I want to share something with you that’s happened to me over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been suffering with a Group A Streptococcus infection. And it’s made me think about how we interact with our clients as voice over talent.
Let me explain.
This infection manifested in a large, ugly and debilitating abscess invading my upper lip. And, I’ll be honest: I got scared when it wouldn’t go away. It affected my speech, my look and my well being.
Having this happen illustrated something: we’re often most frightened of what we don’t know. I had no idea how to get rid of it. I had no idea what it might become. I had no idea what to do to make it go away. And I envisioned my voice and acting career suffering because of this…thing on my face.
All kinds of things started creeping in to my thoughts. And my friends were Google-ing all the phrases associated with this condition. I adored reading that it could invade my brain and render me a vegetable. It might be staph. It might be strep. God help me if it’s MRSA.
The original doctor that I saw at the Motion Picture Clinic told me it was too early to do anything about it. That changed 4 days later when it tripled in size.
I was, in a word, depressed. I saw my world crashing around me with no end in sight. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I was in constant pain and people couldn’t understand me.
Just when I’d given up hope, a referral to an eye-nose-throat doctor changed everything.
I first went to a plastic surgeon, who had repaired a dog bite (on the same lip). It was now, six years later, almost invisible. Thankfully, she decided this wasn’t a job for her, but “she had the guy for me.”
And boy did she.
I went to see Dr. Line, and from the moment he walked into the exam room, I knew everything was going to be just fine. His manner was confident, humorous (“I’m going to numb you now. But don’t worry – it’s not going to hurt me one bit.”) and reassuring. He looked at me, told me what was going on, and described how he was going to fix it.
And then he said something that I’ve given as a phrase to you all for years: “I’ve got this. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you.”
That’s the kind of language that seals deals. That’s the kind of response to a client’s problem that makes them happy they hired you. And all too often, we forget that we are in the business of fixing things for our clients. Removing their pain. Making things better.
How’s your bedside manner these days?
When a client tells you they need a spot done with pretty fast turnaround, do you silently curse them? Do you whisper to yourself “Yeah, well, your crisis isn’t my responsibility!”
Or, do you cement your relationship with them by saying, “Not a problem. I can rearrange some other stuff I’m working on to take care of you. There’s a rush fee, but I’ve got this. Don’t worry. I’ll have it for you when you need it.”
The good news is, if you took a look at me today, three days after seeing the ENT doctor, you’d be hard-pressed to even notice that anything had happened. And I am one happy actor.
Because I was afraid of what I didn’t know, and I got some world-class caregiving.
What kind of caregiving do you give? Let me know in the comments below.
Hope this helps!