We have been using Arkansas Browning Animal Clinic ever since the animal rescue group where we found a loved animal recommended them. That was over 15 years ago, and since that time they have lovingly cared for numerous four-footed family members. As she has cared for our critters we have watched Dr. Alice develop her practice and business and, like all small business owners, learn a lot of lessons along the way. Besides being a really good vet she’s become a savvy business person.
So, when I overheard Karen at the front desk relate how an internet marketing guru-wannabe had told the office manager they were doing everything wrong, I cringed. To top it off, said “guru” wouldn’t talk further to anyone but Dr. Alice.
The guy is SO wrong in so many ways.
For starters, you don’t call other people’s children ugly. Even if they are doing everything wrong someone at the clinic made decisions about what they have and they just might think it all looks and works great.
The posture around only talking to the doctor is something that I would expect only from a rookie or a moron. People hear sales gurus, trainers, and managers say that “you should only be talking to the decision maker!” They then teach techniques or postures to “get past the gatekeepers” in a business. And people take it for gospel.
Like most simplistic rubrics this one misses the mark.
A “gatekeeper” is there for a very specific purpose: to be sure the right people get through. The ‘net guy went out of his way to be sure his name tag read “Wrong Person.”
People tending the gate are actual living people and deserve better than postures and tricks. It is possible that you are talking to a temp just filling a chair. You will interact differently with this person compared to, say, the “UberAdmin” with C-Suite level savvy: piss this person off and you’re gonna sit in the lobby for a VERY long time and IF you get a cup of coffee it will have been on the burner for several hours…and you will not be offered a refill.
Specifically, when you are talking to the CEO’s personal admin, you ARE talking to the CEO. When you are talking to the office manager in a medical practice, you ARE talking to the doctor.
I know Dr. Alice’s office manager; she knows her job. She knows the practice. She knows what Dr. Alice wants. She knows what is working and what is not working. Because he could not or would not recognize her status in the business, the internet guy is NEVER going to get to Dr. Alice. He has poisoned the well and it’s over for him.
Have you had an experience like this? Tell us about it in the comments below.