You'd think this goes without saying; however, there are so many people and companies who do neither that it may bear repeating.
Here are prime examples:
- I was looking for office space to host a meeting. In Chicago, I borrowed one from a friend or a vendor. In Austin, I'm starting fresh.
I asked one friend for a recommendation. Then I sourced three more by searching online. I sent inquiries simultaneously. Two responded immediately. One was suitable.
What broke the tie?
Friendliness. An orientation to customer service. A willingness to go the extra yard to make us feel welcome and comfortable.
- I was sourcing a video production company to help us define and cost a series of online programs to distinguish my client's value proposition.
I called one whom I knew and when that proved less than satisfactory, I sourced others through my professional network.
We are still in the early stages, so I can't say which will win our business. But the choice will be a lot like the first - the one who shows up as professional and demonstrates that they can care about a client beyond the obvious gratification of making a buck.
Whether we work together or don't, they will also be the ones we recommend to those who ask in the future.
Don't ever let a cavalier attitude short-change your potential clients. Everyone is in your sphere for a reason. Everyone has something to teach and something to learn. A spirit of curiosity is far more productive than a superior attitude.
One thought sticks in my mind: the potential of the universe is not a pie to slice into ever smaller shares; it's a bakery.
What can we create together?
Show up. Be professional. Care.