The Tyranny of Experts…

The specifics of my request on that day are not really of consequence… be it resolved that I was in a store, looking for skin care products and that I had planned to “give myself over to an expert” to support my choices. I walked up to a friendly young woman and explained my request.

“Let’s do this!” was written in my face – or at least my eyes – as half my face was covered by a mask.

Her enthusiasm couldn’t have been more palpable. She guided me with a spring in her step to the right place and began explaining the different philosophies behind each product line. Having rationalized which line was most suitable for my needs, she then began plucking products off the shelf and handing them to me. Talking to me the whole time about the product and how to use it…. once a week here, twice a day there, this comes before that except on Wednesdays when you should never, etc.

Like kid in a candy store, I was soon overwhelmed by the different bottles and tonics around me. Taking in all this new information, I even began to ponder if getting up an extra 20 minutes early in my day would allow for my emerging skin care routine…!

I then began to regret my decision to seek out an expert. The more she spoke, the more I wanted to find a delicate way to drop all the bottles and dash out the store (“So sorry, it appears my house is on fire.”). After a moment of internal dialogue (in which I missed key details about the importance of toners vs exfoliants) – I settled myself more comfortably in my skin (pun very much intended) and interrupted her:

“Thank you for offering me so many possibilities. For now, I think that I would like to focus on 1 or 2 things that you believe would provide me the most benefits…” – I shrugged carefully the many bottles in my arms at her – “Can you pick which I should try first? When I’m ready, I promise to come back for more.”

She paused. I mean really paused. She paused in a manner that gave me confidence that her advice would be fruitful. She then picked two bottles and even prioritized them. Explained to me why these were the most important products for me. I took them both and left the store with a more easy feeling… I would not have to get up early – thank goodness for that.

Reflecting this experience made me wonder… how many times clients “run away” from our expertise – more because they are unable to address our well intentioned tyranny than because they don’t want our help?

I can happily say that one of those two products has been quite effective and that intend to return to this skin care expert for more in due course. This time; however, my request will be more specific – what is the next step (1-2 things) that I might try to get even better results?

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