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Showing up


© December 2005 Tony Lawrence
December 2005

Woody Allen said "Eighty percent of success is showing up.". Amazingly enough, a lot of consultants and computer service people don't understand that.

About once a month or so, I get a call from someone who is looking for a new consultant. Occasionally the reason is understandable: the present consultant died, is in a hospital, is moving, retiring, taking a job or whatever. Sometimes it's sad, sometimes it's not.

But all too often, what I hear is that the current person is bright, knowledgeable, very capable of all the work required, but is lacking in one area: they don't show up. Not only don't they show up, but they don't bother to return calls inquiring as to why they didn't show up.

To me, that's just stupid. When I have an appointment, I'm there. Hell or high water. Yes, sometimes appointments have to be canceled and sometimes traffic is horrible, but I let the customer know about a problem as soon as I know.

Why? Not because I'm such an incredibly nice guy, but because this is my BUSINESS. When my phone rings, it isn't an alarm clock disturbing my sleep, it's a cash register that pays my bills. That's why I return calls even when I'm on vacation: I want to be able to afford however many vacations I take, and it is customers who let me do that.

I'm not perfect. I screw up and lose customers now and then. But this part of customer relations is so simple and basic it is hard to believe that so many people just don't get it. There are many reasons you can lose a customer; don't let it be something as simple as this.


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