From this point forward, I am going to denote the content of my blog posts by starting off with one of two phrases:
MARKETING or PERSONAL BETTERMENT
If the post is marketing-oriented, then you should still read it – even if you are visiting this blog for pearls of wisdom with regard to PERSONAL BETTERMENT. Why? Because MARKETING doesn’t just refer to business marketing; it also refers to one’s ability to effectively present him or herself as a means of building a relationship – for the purpose of getting what he or she wants. And if the post is focused on PERSONAL BETTERMENT, then the folks who are here for a little bit of marketing strategy, will also find a great deal of benefit in learning how to become BETTER.
Did you catch that? Today’s topic focuses on MARKETING. When you talk with someone who does not understand marketing and/or perception, what you have on your hands is some dingbat who believes that one “rule” is applicable across the board.
Example: “The customer is always right!”
We’ve all heard that saying over and over again. However, reality is such that – more often than not, the customer is NOT always right. The ACTUAL TRUTH of the matter is…
IT DEPENDS ON…
IT DEPENDS ON the profession, occupation or trade.
IT DEPENDS ON the environment.
If you are working a cash register at a fast food joint, then guess what – the customer IS always right. You make it their way or you will soon find yourself out of business. Now let’s say that you’re running a fine French restaurant in Manhattan, and you request barbecue sauce on what the chef considers to be a culinary masterpiece. If the chef truly has any integrity, you will not be experiencing that meal with barbecue sauce – regardless of who you are or how much money you throw at the chef or server.
What often happens is that Profession A looks to adopt the “rules” from Profession K. In other words, little consideration is actually given to the appropriate rules with regard to what a profession has to offer and/or the environment and circumstances in which it’s being offered.
Here’s what I mean: If you are a doctor, then you have patients. If you’re operating a fast food restaurant, you have customers. A doctor does not have customers, and a restaurant does not have patients. And even a fast food restaurant’s customers are not the same as a customer that hired a company that does asbestos removal, right? RIGHT!
So where is Dr. Marc going with this?
Well…a doctor has patients because the patient is coming to the doctor for his or her professional knowledge. While the tendency is for the doctors to “serve” the patients like they were customers, the fact is that a doctor with any amount of integrity and self-respect, takes pride in the fact that he or she worked his or her ass off to obtain the knowledge that clearly stands well above and beyond the knowledge of some stay-at-home mom whose knowledge comes from the internet. This is not to say that some patients may be more informed than their doctors, but as a matter of practice, if the doctor is 100% absolutely sure, then why should the doctor feel that every little factoid brought into his or her practice via a patient must be addressed. Yes, “doctor means teacher” – but only to a point. When a patient becomes a customer, then the patient is putting his or her care in jeopardy.
THE POINT: The “customer is always right” when AND ONLY WHEN the occupation and/or environment gives them permission to be right. One of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas makes it clear that, when you order an entree, it arrives at your table without any input from the guest. In other words, you either take it THEIR WAY or you get the hell out!
A customer is always right at a fast food joint.
A customer is always right at a salad bar or a buffet.
But a customer is not always right when he or she is a client of an advertising agency, or a patient in a doctor’s office. For some reason, PROFESSIONALS are afraid of their clients and/or patients. It’s pathetic if you ask me.
A doctor should be knowledgable in knowing his or her stuff. If that’s not the case, then the doctor has no right being a doctor. If you are a doctor, and you do know your stuff, don’t be afraid to pull out the “I’M A DOCTOR AND I KNOW BETTER THAN YOU” line – especially if you know that you are correct. It sucks to have to do that, but at some point – you have to be…A DOCTOR.
Hey – you went through a lot of schooling so that you didn’t have to waste precious moments of your life taking a back seat to something that you know is RIGHT.
YES – you should be educating your patients, just as a consultant should be educating his or her clients. But if you know that you are 100% correct, then why get into it? If they want to argue, just show them the door. Those who want someone who is confident in his/her knowledge will find their way to your business.
In my world, I never apologize for being declarative about somethingI know to be 100% accurate. If it’s opinion, then I will express my views as…MY OPINION. For example, there are three and only three color choices when selecting a new automobile: black, black, and black :).
HOWEVER, if my knowledge with regard to a particular subject area is 100% valid and dead-on, I will never apologize for NOT letting the customer, client or patient be right. Letting them be right would be…wrong. So always remember that whether someone is allowed to be right all the time, really DEPENDS.
Have A GREAT Day!
…Dr. Marc & The Mind Virus Team