A professional service provider called my offices recently looking for what he/she called the “magic bullet”.   They demanded (rather rudely) that I tell them what they insisted I know –  the secret, the one thing that would make them an overnight success, the “magic bullet”.  After much discussion (read abuse), the practitioner became downright nasty.  I could envision him/her with a bright red face, big, blue, pulsing veins on their forehead, and white knuckles that were barely able to keep their phone out of the shot-put championship.

After each question I posed — “Have you tried print media?”

I was met with something like … “Of course I’ve tried that! Are you some kind of idiot? Everyone knows you have to have a brochure!”

“Well”, I said with a fair amount of trepidation “How was your rate of response?”

“None of the shark attorneys in my neighborhood had the nerve to call.”

“I see.  Well have you tried networking?” I ventured.

“Yes, of course I have!  Once these lawyers have met me and found out that I know far more than they do about how to handle their cases, they’re too intimidated to call me for a case.”

“Mmhhhmmm” I say, trying desperately to think of a way to tell this person that no matter what I create, no matter what positioning or strategy I recommend, this person will never have a successful career is a professional service provider.

There is no “magic bullet” that would enable me to promote someone with such poor communication skills that they would immediately turn-off any potential client I could drive their way.

What can I recommend for YOU?  Be nice.  Be nice to everyone you encounter – always.

You never know from where your next referral may come.  The waitress that serves your lunch carries just as much weight in a personal referral as your neighbor, your clergyman, or a fellow service provider.  Minding your manners is too priceless marketing a tool and certainly one that none of us can afford to scrimp on.

Natalie J. Armstrong



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