I was talking to a friend the other day who owns a retail store. He was telling me that an unassuming customer came in, saying she was referred to his store by a friend. She started walking around pointing at things saying, "I want that. I will take that. I want three of these."
My friend didn't know how to take this person. Like I said, she was unassuming. She wasn't wearing the $15,000 Rolex, she didn't have the latest Coach purse. She didn't have any bling of any kind.
This woman was getting ready to drop $10,000, at his store he started think, "What is going on here?" (Do you ever get that? Someone comes in and says, "Money is no object." When I was a young dentist, I would just salivate when someone said this. Now when someone says this, I think it is bulls@#$%^t. Money is always an issue. I had a professional boxer that made over 5 million dollars a fight complain about the cost of my crowns. When someone just comes in and says, "I want 8 veneers on the top and 10 veneers on the bottom," usually I tread very cautiously.)
Turns out, she was totally legit. She is the wife of a famous athlete. But this got us talking about rich people's tendencies.
I set my office up so that lots of people will be comfortable here. I think the blue collar guy would really feel special here and the mega-rich will also feel like we are what they are looking for. The rich do come in, and almost 99% of the time, I love them. I don't love them more than the blue collar guy because most of the time I don't know who is who. But for the sake of this blog, let's talk about the 1%.
I think there are usually two types of rich people (with some sub-categories). The one that I described: the rich person that wants everyone to know. Bling everywhere. Rolex, Coach, David Yurman, fancy cars, nice clothes, never going out of the house without looking like a million bucks. It seems that these kind of people want everyone to know they have money. In fact, they will spend most of their money to show off. They have most of their money in stuff and not in the bank.
Then there are the millionaire-next-door rich people. Rich people that you would never know are rich. Drive Ford trucks, have one wedding band (no diamonds, just a band), no bling, nothing on their person that would give it away. They mow their own grass. They eat at home all the time and bring their lunch to work. And the main thing is they save, save, save. These people don't want anyone to know that they have any money. All of their money is in their bank accounts not in stuff.
Maybe there is a third category, people like me. People that make a lot of money but have not much to show for it and don't have anything in their bank. I am saving (but it doesn't seem like a lot). We do eat at home a lot, and I bring my lunch to work everyday. But it seems like most of my money goes into tuition for the kids, my student loans, my home or my practice loan, gas or food.
Now listen, I am not knocking any of these. I am just telling it like it is. Look, my wife and I both have Rolex watches (though we don't wear them) and I have bought her some serious bling. I am kind of the Ford Truck kind of guy too. I think I am more of the save, save and save.
But, back to my discussion with my friend. Rich people have tendencies (as do many groups. They all have the same tendencies; I am just picking on the rich today). Some day, I want to be the rich guy everyone likes. I want to roll up in my modest car to the Ritz and tip the valet a $20 because I can (and to make up for all the $1 tips I gave all his colleagues in the past). I know it would make his/her day. I want to ask nicely for things. I want to be able to bless people. I want to be able to bail my church out of financial trouble. I want to be able to afford the nicer patio furniture (I got my set at Wal-Mart for $350, but the one I really really like was $5800). I want to be able help my kids with their kids' tuition. I want to be able to take my kids and grandkids on a cruise.
I don't want to be a pain in the a$$. Speaking of PIAs... Sometimes, people can be real PIAs. You know, they just come in wanting to be served. Sometimes people that are rich have unbelievably high expectations. They want to be called an hour before their appointment so they won't forget. They don't want to wait for any reason. They want the nitrous mask to be on and waiting for them. Their home care stinks and they can't believe they have decay, but then they get bent out of shape when an impression doesn't come out. They think those crowns will last forever. And every time you do a procedure, there should be no post-op sensitivity or issues of that matter. Treatment plan can't be $1 over than what is on that piece of paper, either.
Oh, and we need to work around their schedule. Now I have always said we want to be the Ritz around here but... And we are a service industry but... Some people are a little more demanding than others. Do you find that people with money are a bit more entitled and have very little patience for less than ideal results?
When someone comes in that is unassuming and has heard great things about our office and wants what we have to offer, this person is solid gold. And you know what? I tell them so.
They get educated; they ask intelligent questions. They follow through with appointments. They give grace. They are thankful. And they are happy to pay for the service. No comments under their breath (even though the tires on their Lexus cost about 50 times the cost of a cleaning).
SOLID GOLD, I tell you. So I would say to Mrs. Gold, "You know Mrs. Gold, I absolutely love having you as a patient. When you come in you light up the room. We have fun with you. I truly appreciate you as a patient. So, if you think about it, please send your friends here because a practice full of people like you would be so awesome."
The PIAs don't get that. I smile when they are here. I do the best I can. I try my best to make them less sour.
I think I have rambled enough. I was all over the place today, but I know you guys will give me grace. How is it with you? Got any gems for us? Let me know.
Have a great Administrative Professional's Day (Oh, you forgot? Well, 7-11 is open 24 hours.)
Talk to you on Friday,