We are lucky to work in an industry where our service providers are true business partners. I learn so much from them by just having conversations in the exhibit halls at various conferences and by building organic relationships with them.

It’s important to remember that you should be kind to everyone, because our industry is incredibly tight knit. Also, everyone is a potential referral source, or someone who could potentially hire you or recommend you for a job. You never know who knows who, and just like everyone checks you out online, people also ask around informally about you too.

So the next time you get a cold call or a cold email, be nice. Here’s why: a service provider friend recently showed me an email that she received from an in-house marketer when she cold emailed him that was rude and dismissive. This email has become an urban legend and this legal marketer has hurt his reputation because people talk especially when someone behaves badly.

The lesson? Think before you act and treat everyone with kindness. Being kind is just the right thing to do. Also, lots of people in our industry pivot back and forth, so also think about the fact that everyone who you know could be a potential source of business. You may be the service provider one day – you just never know.