Being a Professional: 3 Weird Mistakes That Make Pros Look Like Amateurs
Professionals make three weird — and completely avoidable — mistakes that make them look like amateurs. Read on and you’ll discover these three relationship killers and know what to do differently so you always look like a top professional.
Mistake One: Complaining
Amateurs complain. But customers don’t want to hear complaints from professionals. They want to get answers and solve their problems.
For example, amateurs whine about the weather, the traffic, their boss, the paper work, and worst of all, complain about other customers. When I hear a person badmouthing other customers, it makes me wonder what they’ll say about me.
Customers have no time for them to play therapist and cheer up someone who is supposed to be there to solve the customer’s problems. And they really don’t care about what the person is complaining about.
What To Do Differently: The difference between professionals and amateurs is that professionals never have a bad day. Sure, some days are better than others. But customers who count on you expect a positive, can-do experience from you.
For example, James Bond leaps out of an airplane, pulls his parachute, and perilously lands on skis. But the bad guys are waiting for him, firing automatic weapons. James skis like crazy, dodging bullets and barely misses the trees. He launches over a crevasse, losing his skis and the bad guys. He lands on a log and rides it down the slope, jumping over a road, and landing on his feet in front of an elegant chateau. He unzips his jumpsuit, revealing a tuxedo. He walks in the door, snags a glass of chilled champagne, and announces that he’s, “Bond. James Bond.” No one knows the challenges he faced to get to the party and he’s not going to tell them. For all we know, he has a pant load.
Take inspiration from James and don’t let your customer know what you went through to take care of them.
Mistake Two: Missing Appointments and Deadlines
Customers count on professionals to deliver what they promise when they promise it. When amateurs miss appointments and deadlines, their customers are going to go with an organization who can keep their commitments.
For example, an amateur will be late for an appointment — cutting short their valuable delivery time — because they didn’t allow enough time for other contingencies. Or they’ll show up late to a conference call. There is never a good reason for this to happen.
What To Do Differently: Give yourself plenty of time to get to your appointments. If you’re arriving on time, you’re late. Make sure that you can fulfill your customer’s delivery needs before making the promise.
Mistake Three: Making excuses
Amateurs have lots of excuses. Problems with production. Another customer kept them overtime. Their kid is sick. Once a customer identifies a person as making lots of excuses, they know that there will be problems with the services and will chose someone else.
“You can make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you blame others for those mistakes.” – John Wooden
What To Do Differently: There’s a difference between managing customer expectations, explaining situations, and making excuses. Where there’s a problem, take ownership of the situation and look for solutions. You customer will forgive you when you proactively help out.