HOW DO PROFESSIONALS and CLIENTS SEEK EACH OTHER ?

Post 484  by Gautam Shah

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Professionals and clients seek each other in a variety of ways. A client can go about it without any inhibitions, whereas a professional can go about it with certain restrictions, depending on the type ethics followed by the profession. Client and professional come to know about each other primarily through intermediaries like friends, relatives and so on. However, in a rare case, the client may contact a professional directly after seeing or experiencing the work as a real entity, sketch or a publication about it.

CLIENTS’ approach

A lay-person as an Individual is always free to appoint any person as an adviser or helper for the professional services. Here no Government regulations or rules of the professional bodies like council or guild can be operative. Perhaps by dealing with ‘unrecognized professional’ one may not get legal protection or redressal.

When an organization, as a client is not allowed, or authorized to deal with any professional, on a person to person basis; a process for an appropriate selection of a professional is required. The process of selection begins with invitations offered to:

  • any competent member of society,
  • member of bodies with a certain level of competence
  • members of a body who necessarily have certain level of competence.
  • persons belonging to a certain geographical region, experience, age, sex, nationality, religion.

For complex jobs, selection of a professional is done through a competition, wherein professionals are required to tackle certain essential components of the job, or offer a holistic concept towards the issue.

Intermediary

A client may not contact a professional, unless there is some foreknowledge, reference or suggestion by someone. This usually comes through another professional, like a financial adviser. Members of the society usually know where and how to locate professionals of well established or traditional fields. However, in newer branches of human skills, the professional and the client do not have an appropriate forum to interact. In such situations, the intermediary professionals help to bring together the potential clients and professional.

PROFESSIONALS’ approach

A professional on realizing a person’s potential as a client, may seek the person directly or through a mutual acquaintance or a friend. However, if the person concerned is a potential client in the official capacity (employed official of Government or private organization), than an official appointment with the clear declaration of intent is necessary.

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A professional can seek a client in a variety of ways. Most of the professional bodies regulate a professional’s exposure and consequently the behaviour with the society in general and with potential clients in particular. Many professional bodies discourage direct advertisements by professionals to seek clients and assignments. “An advertisement however effective cannot project the professionalism or the competence of a professional”. It provides an undue advantage to the user.

Lawyer of the years

Most professional organizations believe that professionals should receive jobs in proportion to their professionalism and not their capacity to project through media. Paying out any consideration or any promise to that effect, to procure a job is also considered unethical. Problems of this ground arise; when a person is a client on the basis of the official position (so is capable of selecting / appointing and compensating a professional).

1024px-Consultation_-_Health_Check-up_Camp_-_Howrah_Swamiji_Sangha_-_Dumurjala_-_Howrah_2015-04-12_7598Cultivation of social contact is the most common method for a professional to come into contact with a potential client. Other Personal approaches include, specific letters, generalized bulletins, telephonic calls and face to face meetings. The impression created through a meeting or telephonic call may not be of desired type and intensity. Letters are very objective, last longer but have to be brief to be effective. Professionals get clients from other professionals. Here their competence is assured by the referring person.

Bio-data or resume is ever lasting, and very effective medium of exposure. Bio-data may contain basic information about the person, professional achievements and competence. Bio-data could be a very specific document, prepared (tailor made) for a potential client or could also be a generalized document that may serve to a set of potential clients with similar needs. Bio-data could be a very general introduction, good for any person whether potential client or a lay person.

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A bio-data that is tailor made, may reveal or emphasize data that is relevant to that particular exposure. Concealment or non emphasis of data in such a bio-data is intentional and is generally not unethical though could be malafide. General bio-data tends to create impression of a commodity pamphlet. Creative professionals generally do not favour this type of medium. Internet has become an ideal medium for placing a Bio-data. A digital document is very flexible and accessible worldwide.

In dealings with clients, what kinds of behaviour, actions or attitude are considered as unethical, malafide or bad, varies from country to country, region to region, profession to profession, and time to time. In professions where rules regarding behaviour have not been formalized, it may vary even from a professional to professional.

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A PROFESSIONAL and PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIOUR

Post 197 – by Gautam Shah 

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City Architecture Skyscrapers Skyscraper Architect

When a person professes skill for a negotiated compensation and conditions, then the person is called a professional. This is very contrary to a situation where a person gets paid a time bound amount -a salary, for discharge of a skill. Salaried people, however, well skilled, are not considered to be true professionals.

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A salary, does not reflect the true value, but rather a generalized cost of the skill. Salary is also not linked to a quality assurance or time bound delivery. Salary as an income does not motivate a person to maximize the productivity and creativity.

Professionals can profess skills for their clients. Professional need clients, with specific assignments and certain compensation. Professionals, themselves become clients, when they need technical help, and are willing to compensate someone with appropriate skill.??????????????????

A professional is required to behave professionally with:

  • another professional of the same skill
  • other professional/s but of different skills
  • other individuals who help to carry out the assignments
  • person /persons who retain the professional for the technical services such as the clients.
  • society in general.

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When a professional deals with another professional, it needs to be examined, if the contact has a professional to client or client to professional context. If not, than the relationship is very predictable. Both the parties profess the same skills and so follow similar norms of behaviour. However, when the context is professional to a client or vice-versa, then one is a retainer and the other is retained one. The relationship is like any other ordinary client and professional relationship.

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A professional sports-person is one who is no longer an amateur, i.e. one who can be commissioned with a fee, for the skills for a specific situation like a game or a sports event. A crafts-person who produces artefacts in a workshop and later sells it to a connoisseur, is not a professional, as the products were not created as an assignment. On a similar count an artist or a sculptor who creates a work of art and sells it in an exhibition, is also not a professional. A muralist, however, is a professional, as the person is retained for a fee to mount a mural, at a specific location. A chartered accountant working, as a financial executive in a company for a salary, is not a professional, though the membership to a chartered body may endow a status that of a professional. Similarly, a doctor working in a hospital on a salary is not a professional, though he may behave with all the professionalism expected of a true medical professional. A cook, magician, actor, barber and prostitute, are all true professionals, if are retained with a fee for a specific assignment. A salaried ship captain, army General, or a professor, all may show utmost professionalism in their work or duties, yet are not true professionals..

Pankaj Advani Professional sports-person

Pankaj Advani Professional sports-person

Society expects a certain kind of behaviour from a person who is assigned a task for a fee. This unique behaviour or professionalism is set by:

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1 Person own-self: A professional is always an individual entity, because the individual own-self is the prime originator of professional behaviour. A professional’s behaviour or the professionalism is always judged as an individual.

Larry King Broadcaster

Larry King Broadcaster

2 Professionals themselves (professing similar skills) as a group: Formal codification of behaviour norms for a particular profession excludes the newer peripheral skills. New skills demand slightly different type of behaviour norm. Entrenched practitioners of a profession cannot tolerate the altered or additional behaviour norms required for the new skills. When conditions to become or remain a professional are very formal (written or neatly described), creative individuals feel stifled. They try to reform the existing set-up to cause a change, or step-out to form a new organization. In both cases, the existing organization suffers, or is destroyed.

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3 Society in general: Over a period of time, the behaviour of all persons in a particular profession becomes so obvious or predictable that, these professionals seem to be directly or indirectly, visibly or invisibly governed by a set of `ethics’, code of conduct, or rules-regulations. All such rules, codes etc. however, can never be formally set, explained, or written. Many are traditions or universally accepted norms.

4 Authority or Government through rule of the law: Unless other conditions are fully or partially met, the rule of law on its own cannot set the professional behaviour and consequently create a professional. The fourth condition, is a matter of legality or rather a necessary evil.

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DJ Ian playing at DIangyang Music Festival

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