The Paid Professional's Blog

Personal development blog for professionals

Saturday

THINK LIKE YOUR CLIENTS, ACT LIKE A PROFESSIONAL

15 September 0
Photo credit: Unsplash
They say a customer is always right. Although that is a common saying in the customer service business, it is not 100% true. At the end of this post, I will tell you why customers may not be 100% right. But first, let me show you how you can keep your clients for life.

Top business and entrepreneurial experts will tell you that people are your greatest assets. 

As a professional, in doing your business, your clients are the livewire of your business.

To keep doing repeat business with your clients, you must do certain things that will keep your clients satisfied while doing your job for them.

From my little experience, here are the few tips I discovered on how you can get the attention of your clients and keep them for life:
  1.  Be a Good Listener – The attention you pay to your clients by simply giving them a listening ear does more good for you than your clients. Listening helps you understand your client's needs and how you can help them.

    Listening helps you get tips on your next business idea. Listening shows your clients you have their interest in heart, they will trust you, and the will freely give you more than you ask for.

    Ask the doctors, some people go to the hospital even when they don't have any health challenge, but because they need someone to listen to them talk, the seek the attention of their doctors.
     
    You must also learn to pay attention to details.
    Your clients might not say everything and you must listen to their body language to get hidden messages. You need to observe. People speak many words in their body language. Just listen with your eyes and they will reveal things to you.
    This skill will also help you to discover your client's intentions.

  2.  Show Empathy – The ability to understand and share in the feelings of others helps you enter the mind of your clients.  Knowing what your clients are feeling is what helps you meet the needs of your clients.
     
    If you can show concern about your client's emotional state and 
    take steps to help them solve their problems, it will single you out as someone who they can rely on and trust. 
    Emotional IQ is one essential intelligence needed in the business world and professions that require dealing with people.

  3.  Gift, freebies – Everyone loves the free stuff. A good way to attract the attention of your clients is to give them gifts periodically. It is a good way to also attract new clients.

    Surprising your clients with gifts is one marketing strategy that has not gone out of style. People always fall for the free stuff. Show how grateful you are to your clients by periodically giving your clients gifts, and they will love you for life.

  4.  Client relationship – It is a relationship and not just a one-off event. Every contact with your clients is a relationship even if it is for the first time.
     
    Market research will tell you 
    that repeat sale is where the business is.

    Establish a relationship with your clients that will last for years. Make your clients feel you are there for them always and they will stick with you. Be their friend.

  5. Maintain your values – What was the value proposition you sold to your clients when you first interacted with them? Your clients saw something good about you and your products that was why they chose you.

    You have to maintain your standard of operation with your clients at all times. Get the job done well.
     
    It is saddening to attract your client with good value propositions on your product and service and later do something substandard.

    To keep your clients coming back you have to give services that equal your value proposition and your clients will be happy with you. It is also important that you improve your style and manner of doing your work by doing something out of the ordinary by giving more value.

    Change your styles. Surprise your clients with an updated way of doing things which is different from the old.

    With time people's taste change so you to need to change and never go 
    below standard because of over-familiarity.
If you can do these things above you will have the loyalty of your clients.

At the beginning of this article, I told you customers are not entirely 100% right. Well, here are a few situations where your clients could be wrong and you don't have to dance to their tune:
  1. When customers become overbearing – As a professional, though you might want to make sure your clients feel like a king, there are times when you need to let your clients know that in doing your job you still maintain your integrity and esteem. This is necessary so that your clients do not make you feel like rubbish.

    If you know your onions, you can stand before your clients and let them know you are the best at what you do and you command the respect of your clients.

    You need not allow your clients dictate how you do your job when you know what they suggested is 
    below your skill level. It is true that he who pays the piper calls the tune. While your clients tell what they want, how you do your job is yours to do.

  2. When customers want you to bend the ethics of your profession – Every profession has its ethics and standards. You need not allow your clients make you do a job that is against the ethical standards of your work. If things go bad, your reputation as a professional is at stake. In doing your job, let your clients know that what you are offering them is the best standard and any suggestion bellow standard is unacceptable.

    Your reputation is important so don't soil your reputation while dealing with clients.

  3. Rules of your profession – Just like the point above, your profession has rules, and if you break the rules you could attract legal implications. Your clients should not let you do things that are against the rules of your professional conduct.

    Many professionals have caused their companies millions in lawsuits because they broke the rules.

  4. When you know your actions can cost you more than necessary – It is true that clients love the free stuff but it should not be an all-time affair. This is usually common among friends and family who became clients and always want free services from you.

    You need to stand your ground and let them know that you will be at a loss if the services they are requesting is beyond your capacity. After all, you are not running a charity organisation.

    Give your clients good deals but don’t go beyond the standards of pay. If you continue displeasing yourself for your clients at the expense of your business you will in no time lose your business.

While you are doing your best to satisfy your clients' needs, clear your conscience from the guilt of doing something wrong or something against your professional ethics which you could regret later.

If you are a professional out there and you have faced or are facing any situation I have portrayed in this post feel free to share. Also, share how you have successfully retained your clients all the years. 

Friday

LEARNING IS A HABIT FOR PROFESSIONALS

24 August 0
Photo credit: Unsplash

When does learning stop? It never stops.

Learning never ends. At least if you want to continue being great at what you do, learning is continuous.

In Nigeria, at a certain time, people ask the question "Are you a learner?" The question was meant to be derogatory. It was meant to refer to a person who is a novice. But I beg to differ.

Monday

SO YOU MESSED UP PROFESSIONALLY?

23 July 0

A life spent making mistakes is more honourable than a life spent doing nothing.

Your past mistake is not a failure if you have to courage to learn from it.

People make mistakes every day. In relationships, business, sports, etc. A professional is not exempted from making mistakes. Just because you are pro doesn’t mean you won't make mistakes at all.

In fact, making mistakes is a sign you are doing something profound.

Mistakes happen all the time.

Tuesday

PROFESSIONALS SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MENTORSHIP .

29 May 0

In December 2017, at the Nigerian Bar Association Jos branch Plateau state Law Week which I participated in, a seasoned lawyer and the oldest female lawyer in the Jos jurisdiction Mrs H. O. Olowokere spoke to us about mentorship in the legal profession. 

In an inspiring and story like fashion, Mrs H. O. Olowokere talked to us about mentorship and she said mentorship has always been a part of our culture. She made it clear to us that there are several African proverbs that portray the need for mentorship.

Among such African proverbs she said is:   

MY BOSS IS A MONSTER BUT I LOVE HER - How to deal with cruel bosses

01 May 0

The path to professionalism is a process. It is not an easy process I must say. Everyone was once a novice and they had to go through the grind to get to the top of their profession.

On that journey to professionalism, you’ll meet lots of characters in the form of bosses. This post talks about how you can deal with the kind of boss you have.

My first boss was a gentle soul. He never pressured me to do any work. He will literally say “please can you do this for me?” Even though he had the power to command me to do anything for him he still asked politely.

He was always nice to me and never ceases to encourage me. He always asks about my welfare.

Monday

WHAT VALUES DEFINE YOU? – Remembering My AIESEC Values

26 February 0



Values define what is important in our personal and work life. Values are those things we consider to be best and place some worth in.

Values in all its ramifications give a person a sense of judgment, direction, and principles by which a person lives.

There are several values which a person can choose to live by but the ones you choose depend on that which produces the results that resonate with you.

While I was at the university, I belonged to an organization called AIESEC.

Saturday

WHAT ARE YOU AN EXPERT AT?

03 February 2



What are you an expert at? 
I heard this question from one of my online mentors. The question really got me thinking. That is why I ask you the same question. What are you an expert at? What can you do really well?

Every new month for me always was a time for reflection and planning.

My thoughts for the month among others borders on finding out what it is you really are good at? 

Monday

THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR FAILURE... HAVE THE WILL TO WIN

11 December 0
 

I’m writing this post as a tribute to a good friend, Late Michael Nandul Vongdip. A great friend and a man who thought there is no excuse for failure.

Michael had a will to win. When life pulls him down he gets up again. He faced his challenges headson without fea
r. He had big dreams which he believed he would achieve. But the cruel hands of death took him away before he could reap the fruits of his labour.


No matter how bad things get you can turn around and start again while you still have life.

EVERYTHING HAS A PRICE - Key To Professional Success

13 November 0


Key to Success



Everything has a price of an effort. That which you want to do, have, and become has a price of an effort. 

That which you want to see accomplished most often than not will not appear on you doorstep by itself.

The man (or woman) who can raise his hand to say I will do it or is willing to go the extra mile is the man who everyone is looking for. That man that will despite all odds says I CAN. Such a man is who we all seek to be and seek to meet in all relationships in life. 

Tuesday

Try Being an Entrepreneur vs Being Stuck as a Wantrepreneur

24 October 0


I learnt a new word called wantrepreneur which I added to my vocabulary. 

It's not a conventional word you'll find in the dictionary but I saw it mentioned by someone on LinkedIn. I did a little digging to know what it means.

Simply put, a wantrepreneur is a person who wants to do something creative and profit by it but never gets to do it.

Wantreprenuer is a wannabe Entrepreneur.

They are very good procrastinators.

WHEN THE ACCIDENTAL WORKER MEETS THE PAID PROFESSIONAL by Ndam Ponzing

10 October 1

Hey, I am the accidental worker and I heard you were The Paid Professional.

I should say "nice to meet you" but our paths cross too often without you realizing it, and sometimes you are too stuck up to notice.

PS, raise your head a bit when you are rushing to the office every morning and ask, "Do I want to do this stuff for the rest of my life?"

Oh, is that how you're going to be? Feeling all high and mighty because you are a professional? You think you are better than me, don't you?

Guess what, buddy, I have news for you, the law considers everyone who has done a particular job over a period of time with or without formal education as a professional and competent enough to give expert evidence.
Don't believe me? Ask your lawyer.

The curse of professionalism is a daunting one.
You are stuck doing one thing for the rest of your life, doesn't it get monotonous? Well, you are a professional after all, I am sure you are taught how to handle the boring parts.

Please say you are not, so I can have some semblance of happiness. Don't mind me, I have evil tendencies.

Oh, don't feel bad. An accidental worker is usually a person who gets stuck doing stuff for the money. Bouncing from one paycheck to paycheck, doing things to satisfy nothing but wallets and drinking addictions. I didn't say that Jess Churchill did.

Hey! We have something in common, you get paid for doing stuff, I get paid for doing stuff.

A monkey at a circus may also be considered highly trained, and surprise it also gets paid for doing stuff. Yay, that's disheartening; so all I am saying is, money is not the sole determinant of being a professional.

And repeating stuff every day makes you a monotonous professional, highly trained monkey.

That made you feel bad, didn't it? You didn't spend 5 or 7 years in the University for an unemployed guy to keep telling you stuff like this.

I apologize, I really do. Sometimes the words just spout off my keypad, blame that choice in the middle of the screen. It suggested "monkey", I wanted to type person, but "monkey" came up.

Anyways, it's imperative to understand that there is nothing wrong with being a worker, accidental or professional.

The only crime is when we assume that our paycheck distinguishes us from Accidental worker to Paid Professional.

While expertise and experience are central, our real jobs on earth are not just to live paycheck to paycheck, the good Lord made the world vast for a reason, travel it.

Be happy with whatever you are doing, don't allow the negative thoughts get to you.

Find peace, create value that gives happiness and fulfilment, find that core that controls you.

And for the love of God please don't be a stuck up, 2-bit paper pusher.

"Work the grand angel of labour which moulds the mind of man, steadies his hands, controls his brain, purines his passion, and strengthen his whole mental and physical being."

If you think sitting down and praying to the God of heaven to open windows upon your life, you would be sitting for a long time. "He who does not work does not deserve food".

If you think you are handicapped and deserve alms, well that's what you think, who am I to change your mindset?

As you face your days, accidental professional worker, with the sun behind your back and wind in your nostrils, go the extra mile for the greater good of mankind.

Peace..



author-pic 
About Guest Author

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY IN YOUR PROFESSION

03 October 0



To increase productivity in your profession there are certain actions you can take to make improvements come quickly. The methods you can use to increase your productivity is what we are going to discuss below. 

1) Improve on your Personal Effectiveness- I am a fan of the ‘we become what we think about’ mantra. Knowing that you can become what you think about leads to the point that your thoughts must be in line with the kind of person you want to become.

Monday

YOUR ONE CHANCE TO CREATE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

25 September 0




SMILE 

In the Paid Professional Blog today we will talk about the value of your SMILE.

Do you carry your smile with you everywhere you go? If you do, great. If you don’t, you are missing out on something valuable.

Do you greet everyone you meet with this free gift on the face? If you don’t you need to start now. You want to know why? 

A man with a smile on his face is seen to be more competent than a man with a frown on his face. 

An easy way to create a first impression is by the quality of the smile you put on your face.

 In Dale Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People", in the section on 6 ways to make people like you, the author mentioned 'SMILE'. He said it is the best way of creating a good first impression.

Scientifically, it takes more muscles to frown and less muscles to put a smile on the face. Why do you think babies look happy and carefree about everything? 

Why do you think a baby’s face is so irresistible? Babies don't need to do anything, they only cry when hungry or in discomfort.

I met a man I used to know a while back with his seven year old daughter a few days ago. The last time I saw him, his daughter was still a little baby. She is now a little grown. What struck me was the way this young girl smiled. 

I’m not sure she knew who I was or anything like that but the way she smiled made me think she was more excited to see me than I was to see them. For sure I felt elated and out of the ordinary I felt happier that I met them. 

Do you wonder what such power a little smile can do to a person.  Who benefits more from a smile? Is it the giver or the receiver? You can answer this question at the comment section at the end of this post.

What I know is that when I see a smile, I always felt better no matter what my current mood is. And really, when I give a smile, I know I feel at ease.

If I could not resist the power of the smiling little girl who was not expecting anything from me but who was just being her natural self, I wonder what it will be like in my business. 

In my profession, I get to meet people all the time. Some people come to you with problems they need you to solve. Though you need to put a straight face to pay attention to them, but you also need to give them a smile of reassurance here and there that things will be fine.

If you really care to know how powerful a smile is, do a smile challenge. 

When you go out today, smile more. Smile to total strangers and notice the effect. 

If you need to rehearse your smile do it. Go in front of a mirror and give yourself a smile. Literarily force a smile on your face. Try to crack the mirror with your smile.

I’m sure when you are done with this exercise you will feel better about yourself. I’ll call it the Million Dollar smile challenge. 

Smile to everone you meet as if you just won a million dollars. 

As a professional in your field, in your day to day dealings with people put that smile on your face. It adds more value to the quality of your relationship with people. 

In fact it adds value to your competence. It gives the impression that you are confident and you are comfortable doing your work.

Do you know that people notice your smile when you talk on the phone? Surprised? Give it a try. Your smile shows in your voice even when you talk on the phone. 

For a lady, a smile is the best makeup she can wear on her face. It doesn’t matter if you have a makeup on or not, a beautiful lady is known by the expression she carries on her face.

A charming smile is the best attraction factor a man notices in a lady. 

In business, a smiling face is the best attractor factor for new customers. I heard of a Chinese proverb that  says “A man without a smiling face, must not open a shop”. I think this is the best ancient secret to increased sales in a business. 

A smile signals quality and assurance of reliability. 

Your smile is a tool, it can make ways for you. In carrying out your professional duties, use your smile as mirror to show people. People will feel better about you because you made them feel good about themselves.

Your smile tells people you like them and you value their person when you see them.

There is this colleague of mine from another law office that comes to visit our office, his smile comes into the room first before I see him. This is because I notice myself smiling even before he turns to my direction. Automatically, I just find myself smiling. He is always excited when he comes in and he pours the same excitement on all of us.

I once heard someone say, fake the smile if possible to make it happen. Though I appreciate giving or receiving a genuine quality smile, because when I see a fake smile I kind of know. I feel a smile should come from within you. Anyway, whether fake or genuine, give it anyway. Just fake it to make it.

To help you give a genuine smile, try thinking of a child’s face, or remember a beautiful experience. Just think of something that genuinely makes you happy. You will bring up a smile instantly. You can tweak your brain to help you bring out a genuine smile immediately.

For those who understand how the mind works, our thoughts are always reflected by our bodies. What the mind thinks about the body reflects. We become what we think about. If we think happy thoughts we become happy. 

Remember, a smile fosters good relationships. I remember taking a selfie with my significant other and she says “Kenny smile”, “I want to see your smile”, “don’t you know you look sweet with your smile?” “Smile for me please”. 

I’m sure you know guys always want to look macho and want to do the James Bond look, but we mustn't look too sassy all the time.

Give a smile please and don’t think about your teeth all the time. Some people will say “I don’t have good set of teeth.” Come on, babies don’t have teeth at all and when they smile the impression still lasts on us.

You might not know how much your smile is worth until you give it. Just give it a try. When you smile people always smile back. Except the recipient is really having a bad day. But give it anyway. You can hold your smile afterwords. The first smile is enough for the person having a bad day. Who knows maybe the person just lost a contract, or lost a love one, or whatever it could be. 

The fact is we can’t rule out having bad days but your smile could be that ray of light someone is looking for that day.

Give your one million dollar smile today. A smile you can’t resist is not only found in babies, it’s in you too. It cost nothing to give a smile. Just give it.


Friday

ARE YOU DOING YOUR PROFESSIONAL WORK ALONE?

15 September 0


 Many times in life you feel as if you are alone and it causes you to struggle to make ends meet. You struggle with yourselves. You tend to forget that no one is an island. You all need each other. You are all made to be a blessing to others and others equally are a source of blessing to you when you reach out to them. In the journey of fulfilling your professional task, you need other professionals because you cannot do your professional work alone.

You need others to succeed as much as they need you. Top businessmen know this, which is why they value the essence of networking and teamwork. A business's greatest asset