Don’t Ignore Your Greatest Asset

We were shoe shopping.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my wife. We’ve been married more than thirty years, and I love being with her.

But I would rather have gum surgery than go shoe shopping with her.

I don’t mind shopping for ladies’ fashions. In fact, I rather enjoy it. My wife has great taste in clothes, and I get a kick out of the little fashion show she does as she tries different outfits on.

But I draw the line at shoe shopping.

She’s going to hit every shoe store in the mall … try on every single pair of shoes … and decide that she likes the first pair she tried on – four hours ago – the best.

Been there, done that, and don’t want to go through it again.

So there we were – shoe shopping – and I was starting to fidget.

She gave me The Look.

Any married guy reading this knows exactly what I mean.

She said, “If you’re going to start acting up, why don’t you just go and prospect somebody. I’ll call you on your cell when I’m done and you can meet me by the food court.”

I was gone so fast my shadow had trouble keeping up.

You Did What?

So for the next few hours I went prospecting.

I tried on a couple of sport jackets. I found out that the salesman wasn’t locked-in to his job there. He told me that he kept his options open and was in need of a resume. I got his name and number.

I did the same thing with the store manager of a jewelry store.

Feeling pretty proud of myself, I rendezvoused with my wife at the food court.

Over a couple of Diet Cokes she showed me the shoes she’d found, and asked how my prospecting had gone.

I told her I’d picked up a couple of good prospects for my resume business.

She said, “I did some prospecting for you too.”

I said, “You did what?”

She said, “Yeah, I decided to help you.”

She rummaged around in her purse for a minute or two, then handed me a fist-full of business cards.

She said, “These people want to talk to you about getting their resumes done, and these people want you to call them about your copywriting services.”

You could’ve knocked me over with a feather.

I asked her, “How did you do it?”

Ready, Set, Go!

“I just asked people what they did for a living. If they worked for somebody else, I asked them if they kept their options open, or were they all done when it came to making money. If they said they kept their options open, I told them to give me their name and number and that I’d have you get in touch with them. Told ‘em you could help them advance in their career,” she said with a smile.

“How did you get the copywriting prospects?” I asked.

She didn’t miss a beat.

“When they told me they owned their own business, I told them you could help them get more customers and make more money.”

“And did they ask you how?” I asked.

“Sure,” she said. “They all did. I told them it was your business and they could ask you when you called.”

I had to admire the brilliance of her approach. She offered them a needed benefit and she avoided being picked apart with questions by deferring to me.

Guess what. Every single one of those people became my client and not because I’m such a great closer. The reason is that my wife’s approach was so strong, it engendered an air of expectancy within each prospect. They expected that I was going to be able to help them.

The Payoffs of Working Together

Since that day, my productivity has doubled.

Writing is an insular profession. Most days it’s just me and the keyboard.

But while I’m sitting at my computer, writing copy or creating a resume, my wife is getting her hair done and chatting up everyone within hearing distance about what I do for a living. She’s become a little prospecting machine.

But she’s more than that. She actually helps me to be a better writer and a better businessperson.

Who loves us the most? Family and friends.

Who criticizes us the quickest? Family and friends.

They know you’re Superman or Superwoman. They’re just waiting for you to get out of the phone booth.

So I run everything I write by my wife first. If what I’ve written doesn’t pass muster, she’ll let me know.

Did you ever hit a hole-in-one when you were playing a round of golf and wish your husband or wife or significant other had been there to witness it?

Have you ever been on a business trip and experienced a breathtaking sunset, only to wish he or she was there to see it with you?

Working together gives you not one, but an entire array of experiences you would not have the opportunity to share otherwise.

Making your first sale, signing your first long-term contract, or turning your first quarterly profit is more memorable if you have someone to share it with.

Admittedly, there is still a part of me that believes “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” But I also now believe that if I want something done right, I can ask my wife to do it or help me with it. What a relief! Sharing the load lets each of us use our strengths to their highest potential.

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Published: July 28, 2009

3 Responses to “Don’t Ignore Your Greatest Asset”

  1. Dear Tom Kavala, Thank you for the encouragment. It's nice that you have someone to help you with your business. I am a widow and all I have is my family. When I told them that I went through a writing course and I was going to start my own business they said it was a scam. My youngest son is the only one who believes that I can be a success. So I am alone with only one in my corner. Katherine Kremiller

    Kathrn5851July 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm

  2. That's all well and good if you happen to have a wife or significant other. For a solo person like me...not really relevant....

    KenoOfSanDiegoJuly 28, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  3. Tom...
    This is wonderful! The humor, the shoes the "profile" instructions, the purpose. Your wife's networking on your behalf is indicative of how proud she is of you. You have surely enlightened me on the networking & using your family/friends aspect of promoting my business. Thank you and good luck on future "shoe" shopping. LOL Sincerely, Lady Rhonda

    Lady RhondaAugust 23, 2009 at 9:52 pm

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