One of the best
communicators I know is my podiatrist.
Any time I see him, he’s
quick, precise, and I’m immediately better. Here’s some of the
things he does.
I met him, he noticed my
in America? I haven’t read that since high school.”
In ten seconds, he had
used my stuff to establish his mastery. He knew my book, I knew his
I explained my symptoms,
he named it, what caused it, and how it was fixed. Four minutes.
I don’t give
professionals much trust until they earn it. This guy is driving the
bus in four minutes.
Then he taped up my foot
with three, one foot lengths of tape.
I’m a jock. I play hurt.
I figured I’ve been taped for football, wrestling, lacrosse, hockey,
and tennis probably over 10,000 times. This guy uses three pieces of
tape and takes the pain away.
“Hey, that’s some
“Yup, I’m pretty
Took a couple of
months, but I followed his regimen and cured. Working out is breaking
down and bringing back the body. This was more debilitating than
usual, but the cure worked the same.
Last week – I went back
to see the foot doctor. Actually, two weeks before I had sent my wife
to him and he had again provided sudden service. I have been in small
pain for a couple of years and suddenly figured, “I know a great
doctor. Why don’t I go get fixed?”
He didn’t remember me.
He didn’t remember my wife, who had been in four hours earlier for
a followup. Then, “oh yes, oh yes, of course I remember!” Yeah
right. He just wanted to do the diagnosis.
Listened to my description
(rehearsed and read) for a minute.
“I bet this hurts.”
One finger. Stars and planets!
“I bet this doesn’t
hurt.” A light thumb right next to the pain point. He’s right.
“Okay. Here’s the
situation” A one minute explanation. Then,
“I used to have a rack
of brochures. Now I just go to Google.” Picture of a foot with
drawings on it.
“And here’s the
He screws up his face like
he’s thinking. I ask, “What are you working on?”
“I’m trying to figure
out how much you need to know.”
“What are my options?”
“Well I’m going to
order an xray just to show I’m right. However, if you want, I can
also order an MRI so you get a better picture.”
“Will an MRI help you?”
“No, I already know the
“Well I’ve looked at
MRIs before and I never learned anything. And let’s re-establish,
you’re driving this bus.”
“Good. Here’s what
we’re going to do...”
Best things I learned.
Establish mastery in
a couple of seconds. If you can’t, notice more and learn quicker.
mastery in the little things. Creates trust for the big things.
Nobody cares what you
know. What do you know about me?
The faster you move,
the less extraneous crud comes into play.
You can be totally
respectful without really caring. Respect is not care, but
constructively focusing. If you care and don’t know what you’re
doing, I really have other priorities.
Don’t offer more
than the customer wants to buy. If you have to offer more, your
solution is wrong.