Physician Heal Thyself, Shoemaker’s Child and Other Cliches

How many times have you been in a situation where someone is advising another person or even advising you to do something that they need to do themselves, but they don’t? Ever met a doctor that did not take care of him or herself? There’s the old saying “Physician, heal thyself.” How about the Shoemaker’s Child syndrome? The shoemaker’s child has no proper shoes because the shoemaker is so busy making shoes for others that he does not have time to make them for his family. When I worked in a large organization, I was always amazed that we did not use many of the services that we tried to sell to others. It was always embarrassing to deal with the prospect’s question: “Do you use this service in your company?” I often wondered how much more powerful our story would have been if we could have included ourselves in the success stories about organizations using the service. You could spend a lot of time trying to figure out why this happens.

But your time would be better spent looking for opportunities inside your business to use the good products and services you sell. It would help the sales force really believe in what they were selling. It could lead to the continuous improvements in your products and services that can only come by using them directly. Not every business can do this. But, if you are wrestling with a problem that you have heard your prospects mention in sales calls and your company can address and solve it, what action would you propose to yourself if you were that prospect? Do a little digging and see what improvements you can find. Sometimes, the best surprises are right in your own back yard.