Which Weighs More,
A Pound Of Gold Or A Pound Of Feathers?

Apr 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Building Your Reputation, Marketing Professional Services

It’s getting so I can’t go into our local Ingle’s grocery store any more without embarrassing myself. One of my bad habits is to blurt out things that are totally out of place. At Ingle’s, I keep asking the cashiers the same half-dozen or so same pieces of trivia that I’ve been asking folks since the early 60’s.

Lately though, it’s been like I received a new lease on life, because I remembered one of my all time favorites … “Which weigh’s more, a pound of gold, or a pound of feathers?” And no, they are not both the same. Since precious metals are measured in Troy weight, and almost everything else is measured in Avoirdupois, a pound of feathers will weigh quite a bit more than a pound of gold.

Generally speaking, Troy weight is measured as 12 ounces to the pound, while Avoirdupois weight is measured at 16 ounces to the pound. Before you go into some argument about there being a difference in the ounces, let me also point out that there are approximately 373 grams in a Troy pound and approximately 454 grams in an Avoirdupois pound, so a pound of feathers still weighs more than a pound of gold.

Now here’s where I have to use all the skills of a high powered wordsmith to make that little bit of trivia analogous to the idea of Rainmaker style marketing. Are you ready? Let’s go …

As my friend Ford Harding explains in his book “Rain Making, The Professionals Guide To Attracting New Clients,” relationships are built on trust, and to a client this means first and foremost that you will do good work for them and you will not embarrass them. It means you must provide quality work before all else, and not load your work product with a lot of fluff, thinking that you will be impressing the client. (Note the cute way I worked quality services, i.e. the gold standard, versus fluff, the feather standard, in to this article?)

By constantly and consistently delivering quality work and adhering to the gold standard, you will provide the “good work” that the client wants from you. By avoiding and eliminating “fluff” from your work product, you will not embarrass your client when they rely on your work product in their business dealings.

Remember, most small business owners that you run into think of accounting and consulting as a sort of commodity and think that there is no real differentiator between one consultant and another. (That was the old “a pound is a pound” thing slipped in here for everyone who has read this far.) It is up to you to build your relationship with your client in a way that will develop a feeling of an implicit obligation to refer their business associates to you, and your practice.

That is your first step in becoming a Rainmaker in your practice, making your work product adhere to the gold standard, and educating your clients and prospects so that they will not always blindly think that a “pound is a pound.”

Take care, and let’s stay in touch!

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