I Have A Confession To Make
By: Karen Pattock
I have a confession to make… I like to do everything myself. I don’t like asking for help or relying on anyone else to do things I know I can do myself. Can you relate? Are you a do-it-yourselfer like me?
I would like to share a very personal story with you and how my world has been turned upside down in the last week. Recently I was confronted with a situation that wasn’t my fault but it was my problem.
You may or may not be aware that my mom has emphysema and was hospitalized on February 14th. She is being released today, exactly one month after going into the hospital. That’s the great news that we’re celebrating today. However, ten days ago, while in a meeting with five representatives from the hospital, I was having an out-of-body experience that made me dread the day my mom would be released.
My out-of-body experience was preceded by the head social worker telling me that my mom’s house would need a safety inspection before she could come home. She asked me when we could schedule the visit. My body may have been in the room at the hospital but my mind was floating through my mom’s house.
You see, as my mom’s health has declined over the last several years she has started to hang on to more and more belongings. Over recent years her home has reached a point that I define as a hoarders house. Maybe not to the level of a reality TV show, but certainly a red alert status.
I sat there trying to decide how I was going to navigate the social workers question without embarrassing my mother. I knew this was a sensitive topic for my mom so I just explained that I would need some time to get the house in order to reach a safe level for inspection.
I walked out of the hospital that day completely overwhelmed knowing that there was no way that my husband, daughter and myself could wade through the mountain of clutter in that short period of time to even come close to meeting a safety visit deadline. I made a decision that day to do something I’ve rarely done before… I asked for help.
I posted a simple question on my Facebook business page asking if anyone had been in this situation and if they had any recommendations. I had lots of responses but one in particular completely changed the dynamics of my circumstances. One amazing person put me in touch with someone that specializes in downsizing senior’s homes with a division specifically for homeowners with hoarding tendancies.
Over the next couple of days I spoke to many people on the phone and was able to interview two qualified companies from my local area right in my mom’s home. They were a prayer answered for me but what happened next was even more amazing.
The first company representative showed up right on time, walked in the house and immediately I felt a positive vibe coming from him. I took him to the worst room in the house first, (the craft room), and after looking that room over he said if this is the worst room this job is no problem. We continued the walk through the house from one end to the other. Once he had seen everything he then gave my husband and I his plan of attack.
From beginning to end he laid out his plan and when he was finished I knew immediately I wanted to hire him. I hadn’t even heard his price yet… I just knew that he made me feel like it was all going to be all right and that with his help I could meet my safety visit deadline and bring order and organization back to the home I grew up in.
After he left I told my husband that I was going to cancel the appointment we had later in the day with the other company. I already knew who I wanted to hire. My husband discouraged me from doing that pointing out that we should hear how the other company would approach the job and have at least one more bid. It made sense so we met with the next representative.
From the second the owner of the next company came in I knew she wasn’t a good fit for us. Her disposition was all business. No compassion for the situation, my mom’s belongings or how the process would affect each of us. At the end of her walkthrough she gave us an entire list of what WE needed to do before she would even bring her team of people in. Yes, that’s what I said… she was giving us a list of what we needed to do first.
I’m sure you guessed by now, we hired the first company. They spent three days there with a team of people. My husband, daughter and I were there working along side them. With over 100 man-hours into the project the house has taken on a whole new identity and has passed the safety inspection.
There is so much to be learned from this experience that is valuable to every single business owner. Here are just a few of them.
- Don’t be afraid, too proud or too stubborn to ask for help. If it is out of your level of expertise find someone that can help you.
- When presenting your products and services be sure to showcase it in such a way that it spotlights all of the benefits your client will receive by working with you.
- Speak your ideal client’s language. Let them know you understand and are compassionate to their situation and you have the answer they are looking for. With you they are in good hands and all will be all right.
I am so proud of myself for letting my guard down for a moment to ask for help. This process has changed me in so many ways. It’s enhanced how I look at my business model. It allowed me the opportunity to see my mom in a whole new light by going through her belongings and by sharing this experience with my daughter it has brought us even closer together.
I encourage you to look at your business model, products and services from this point of view. When you present them to a potential client are you clearly spotlighting the benefits they will receive? Are they walking away feeling like it will all be okay if they become your client? When thinking in these terms it will help you to always put your best foot forward and will certainly yield more sales for your company.
Please click here, “Karen’s Facebook Page”, to share with me how this article impacted you. If nothing else it has given you food for thought about how important your initial product and service presentation is to your success. Please share with me what you think you can do differently in the future.
Thank you for allowing me to share this deeply personal story with you.
With love & support,