Today’s article is a bit longer than usual, but I think the message bares repeating. Thank you in advance for your patience.
Professionals know what they are doing. I was recently reminded of this and how professionals truly make a difference in our lives.
Once upon a time, I found myself flirting with disaster. Not knowing a worn ball bearing from a left-handed steering strut, I was not sure what was happening when my steering wheel started to shimmy.
My car suddenly veered to the left and the wheel began to shake wildly. I knew something bad was happening and that my life might have been in danger… as well as everyone else in my immediate proximity. Worse yet, it was 6 a.m. when my car started to “dance,” and I heard myself repeating to no one in particular, “Please, just get me to the airport. Please get me to the airport.”
Good news! I bounced into the airport long-term parking lot in time to catch my flight to Atlanta. But, as soon as I got home a few days later, I made a beeline to my friendly auto mechanic. (End of story set up. Here comes the lesson.)
George, the owner and master of the small one-man shop, greeted me with a friendly gesture as if he was actually glad to see me. It confuses when some shop owners act as if customers are a nuisance. Don’t laugh. This is probably very close to the truth for some of you reading this. Not George however. He makes his clients feel welcome and comfortable in a hectic, confusing and anything but sanitary environment.
”George, I think I have a problem!” I said as soon as I entered his office.
I would’ve been more accurate if I had use the word “Big Problem.”
George began to investigate by asking a few pointed questions. He then suggested we raise the car on the lift to get a good look.
I told George about the sudden shimmy, and he said he thought he knew what the snag might be. Once my car was off the ground, George ran his hand over the front tires as if he knew exactly what he was doing. With a big smile on his face, he confirmed his diagnosis. He was obviously pleased with his findings, as most learned professionals are when they score some points. “You tore a steel belt in the left front tire. Feel right here. All you need is a new tire. Can you wait?” First, I couldn’t see or feel what George had uncovered, but when viewed from a different angle, I could clearly see the problem.
George performed his magic and I drove away in a smooth running machine thinking to myself how wonderful life is to have a handful of professionals positioned around the world who know what they are doing and know what they’re talking about.
I enjoy just being around professionals. Watching a professional in action, whether it be on an athletic field, in an operating room, in a classroom, in the garage, or behind a computer screen researching an upcoming vacation. Professionalism is a beautiful thing. True professionals are fun to be around.
Professionals make the world go round. Professionals make their businesses look easy. Professionals ask questions to get a clear understanding of the problem. Professionals diagnose the problem and they use all their experience and know how to make life easier for their clients. We rely on professionals when our own skills fall short. Professionals know that, in most instances, the business is spelled problems. We gladly pay their fees once we appreciate what they do for us.
Professionalism doesn’t come in a box, and it doesn’t grow on trees. Professionalism comes as a result of trial and error, and study and practice, and focus, and years and years of hard work.
This week, work on your professionalism. Think like a pro. Act like a pro. Get paid like a pro. Here are some questions that might help:
Are you studying your trade when you’re not practicing?
1. Are you treating clients with respect and speed?
2. Are you always asking questions to arrive at a clearer solution?
3. Do you listen with all your senses when others are speaking?
4. Do you challenge yourself to improve your value each and every day?
5. Do you realize that others are always watching you?
6. Are you working at becoming the exception in everything you do?
An automobile mechanic reminded me last week what a professional looks like, sounds like, and acts like. My life is better having this man on my team.
So, I ask you. Do you’re customers feel better knowing that you are in their corner? If yes, keep up the good work. If not, it is time to get to work.
Everyday is a new day to focus and get jazzed about all the possibilities out there waiting for you. The ball is now in your court. Get out there and make more people glad they know you.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.