Too many professionals are “me too” professionals. They haven’t distinguished themselves from others in their field–they simply practice their discipline just like everyone else. Without any distinction, you are in competition with every other person in your profession. If you are just like the others, why would anyone want to do business with you instead of them?
Make no mistake—your professionalism is a critical factor that your clients and prospects use when deciding which professional to engage. The next time you are being interviewed by a prospective client, they will ask you questions to determine if your technical competence is sufficient. But they are also assessing how easy you would be to work with. Here’s what they listen for:
Are you more interested in telling them how great you are or listening to their situation?
- Do you ask follow up questions for more detail or do you rush in with your solution to their problems?
- Do you present yourself as someone who would be enjoyable to work with or are you hard-charging to simply solve a problem?
In last week’s message, I emphasized that you are in control of your reputation and that it is your responsibility to do something about it. One manager told me she was paying more attention to how she comes across with people, both staff and clients. Another manager said he was trying to understand other people better to know how to advise them. Both demonstrated the acceptance of their responsibility for their professionalism and are committed to being better. What did you do this past week to get better?
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