rule by Bob Sutton.