So, this email showed up in my inbox: “Good morning and happy Saturday. I hope you are enjoying your weekend…and I was wondering if there was anything that I could help you with.”
That’s wonderful. Except it’s Monday.
Now I understand this is an automated message. The guy didn’t just sit down at his computer right this very moment and type “happy Saturday” on a Monday morning.
And I understand that little mistakes like that happen. To all of us. It doesn’t necessarily indicate anything about the writer, or his sincerity, or his competence.
Here’s the thing, though. This guy is a lawyer. And he is selling attention to detail.
He actually tells a story in his marketing material about a coach who lost a round in court over a misplaced comma in a boilerplate contract. The point is to convince us we need a lawyer – him – who will make sure things like that don’t happen to us.
That’s why he says I shouldn’t just grab some agreement from the internet, fill in the blanks, and call it mine. Instead, I should hire him to write a contract for me. Because he has the expertise to draw up the exact right agreement for a speaker/coach and her clients.
Thing is, this Saturday-on-Monday greeting was the third hiccup since I first ran into this attorney at a conference. We had an appointment – he cancelled last minute because something came up. Then he apologized for the snafu in an email calling me “Cathy.” You know I don’t go by Cathy.
I’d been contemplating a deal with him, but you can imagine, I had second thoughts. Not because of small missteps … but because of the incongruity.
If you’re selling attention to detail and you bollix up the details, that’s a disconnect.
The disconnect can kill the sale.
If you’re a copy writer, your own sales copy better grab a reader’s attention, engage them and make them eager to hire you. If you’re a web designer, your own website has to be splendid. And would you go to a hair stylist whose hair is a mess?
Yes, there’s the old story about the cobbler’s children running around barefoot. Sometimes we spend our time and energy and best efforts on our clients. Then we neglect our own copy, website, hair, or whatever.
That turns out to be a mistake if we want to grow our business.
I know, this might seem like a lot of pressure. I coach professionals whose business or career depends on being able to speak with more presence and more pizzazz. That means every time I stand up in front of a group, even to introduce myself at a networking event, I have to do it well. Phew …
I’m not preaching perfection. Really. We all make mistakes. Like when I sent an email to a new client, asking her to complete a questionnaire. It would have been hard for her to do … because I forgot to attach the questionnaire!
She forgave the glitch though. Unlike the coach-friendly lawyer, I’m not selling attention to detail.
I’m selling ‘unleash your creativity, get comfortable being you, and connect with your audience … to get more clients.’ So, my display of attachment disorder wasn’t really a barrier; she still believed I could help her accomplish her goals.
What about you?
What is the value you offer your clients or customers?
Are you congruent in the way you communicate that?
It’s worth taking a look at your marketing material, social media posts, and the way you talk about your work in formal presentations and casual conversations. You’ll want to make sure the message you’re sending is the message you intend. And you deliver it in a way that creates confidence in you.
I’m curious. I hope you’ll post a comment here to tell us what you find.