Excellent companies

Business Etiquette

Etiquette not only sells, it is an essential building block in the pursue of business excellence.  Only through people who truly care about customers can you achieve excellence in the eyes of those who judge you. 

model for excellence

Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette speaker and trainer and the founder of Lydia Ramsey, Inc. a firm offering keynotes, seminars, and workshops to corporations, professional associations, government agencies, and colleges and universities. She is also the author of Manners That Sell.  As Lydia explains it, “My business etiquette presentations are designed for organizations that want their people to be at ease in any business situation and to represent them well in the marketplace.” She explains that etiquette is not just about introductions and table manners. Manners sell. People want to do business with people they like, and people like nice people. Etiquette is about being nice and, we might even say, kind.

There is that word again, “kind or kindness.” Look up kind or kindness and you will discover that four words are always closely linked—kindness, courtesy, polite, and etiquette. Each is an aspect of the other and they all represent behavior that shows respect for other people. You cannot achieve them without a genuine concern or “care” about others. The best salesperson delivers value; the best conversationalist is a good listener; the best king desires to put subjects at ease.

It is a standard of behavior. You cannot compartmentalize it or limit it to just one category of people. That is why we say that Common Courtesy is a job requirement. Customer care first requires caring about people in general. It is the leader’s job to insist that nothing short of common courtesy is acceptable. Kindness, politeness, and etiquette (putting others at ease) are job requirements of the excellence company.

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

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My List of Good Products and Services

Updated November 3, 2015

Bad service and poor qualiy has become so common place that its time to fight back by reconizing the exceptions--the good guys who do it right. 

  • Mosquito Squad: For years we had to retreat to our screened in porch. Not anymore! To find out more go to their website at www.mosquitosquad.com.
  • Closets by Design: The installer arrived when promised. The installation was professional and the finished product was exactly what we expected—Good quality, fair price, nice people. Go to www.closetsbydesgn.com.
  • Turfcare Landscapes: We use them to maintain our current landscape including mowing, rose care, mulching, debris removal, roundup and insecticide treatment as needed, aeration, reseeding, trimming and pruning.  It is like our lawn and landscaped areas are on autopilot. They just take care of things—we don’t have to tell them what to do. They see what is needed and they take care of it—that’s all folks and it is great! Go to http://www.turfcareofnashville.com.
  • Chris Doubler, Art Handler & Designer: We had some really large paintings that needed to be hung in high and difficult locations.  Finding the names of people who do that work wasn’t easy, but I finally came up with three recommendations. Two never returned my calls.  The third finally did, but he explained that what I needed was beyond his job grade; however, he gave me the name of someone who could do what I wanted. That someone was Chris Doubler. Chris called me back almost immediately. He quoted a fair hourly rate, and we agreed on the day and time for the work. He arrived as promised with all the equipment, tools, and helpers needed for the job.  He installed eight large pieces in a little less than two hours. The workmanship was first rate. You can reach Chris by phone at 615/423-5763. Services include installation, packing, consultations, and transportation of art.
  • Elon's Ornamental Iron: After remodeling our stone deck and patio, we needed to add wrought Iron stair rails and refinish older existing wrought iron railing. Owner Kenneth Morrison meet with us;help us pick the design and gave us a reasonable estimate and timeline for completing the job. They delivered as promised and on time. You can reach Elon's by calling 615/403-6372. 
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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.


Excellent companies have integrity.  Integrity comes down from the top.  The leader has to have it and expect it from everyone on the team.  An individual who is known to possess integrity is said to carry weight with people in general; thus the pound sign is regarded as a symbol for integrity and honesty.  People with integrity can be trusted. 

You can’t just go through the motions.  That isn’t integrity.  A concern about customers can’t be satisfied with self-serving surveys or frequent flyer programs.  Common Courtesy, treating customers as The Force, caring has to be real, deep-seated, and sincere.  People resent a lack of integrity.  They know when you are just going through the motions.

Every person at a cash register will ask you, “Did you find everything you wanted?”  Very few really care about your answer.  Almost none of them will take action in response to a negative answer.  The most common answer by the cashier is “After you have checked out, you can go to our customer service desk to tell them.”  In short, they have been trained to go through the motions. They have not been freed and authorized to solve your problem as a customer.


A beautiful Nashville lawyer, an inheritance at risk, a devastating storm and wine to kill for—The Claret Murders, a new Mark Rollins adventure.

The Force

In Star Wars, the Force flowed throughout the universe influencing all things.  In business, the customer is “The Force.”  Customers—and customers only—produce revenues and decide if a business will have the opportunity for results.  All else is cost!  Customers are the only source of revenue.  Excellent businesses are above all else customer oriented.  They press the flesh; they show the flag; they ask, and they listen.  They like their customers and their customers like them.

On January 22, 2013 starting at 6:30pm I will be signing my books and reading from the latest Mark Rollins adventure, The Claret Murders, at Parnassus Books in the Green Hills area of Nashville.
For more information go to http://www.parnassusbooks.net/event/author-event-tom-collins.