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May 13, 2009

Never trust a skinny chef...

Never trust a skinny chef, a clean mechanic or a happy undertaker. Funny little saying, but like all sayings there is a good lesson to be found here.

When I talk to my asset management prospects and clients I am sure to leave no doubt that I practice what I preach. I have been up to my knees in grease and worked in the most inhospitable places on the planet.

Why? I believe they cannot start to trust me if I am not authentic. I could just sprout off about all the benefits we produce in our brochures, the services we offer, and our track record. But if I did that there would be a gaping hole...

...I wouldn't be able to help them to fix their problems, I could only offer to put them in touch with someone who might be able to.

Not good enough! Authenticity and sincerity are at the heart of trust. If you haven't done it, how can you think to advise me on how to do it?

There are far too many people writing about social media who have never made any real money doing it.

There are far too many consultants offering advice and services in areas where they know considerably less than their prospects and clients.

And their are far too many coaches out there who have never played.

Want to learn about marketing? Seth has a proven track record there.

Want to learn about Twitter? Joel Comm  seems to have created a lot of success out of that medium.

Want to learn about LinkedIn? I'm going okay there, happy to offer guidance  where I can.

But don't ask me how to manage a team of 200 people. I would have no idea. Or how to push through a $2 billion proposal for outsourced everything. Again - no clue. I could guess - but in the end I have no experience with proposals of that magnitude and it could be dangerous of me to guess.

Sales people do not have to be the technical experts, but they need to have enough experience in the doing that they can talk the talk with people who are the technical experts.

Consultants do not need to be the best in the world but they have to be good enouch to deliver the value that you have sold to the client. THey aren't there to learn on the job.

You need to be quoting and delivering work in areas that you have mastery of. At least enough of it to deliver the value you offer. To do otherwise is a waste of time with absolutely no upside.

You work like heck to try to learn about the area you have little knowledge of. Because of inexperience you deliver a so-so engagement and outcome, and because of that your clients are less inclined to run you again when opportunities come up.

Absolutely no upside. Never trust a skinny chef, and don't try to be one either.