In the past few weeks, I have learned a few things and seen a few things that others should know! I have learned that in 16 years of providing debt collection and debt prevention systems to my clients in the Bay of Plenty, I have become very good at it and that the value that I can bring to my clients in this area is, by all available evidence, unparalleled.
In saying this, I do not mean to be immodest or arrogant. It is simply a fact. Since Feb 2007 I have met with, on average, three businesses a day for 16 years, each with their struggles, USPs, niches, styles and approaches, meaning that I have listened to 11,745 scenarios from nearly every industry and when I say almost every industry let me give you a snapshot of one day: In the morning I was meeting with an $800 per hour commercial lawyer in a plush CBD office, mid-morning I was in a Kohanga discussing errant accounts, and in the afternoon I was in a dairy shed with a man who manufacturers synthetic cow vaginas for the artificial insemination industry discussing how to create terms of trade to protect his business.
For each industry I work with, I research the transactional nature of the industry, the legislative requirements and the most common points of contention in those industries. If I am to be trusted by these clients to protect them, I ensure that I do just that. The amount of work that I do and have put in to become an expert in my field has given me enormous respect for other professionals that do the same, often as trusted advisors, we are asked to weigh in on various business issues (I was once even asked to be a guest lecturer at a polytech to speak about marketing because they were impressed with my credit management knowledge!)
It is then our opportunity to show professional courtesy to our fellow advisors and say that ultimate line, “Unfortunately, I am not an expert on that issue, but I know just the person who is, and I’m sure they would be happy to discuss that with you”. I have heard so many advisors bluff and blunder through giving advice that they have no place giving simply because they feel that saying “I don’t know” will cause them to lose face. Deferring to a true subject matter expert shows ultimate respect for your client and the expert you refer to, strengthening both relationships!
There is no shame in holding your client’s well-being above your pride! It is the difference between a functionary and a trusted advisor, I know which one I would rather be.