So I had a root canal two weeks ago.
Best. Dental experience. Ever.
My tooth met a tricksy invisible olive pit and went boom.
That part totally sucked.
But the rest of it?
Which is wacky.
Because I hate dentists.
And emergency dental procedures.
And pretty much anything dental related.
But this was a totally different trip.
And now I’m pretty sure that I have the best dentist in the whole entire universe.
Because in an hour and a half, he fixed my tooth, blew my mind and rocked a hardcore lesson in how business should be done.
I think you just tripped over your policy
My old dentist retired.
Which was no big deal. Because I felt kind of meh about him anyway.
And I already had an appointment with a new dentist later this month.
So when my tooth went boom, I called them to see if they could get me in sooner.
They had some kind of excuse. Which sounded a lot like blahblahpolicyblahblah at the time.
Because my tooth was broken.
And waiting two weeks to fix it was crazy talk.
So I consulted the googles and called a different dentist.
Two seconds later I had an appointment for early the next day.
Eighteen hours vs Two weeks.
I’ll take it.
I got a call ten minutes later from the sweet receptionist I’d just talked to.
She said she felt terrible that I had to wait that long to be seen.
So she found a way to get me in that day.
Holy hawtness, Batman!
Take care of your people. Or someone else will.
And that doesn’t have to mean squeezing someone in or doing something right now. It means recognizing a need and doing your best to meet it.
That receptionist didn’t know me from Joey Ramone. But she went out of her way to help.
Mangled! For life!
So I’m driving to his office. And I’m totally trying not to freak.
But I’ve never been there before.
And I hate dentists.
And maybe he’s mean. And he’ll end up being a total asshat.
Or maybe he’s one of those obnoxious dentists that try to shove their entire effing fist in your mouth.
Or maybe he’s a total hack. And he’ll do something awful and leave me mangled for life!
But the second I walk in I spot a plaque on the wall:
Voted best dentist in Cincinnati – 2009
This put me at ease with the quickness.
Because, aside from the obvious fabulousness, someone voted best dentist probably won’t mangle me, right?
Don’t hide your awesome. Let it fly loud and proud.
I know it might feel like bragging to you. But putting your awesome on display in a legit way lets your clients know you rock the Casbah.
It gives them the confidence that they’re in the right place.
And who doesn’t want to know they’re in good hands?
Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?
I’m waiting in the exam room. Trying to find my happy place.
Doctor Awesome comes in.
And something totally weird happens.
After the initial nice-ey nice, he says, So tell me about your experience with dentists and dentistry.
He wanted to know what I loved and hated about dentist stuff. What works for me and what doesn’t.
Blink. Blink. Blink.
I’m pretty sure I just sat there staring at him for like thirty seconds.
Because no dentist has ever asked me that. Ever.
But here was a chance to tell him everything that acked me out about going to the dentist.
So I did.
And he listened.
And he asked more questions.
And we had a real conversation.
And it was awesome.
Because I felt like he was on my side.
And I was actually, you know, involved in the process.
Why doesn’t every dentist (and doctor and coach and accountant and… and… and…) do this?
Amp up the connection between you and your client. In a totally real, no bullshit kind of way.
Make listening the starting point.
Ask your clients how you can make working together a more fabtastic experience for them.
And make these conversations a basic part of how you roll.
Dentist. Ninja. Same thing.
Before Doctor Awesome started drilling, he told me he’s known for giving gentle shots.
Sure thing, Doc.
But while I was digging around for a wet nap to wipe the hubris off my face, he must have given me the shot.
And, seriously, I didn’t feel a thing.
He broke out some kind of cheek-rubbing kung fu magics.
And then it was done.
No pain. At all.
Not even a pinch.
Do something remarkable. Something nobody else does.
Figure out what usually sucks for your clients. And unsuck it.
This gives you superpowers.
And superpowers are good.
What, Me Worry?
I’m allergic to erythromycin.
I always put that on my paperwork.
And every dentist I’ve ever had tries to give it to me anyway.
And when I’m all, Hello?! Allergies! they always act totally surprised.
Like I’m giving them new information.
Except I’m not.
They’re just not paying attention.
So Doctor Awesome hands me a ‘script for some antibiotics.
And before I even peek at the paper he says, I saw that you’re allergic to erythromycin. I gave you something different. I know the name sounds like it could be related. But don’t worry. It’s not.
I’m pretty sure my head almost exploded.
Is there something your clients are worried about? Either individually or generally?
Don’t wait ‘til they freak. And don’t make them have the erythromycin conversation with you.
Let them know you’re on it. And that you’ve got their back.
Do your part to eliminate worry from the equation.
You betta recognize!
So we’re done with root canal, part one.
And Doctor Awesome walks me to the counter to check out.
Then he shakes my hand and tells me how much he appreciates my trust.
He said that he knows root canals are a big deal.
And even though I was a totally new patient, I trusted him to do it.
And he appreciated it.
Blink. Blink. Blink.
He was humble. And grateful. And totally sincere.
It’s easy to forget what a big deal it is for someone to ask for help.
Or to send monies to some random person on the interwebs.
But, if you think about it, it’s huge. Somebody is putting their trust in you.
Don’t lose sight of that.
Say thank you. And mean it.
It’s 8:36 pm.
The phone rings.
It’s Doctor Awesome.
He’s calling to see how I’m feeling. And to make sure I started the antibiotics. And to see if I had any questions.
But otherwise I’m all good.
He tells me again what to expect for the next week or so. And what kind of stuff could signal a Ruhroh, Shaggy sort of situation.
He said he’s available if I need anything.
And I believe him.
Because he called me. At home. Just to see how I was doing.
Support is delicious. And your clients need it.
Not just during the hour or two that you’re hanging out. But before and after too.
Is there room to add more support to what you do?
It doesn’t have to be something huge.
That five minute phone call mattered a ton.
Fan club president!
I walked out of Doctor Awesome’s office totally blown away.
I just had a root canal.
And I felt great.
Yep, I was on antibiotics.
And I’d be sore for the next week.
And I just rang up a $1400 bill.
But I felt fabulous.
I’m also a total convert.
In the last two weeks, I’ve told everybody I know about this dude.
And at least six of those taters have called to get on Doctor Awesome’s calendar.
If this can happen with a root canal, it can happen with anything.
How do these lessons land for you?
Which lessons are you already rocking?
Are there ways you can turn up the extraordinariness?
How? Where? Why?
Flickr credit – jfraser