Something to be Said for Experience (Issue 931)

In which we are reminded that, many times, “broader knowledge” and good networks are what distinguish the best providers.

One of my friends works in an eye clinic; she’s worked in that field for more than three decades. Last week, she was orienting a new team member – a few early years along in her career and new to the program.  

The phone rang. It was a mother from a heavily wooded suburb of Boston, calling to say that her daughter needed to see an ophthalmologist. The family lives on a wooded lot… lots of raccoons in the neighborhood, highly skilled in “dumpster diving” – removing lids from garbage barrels and helping themselves to the goodies inside.  To secure the barrels, the mom has been using two bungee cords per barrel. 

Well, on Monday, her teenage daughter was taking out the barrels to the curb for pick up and, somehow, one of the bungee cords released from the barrel and hit her in the eye, producing a massive corneal abrasion.

So, my friend, 35 years in practice, provided the ophthalmologist referral the mom needed for her daughter and then said, “By the way, we’ve lived around raccoons for a long time; bungee cords won’t stop them. We now use an organics waste barrel with a rotating lid handle that fastens into a gravity lock. Most raccoons can’t release it. Toronto has deployed it successfully. You might try that.”

The mother thanked her for the idea and rang off.

The new team member looked incredulous… could not  believe what she’d just heard:   “Was I supposed to know that?”

Yeah…. I’m guessing that “raccoon defense strategy” wasn’t in the job description anywhere when you were hired. Or in the clinic’s practice procedures.

In this case, you saw a lucky coincidence of my friend’s life experience and the wooded-suburb mother’s problem with raccoons AND… it makes the point that building client confidence and perceptions of value can (and often do) go beyond the products or services we’re trained and prepared to deliver. And, I’m guessing that my friend, had she not had  personal experience with raccoon defenses, would have found ideas on line and called that  mother back to share them.

Nick Miller  trains banks and bankers to attract and expand relationships with business clients. More profitable relationships, faster. He is President of Clarity Advantage based in Concord, MA. Additional articles on Clarity’s web site.

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