I have cataracts – so what’s that got to do with financial advice you might ask. A lot but I’ll let you be the judge.
Because I’ve worn contacts forever I see an optometrist every few years. After my optometrist retired, he referred me to a new guy, who I didn’t like or dislike since I had only ever seen him once very briefly – so for the time being I decided to stay with him even though he’d moved to a new high-end office.
Once when I was in to see him, without any explanation an assistant did a few quick tests, after which I was kept waiting for over a half hour. When the optometrist finally walked in, he asked me what I thought of his new “digs.” He spent some time impressing me with what could only be interpreted as how well he was doing. He then told me almost as an after-thought that I had developed cataracts that were ready for surgery. When I started to ask specific questions he got up saying he was very busy and brushed me off with, “I’ll give you a referral and they’ll tell you all about it.” Upon leaving I was presented with a bill over and above what my insurance covered – I was informed it was the cost of the high-tech tests. Needless to say I was less than happy.
Not two weeks later upon hearing my story, a friend recommended her optometrist – she said she “loved him.” I was skeptical because I had to pay for a visit again since my insurance only covers one examination per year. Anyway, off I went nonetheless -- I showed up for my 10 o’clock appointment and was seen in at 10:02. The offices were not as chichi but certainly clean and the equipment was state of the art. This optometrist personally welcomed me as a new patient. He went through every aspect of my history and what to expect regarding cataract surgery. He too said he would make a referral and suggested that after I see the surgeon I should get back to him with all the paper work so we could make a final decision. He even gave me his cell number and his email address and invited me to call if I had any questions. I was charged $75 and would happily have paid twice as much.
This isn’t a young man desperate for new clients. So why did he bother – I actually asked him. He said two things – “I love what I do and I have never advertised. People come to me because they know I care – and I’m good,” he said with a smile.
Guess who is going to be my “forever” optometrist and the one I will tell all my friends about?
Do you see where I’m going with this? If you want to be your clients “forever” advisor, just getting them reasonable rates of return or fees isn’t enough – Always remember, it’s not about you, and you have to really listen to the client’s needs and provide service in a way that resonates with them.
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