I’m a couple of weeks away from my annual physical, an office visit with the physician who has taken care of me for many years. Last month, while discussing health “stuff” with a group of friends, one of them – himself a veteran of several trips around the block – said, “Everybody wants a young doctor and an old lawyer.”
I got to thinking about older doctors, for example, my own, who is approaching 40 years in practice, and why I value his counsel and our relationship… and what I will miss when he retires from practice in a short number of years.
Personally, I will miss our conversations – he’s funny and deeply wise and interesting and smart. I admire his personal and professional values. I look forward to my visits with him and our occasional evenings out together. I will miss his broad perspective about people, business, and relationships.
Professionally, I will miss his competence and the security I feel in our relationship.
- He’s curious about and up to date on the latest developments. If something goes wrong in my body, he’s able to see it and take care of it early so I don’t suffer long-term consequences.
- He treats people, not lab results – he knows how to prescribe what’s right for MY body rather than strictly following the guidelines in a book.
- He asks me about my business, personal, and family lives and shares his perspective.
- He takes my call when I need medical help in the middle of the night in a hotel room 1,500 miles away.
- He knows people in hospitals in my own city and in dozens of others so that, when I need to be in one, he can get the right care for me.
- His network of physicians, the people he knows and can personally vouch for, includes really good specialists who will see me quickly when I need them because of my doctor’s referral.
So… What would your clients miss about you if you retired now?
What do your clients or customers find valuable and interesting about you as their sales person or consultant?
What do you want them to find valuable and interesting? [Here’s a hint: Start with my description of my doctor and develop your own description to capture your value and differentiate yourself from the Web and less sentient salespeople.] And, how could you develop those qualities or relationships more fully so that your business and personal relationships were much stronger and more productive.
When the time comes, what will they miss most about you?
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