I’m a freelancer.
I provide an outsourced service for my clients.
I run my business to generate an income for me.
Notice all three of those sentences started with the word “I”?
But when I (sic) go and see a potential new client or even an existing one, I always remember it is not what I want that is important. The word ‘I” e.g. generating an income for me, is the last thing of interest to the potential client.
It is truly surprising the number of businesses and indeed individuals who forget the person to whom they are speaking is interested primarily in one thing THEMSELVES. Whilst this does not mean the entire world is full of totally selfish people, it does mean that people are much more interested in what I can do for them than what having them as a client can do for me.
All of my clients are medical professionals. Without stating the obvious, they all have their patient’s well-being at heart. But that does not mean they have my wellbeing at heart because (a) I’m not a patient (b) I need to produce results for them. If I were a patient its pretty much guaranteed they would have my interests at heart. But I’m not.
Recently I blogged about a potential supplier who didn’t return phone calls to me. During the final conversation and in a desperate attempt to secure my business he came out with the classic:
“But Pete your order really IS important to me!”
That had the opposite impact than he desired for I’m not in the slightest bit interested if it is important to him. I’m only interested in what giving my business to him can do for ME.
Think about it. You don’t walk into Starbucks for coffee because you are interested in them. You walk in because you want a coffee. By all means, Starbucks will satisfy your thirst in pleasant surroundings too but never will they think you’ve gone in just to help them sell coffee.
It is just the same as my clients being only interested in what I can do for them.
And I never forget it.
Having said all that, I recently had a bad chest infection. Being self-employed you can’t call in sick so I duly attended a pre-arranged meeting with one of my clients. He is very interested in the results I produce for him. That is why he uses me. He was pleased to see HIS business was in good hands. A good result for both of us!
Afterwards, though he started asking questions about my cough, cold, how long I’d had it etc. He then went on to give me some antibiotics.
I did think it was funny that I’d gone to see a client and ended up having a medical appointment with him.
Especially as he is a gynaecologist.