In my first attempt to put pen to paper after our experience in Charlotte, I wrote down a list of 122 ways to put clients first. I did this in a flash of inspiration at two o’clock in the morning. The next day, JoAnn read my list and said, “I didn’t know you had it in you.”
“What?” I said, “You think you’re the only one who takes care of the clients?”
It wasn’t going well.
Although it was a good list, it wasn’t new or unique. The essence of my list existed in dozens of books, newsletters, magazines, and newspaper articles. It was just another version of the same customer service stuff people have been reading for years. While each item was valid and rang true, how could we expect people to remember it all? How could we expect this to change anyone? It was like one big to-do list: Do this. Get inspired about that. In the end, people are not changed. This would just exhaust a person and ultimately be forgotten.
For the next year or so, we talked about it off and on. Actually, I had begun to grumble. JoAnn remained positive, but neither of us could unlock the magic room. We were searching for Clients First. We talked to each other and we talked to people we knew. We talked to staff. We talked to other agents with whom we had professional relationships. We talked to vendors and mortgage people and title officers. We talked to everybody. We tested this theory and that theory. We received a lot of wonderful comments about taking care of clients, but these were ...