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