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When You Care Enough

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Published on Mar 20, 2012

Not long ago, I found myself sitting with my clients Frank & Jan. Sadly; we were discussing the financial ramifications of Frank's impending death. Frank had battled cancer for several years and after countless treatments and medical trials, the war was almost over. With the end in sight, Frank was more determined than ever to make sure his sweet wife Jan was going to be ok. From a financial and estate perspective, I am proud to say that things were buttoned up very well; however, there were a few household items that Frank still wanted to check off his "honey do" list.

Among other things, Frank wanted to have the water heater replaced and the air conditioner repaired. They also needed to have some legal documents notarized. Oh and their daughter was driving a new car so the car insurance needed updating. With Frank's health changing rapidly, they did not have time to shop around to find the right people to provide these much needed services.

When you don't have time or do not want to risk getting a bad service provider, what do you do? If you are like many people, you ask someone you trust to recommend a person or company they trust to deliver the needed service. The old Hallmark slogan, "When you care enough to send the very best", comes to mind when I think about moments like this. This was a great opportunity to give service beyond my usual job description. I was able to recommend some excellent people in each of the specialties Jan & Frank needed. My neighbor John is a plumber and he took care of the water heater. My friend Crystal took care of the notary work. My friend Jeff updated and improved their home and car insurance and air tech Kenney replaced their air conditioner.

I hope that you will never be in a situation like this with a sick friend but ask yourself; have you ever had the opportunity to refer a great individual or business and you hesitated. Did you hold your referral because you did not want to impose or offend someone? I've been guilty of this too many times in the past. Think about the people who have provided great service. Do you know great service providers that you could refer to your friends and family? Maybe you know the best plumber this side of the Mississippi or the greatest pediatrician or dentist. You might even know an excellent financial planner who has provided you with knowledge and service beyond anything you have ever experienced.

The introduction to a financial planner can be more arduous for some people than any other recommendation. For generations, money has been one of the "don't talk about" subjects. For the sake of our children and generations to come, I believe that this must change. In recent years, we have seen financial calamities on a scale beyond compare. It's critical that we don't end up like the 3 monkeys. We need to talk about money, read about money, and most of all, we should not be shy about introducing people we care about to professionals that can help.

What's the moral of this story? A willingness to refer a professional to people who know and trust you can be the very best gift a friend can give. In my case, Frank and Jan thanked me repeatedly for referring such excellent people to help them. It was a great feeling to know that I helped a wonderful couple by giving them a little less to worry about.

I have always believed that my work is important, but now I think of it almost as a mission. I urge you to have the courage to refer professionals that you trust to people that you care about. Be bold and remember that when you give a referral to someone, you are providing a great service. Without you, a good friend, the people you care about may never have the opportunity to meet a great plumber, an exceptional doctor, or top level financial planner.

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