I spend a lot of time with clients and like to have my telephone answered professionally. I also use a Virtual PA who keeps me organised and does the things I am not very good at! I consider them to be part of my business even though they are not on the payroll. Anyone interacting would not know the difference. They are part of the new flexible way of doing business.

I have been dealing with a business owner who, when I speak to him, is as nice as pie. When he speaks to my virtual team, however, he is aggressive and rude. The last straw was when he called and spoke to my telephone answering service. He left an abrupt message before slamming the phone down.

Support staff can make things really easy for you in sales terms or they can become your worst enemy. Support staff do not just sit there and take the rudeness – they talk about it. As far as I am concerned, being rude to the service staff it is not only disrespectful but also shows the real character and integrity of the person. From a business development point of view it is plain stupid!

Needless to say this business owner is now an ex-supplier.