While there are several answers to that question, the most important difference is this: one is an order taker and the other is a problem solver.
The distinction between these two professions is very apparent, but when the barrier to entry for professions are lower, these two roles are often not as obvious. Think of the various professional services – a realtor for example; one need only take a class and pass a test (which you can take as frequently as you need) to obtain a license to be “in the biz.” This means the training, education, experience and associated expertise that goes along with other professions, a doctor for example, is lacking. The onus is then placed on you, as the client, to see red flags when they’re raised.
Allow me to recount a situation that occurs all too often. You’re the client and you have walked into a meeting and after the formalities the first question you’re asked is, “So… what do you need?” Frankly, if you knew exactly what you needed, you wouldn’t be having this meeting – you’d have already made a purchase or put out an RFP with the details. This is a huge red flag, and it’s nice and easy to notice as it tends to happen within minutes of the conversation starting.
I recently had a couple of teeth broken in a hockey game, and when I went to the dentist, the question sounded familiar, but the subtext is drastically different. He asked, “So… what’s wrong?” This subtle change makes all the difference in the world. Suddenly he’s not just an order taker asking what I’d like for lunch, he’s a problem solver.
Discovering the problem, the pain point, and preparing to help me solve it.
I explained the situation to him, my symptoms, and he offered me a variety of solutions. He offered to do bonding, gave the pros and cons, and the price. He also offered veneers, and again gave the pros and cons along with the price. And so on and so forth.
This embodies how a true professional acts and it’s something everyone can take to heart. You don’t need to work with a waiter as they’ve commoditized themselves and are simply order takers. Without getting to the root (pun slightly intended) of the problem, you aren’t going to fix it. Always work with a dentist as they’re someone who asks what your symptoms are and offers you solutions.
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