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Unrealistic Expectations

by in Business Marketing
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Unrealistic Expectations

Last week I met with a client in Wyoming who is a medical professional.  His biggest sticking point is writing reports about his patients.

You might ask how this is related to marketing.  

The answer is simple.  If he’s been referred by another doctor, the referring doctor expects to know what my client did for her patient and how her patient is progressing.

If these reports are not forthcoming promptly, referrals decline as the word gets around that the doctor is consistently tardy with patient information.

It works both ways, of course.  If my client refers to another doctor and his reports are incomplete, the other doctor may grow impatient at his inability to begin to help the patient.

On-time reporting was the agenda for our last consultation.  I asked my client how many reports he could complete per week, being totally aware of how many interruptions he has to absorb in the course of each day.  Moreover, his work is draining; he has to put on a good face for his patients, regardless of what he’s going through in his own personal life.

Obviously it’s not that simple to go from meeting with a patient to sitting down and writing a report.  Catching one’s breath before the next appointment is essential.  If it’s a day with a heavy patient load, you can imagine how exhausted he is at the end of the day.

Back to the subject at hand, however.  


How many reports can my client commit to completing per week?  Without even thinking, he said he could write five reports.  I didn’t hesitate.  “You know that’s over-committing and very unrealistic.  You won’t get five reports done, and you’ll get into a tailspin.  We have to get you out of AON.”  I then proceeded to explain All or Nothing and its corollary, SIBTN (Something Is Better than Nothing).  He was taking diligent notes.

We wound up with his promise of two reports per week.  I told him that, if he completed two reports, he might well sit back and mutter, “That wasn’t so bad; I think I’ll polish off a third.”  Naturally, that’s far better than going for five and getting zero.

How often are you caught in AON?  

How much do you procrastinate what might be a relatively simple task, until it becomes blown out of all proportions?  While you’re procrastinating, you’re stressing out over what you should be doing.  While you’re stressing, your productivity suffers.  It’s an endless cycle and, I’ll admit, one I know all too well.

Consider that old joke, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”   That one bite is SIBTN.

Make life easier for yourself.  Even one task completed is better than none.  It’s good to feel as if you’ve accomplished something.  Feeling good radiates through your pores, into the way you speak on the telephone, answer emails, deal with colleagues, go on to other items that need attending.

Time to let up on yourself.  

Time to stop making commitments you’ll never complete.  Otherwise, like my doctor client, your future referrals might be in jeopardy. 


Schmoozing time!  


Spring is here, and the warm weather with it, or about to follow.  Schedule breakfast, lunch or coffee on a restaurant patio.  Get to know your clients, vendors, community leaders, colleagues better.

Visit www.azobleassoc.com and check out our e-Schmoozing Calendar for just $17.95.  It doesn’t matter that we’re beyond January.  This Calendar provides 52 weeks of ideas of generic people to invite to schmooze.  We may have completed a few months, but the ideas are still good as gold.

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Adrienne was a New Jersey public speaker and business expert for over THIRTY years. Now she’s a marketing and referral consultant. Denver and Northern Colorado have depended on her since her arrival here over 12 years ago.

Consulting and speaking to business owners and executives of growing businesses throughout the United States since 1977, Adrienne Zoble has guided companies toward marketing strategies that help them work smart, not hard.