Working Hard? Or Hardly Working?

Man working hard at office deskHow to communicate your value to clients. 

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

One summer I worked for my father at one of his large clients. It was a hot July day and I was wearing a suit and tie and there was no air conditioning in the office, just a fan that wasn’t one of the most expensive you could buy.

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Across from my desk sat the owner’s father. He just sat there; he did no work. I was working hard and barely looked up, but when I did our eyes met occasionally and he nodded, but that was it.

Sometime in the mid-afternoon, I was dying from the heat and felt totally uncomfortable. I stood up, took my jacket off, loosened my tie and rolled up my sleeves. At that moment he remarked, “Ah, now you are starting to work!”

My lesson from this is that it is not only important to work hard, but it’s equally important to give the appearance that you are. I extended this to emphasizing my hard and valuable work for clients by remarking at the end of each meeting that “we really covered a lot of ground today” or “this was a great meeting!” or something similar to impress success or achievement upon the client.

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