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How would you like it if I recommended products to you based on the prizes and SPIFFs I would get in return? I hope you’d be pissed.

Yet, exactly that is rife inside the IT industry. Just last week I got an email from a vendor that would enter me into a contest to win a Tesla Model 3 every time I signed up a new customer for one of their products. I.e., every one of our clients we sold this widget to would count towards a Tesla entry for me.

Friends: this is a terrible way to do business and we won’t play that game. If you want my stamp of approval there is one rule: you and your product need to be so good that people thank me for recommending it. In short, you need to be a rockstar for my clients.

Also, this means that if I recommended someone or something to you I meant it.

If I wanted a Tesla I’d buy it myself.

Acting professional does not make you professional.

Being a professional will lead you to act professionally.

There are two words in the English language you should use regularly, “thank you.” There are two words you should use to respond to that, “you’re welcome.”

Not “no problem.”

It was a problem.

Maybe it was a small problem.

Maybe it was a big problem.

You don’t know what size problem it was to the speaker who told you, “thank you.”

But your action, large or small, solved their problem.

“You’re welcome,” accepts their payment of appreciation. “No problem,” declines it.

Let them pay you with appreciation.