A few times a week, I write short marketing words of advice called Myrland Marketing Moments. This morning’s Myrland Marketing Moment was born of a real-life experience I had with my Mom this morning while at the doctor. Here it is:
Myrland Marketing Moment:
Insensitive client mktg language I just experienced:
“Is it Friday yet? I don’t do Mondays.”
It’s not obvious what I meant by the 120 characters I try to limit myself to when I write these Moments, so I decided to share a little more here.
The “insensitive client marketing language” came from a health care provider to another nurse, my Mom and me just moments after Mom’s appointment began. She asked if it was Friday yet because she doesn’t do Mondays. I was not impressed with her declaration, even if she was trying to be funny, which I don’t think was the case. I find it very easy to be sensitive to others’ conditions, but this was not one of those times.
Because my Mom was her client. Actually, I was too as I was a family member of her client. Mom was there because she had to be. I was there because I care very much about her client, my Mom. We both deserved her absolute best. For her to declare that she doesn’t do Mondays said the following to me:
Client, you aren’t what is the most important here.
Client, my wellbeing, and my state of mind and body, are much more important than you are at this moment.
Client, you are not the center of my attention.
Client, I don’t care if you don’t feel like you are the center of my attention.
Client, I don’t do Mondays, so aren’t you lucky because that must mean I don’t do you on Mondays either!
Some of you might think I am feeling overly sensitive about this language, but let me explain a bit more before you decide. I am a marketer in addition to a daughter. Being a marketer for the past 25 years has enabled me to understand that just about everything that comes out of our mouths as service providers is marketing.
How can that be? Everything we say is marketing?!
Our words and actions contribute to what our clients, the public and our potential clients think about us, whether that be negative, positive or neutral. Neutral has marketing impact too. If it impacts our product, which is us, it is marketing.
Yes, we are living in the age of “transparency.” Yes, I endorse allowing people to learn the personal side of us, in fact, I encourage and teach it. No, I don’t think being formal all the time is necessary.
However, I do feel it is necessary to treat our clients as though they are the absolute center of our attention whenever possible. If I am having a bad day, or I don’t like Mondays, Saturdays or even Tuesdays after 10PM, it is not my clients fault, nor is it fair to them to share that with them during their time with me.
When someone has a need, and spends their hard-earned money with me, it is my duty to give them 100% of me, not half of Nancy because I don’t happen to like Mondays, or whatever day we’re together. If Mom had been friends with her for the past few months or years, and they were accustomed to sharing their likes and dislikes, my reaction would have been different.
What lessons can we learn from this experience?
Let us be careful how we talk to our clients.
Let us not lead conversations by focusing on what we like and dislike.
Let us not be known for the drama in our lives.
Let us help them feel like they are the center of our attention.
Let us rise to the occasion to be what we need to be to take care of their needs at that moment in time.
Let us be sensitive to their feelings and their situation.
Let me know what you think. I’d also love to have you add your thoughts to mine regarding what we can do to help our clients understand they are the focus of our attention while we are together.
Remember, this is part of marketing, part of doing business and part of life so we need to pay attention to it. If we don’t, we have many competitors who would be happy to.
Thank you to Feuillu for the image used above.