Maine Coon cat and Sheltie dog nose to nose on a white background

Maine Coon cat and Sheltie dog nose to nose on a white background

Have you ever noticed the differences in behavior between dogs and cats? I have always had dogs, never cats for pets, until recently. Two years ago my neighbor’s cat decided to live with us (I am told that is not unusual for a cat). In the past two years I have come to recognize the differences between cats and dogs. I have also come to realize that I can apply those characteristics to the type of vendors I want to do business with. I love my cat, but when it comes to vendors I definitely prefer those with the qualities of a dog.

Cats (and some vendors) can be aloof, make you wait on their timing, act as if you should be grateful that they are acknowledging you, let alone have a relationship with you. For instance, my cat just strolled her way in the front door. First she had to stretch, then she had to stop to scratch her ear. Then she had to primp and clean a little. Then she took a few steps and stopped to look at something. Then she took a few more steps. She stopped and sat down, essentially pausing for no apparent reason but to be looked at (or exert her control of the time, place, and process). Then she strolled up the front steps, stopping at the top to turn and survey her domain. Then she casually, slowly, entered the door. The cat vendor wants you to be grateful that they even spend a moment of their valuable time talking with you, answering your questions, or even selling you their product or service.

A dog on the other hand, sees you and the open door, then runs full speed to get to you. No stopping, primping, or other delays; dogs run a straight line to you and in the door, eager to have a moment of your attention and grateful for your time and the opportunity.

Another difference between dogs and cats? The greeting. A dog is always glad to see you and shows it. Dogs are happy to spend time with you, please you, and well … don’t have an agenda. They’re loyal, friendly, loving, and attentive—for the most part.

Okay there are the occasional exceptions; a dog that growls and bites at the hand that feeds it, or a cat that is hopelessly devoted to loving its person.

When I am looking for vendors for products or services, I want to know I am important to them. I want their time and attention to answer my questions and to know that they will be responsive to my needs. I don’t want to be drooled on, but I do want loyalty, responsiveness, and I want to matter.

How do you treat your customers? Are you a dog or a cat? How do your vendors treat you? How do you want to be treated?

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