How to Choose Service Professionals for Your Business (Part 1)

Interviewing and choosing service professionals (lawyers, bookkeepers, etc.) for your business isn’t always easy. How do you know if they’re any good? For starters, don’t look at the way they’re dressed.

Stever Robbins,
February 18, 2013
Episode #255

Page 1 of 3

My pal Bernice is in a quandary. Thanks to her special patented brand of fertilizer, her plant store, Green Growing Things, is growing faster than she ever expected. Now she has an estate! She needs an estate planner, especially because she and Melvin will someday have kids (she hasn’t told him, yet. She doesn’t want to rock the boat until they’re married). But she’s never hired one before. For that matter, she needs a bookkeeper, a lawyer, and a delivery person fast! But how should she choose her team?

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Don’t Judge a Book By its Cover

You think I’m joking? Your mother was right when she told you never to judge a book by its cover. I once watched a procurement office choose one vendor over another because they were better dressed. “They looked more professional,” the procurement officer said. I knew the product involved and it was clear that one team had spent their money on substance, while the other team has spent their money on suits. The suits got the job, and we got screwed, because they were only semi-skilled. If you think business attire connotes anything about competence, just remember that every single mortgage officer who knowingly wrote bad loans in the mid-aughts was wearing a suit. Suits mean nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

Besides, if she judged by clothing, she’d never pick me. I look silly in a suit.

Now let’s do a quick review: What do suits mean?

Right: Nothing.


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