It’s Memorial Day weekend and I need a plumber. I always seem to need one on a holiday weekend. I called my usual go-to guy. Voice mail picked up. This wasn’t an ordinary voice mail recording. It was one of these:
“Sorry. This voice mailbox is full. Goodbye.”
Computer voices are so impersonal.
I called the next one on the list. No answer.
Finally, I tried the third one. I never used this plumber before. This one too answered with a voice mail. But this time it differed.
“… Leave your message and I’ll respond on Tuesday. If it’s an emergency call me at … and I’ll see what I can do.”
Jackpot. I found someone who could help me.
A lot of us (myself included) always look for that angle. How can I differentiate myself? What will win their trust? How can I get attention and keep it? How do I tow the line between persuasion and pushy?
It’s important to practice and execute on all these things. I practice these myself. I write about these subjects every day.
Put aside all the tactics and strategies to win trust, influence and authority.
I don’t want to diminish the importance of those goals. If I did, I’d put myself out of business. Here is something I don’t write about enough.
The One Skill You Can Master… Without Practice
Just show up.Half the battle is just showing up.
Half the battle is just showing up.
Be there when someone needs you.
Respond when nobody else will.
Act when everyone else can’t be bothered.
At the very least, buy some extra storage in your voice mailbox.
If you can do that, you’re already ahead of the game. Those actions win you more trust than any strategy, tactic or “word slinging” anyone can teach you.
How To Show Up More Than Anyone Else
You don’t need to acquire a new skill You don’t even need to practice. It requires only willingness. Be willing to do the effort others avoid.
Get out a pen and paper or your notes app and start by answering these questions.
Who does your competition refuse to service?
When do they “stop taking calls?”
What subjects do they avoid talking about?
Are there truths do they avoid disclosing?
What are your policies that keep you from showing up?
Here’s one more truth I need to share with you. Something dawned on me while editing this piece. I need to follow this advice more often too.