Professional Question: Whats more important?

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 13, 2007 9:16 PM GMT
    Just a curiousity: You are considering talking to a person who offers a professional service (i.e. CPA, Investment Advisor, Attorney, Insurance Agent) what is the most important or what rank would you give the following and why?

    1)Gay Friendly

    2)Personality: Open, individualized, diligence with service provided on an ongoing basis.

    3)Advanced educational degrees (beyond basic required)

    4)Years of experience

    5)Part of a well known firm (a PA) or other professional organization that has a good reputation.

    When you meet a service professional, what is the single most important factor that you recognize
    as positive... for your working with that person?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 13, 2007 9:28 PM GMT
    4)Years of experience
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    Nov 13, 2007 9:40 PM GMT
    a head full of hair!!!

    oophs...wrong post...too many questions lately!
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    Nov 13, 2007 9:48 PM GMT
    I'd say the following, in this order:

    1) Gay Friendly

    2) Personality: Open, individualized, diligence with service provided on an ongoing basis.

    3) Years of experience

    I'm the managing partner of a small consulting firm, and I sought out gay-friendly insurance agents, lawyers, accountants, etc. when we founded the business because I never wanted my being gay to be an issue. Part of this, though, is because in a small firm personal/professional tend to blur more easily (for example, our firm's accountant also does my personal taxes, and our insurance broker is also my financial advisor).

    Personality and attention to detail are also really important to me. I want to work with individuals/firms that I can trust over time and build good relationships with. Switching firms is almost as hard as losing good staff people and having to bring new team members up to speed.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Nov 13, 2007 9:49 PM GMT
    This goes for almost any professional

    3-4-5-2-1
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 13, 2007 9:52 PM GMT
    Excellent response. I'm very pleased to hear some of this input. One question GQ Jock... So you'd rather have "any professional" work with you and service (whether diligently provided or not) isn't an issue. You ranked it 4th.
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    Nov 13, 2007 9:57 PM GMT
    Depends what's important to you.
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    Nov 13, 2007 10:04 PM GMT
    Halfback2 - HAHAHAHAHA!
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    Nov 13, 2007 10:29 PM GMT
    My order: 4-5-2-3-1

    Experience is always best.
    A highly regarded company says that they hire the best.
    Personality tells me that he will be easy to work with
    An advanced degree is like a degree from a good school: It COULD mean something but there's just as much chance that it doesn't.
    Gay friendly is great, but if he's just flat out friendly then fine.
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    Nov 13, 2007 10:35 PM GMT
    Are they an expert in their field, most important. And whose interests do they have at heart, theirs or yours?
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    Nov 13, 2007 10:37 PM GMT
    I have found that a professional needs experience in his field after his education. And experience in a field can make up for some lack in education.
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    Nov 13, 2007 11:12 PM GMT
    The question asked what rank would I give certain criteria in deciding to talk to a professional.

    2-1-4-3-5

    I actually think you would get some of the info when you talk to him and I may then use an additional set of criteria to hire him. Certainly cost of services would enter into that consideration as would the confidence he generates in me during the meeting. (I've always told clients/friends to not hire or to get rid of a professional when you lose confidence in him, his truthfulness or his ability, so I guess it's more of an overall perception thing.)
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    Nov 14, 2007 12:40 AM GMT
    First I look for professional competance, preferably someone in the top 10% of their game. Someone who I think will work harder than anyone else at their job.

    Then I would say...

    4)Years of experience

    5)Part of a well known firm (a PA) or other professional organization that has a good reputation

    1)Gay Friendly

    3)Advanced educational degrees (beyond basic required)

    2)Personality: Open, individualized, diligence with service provided on an ongoing basis.

    That said, Given a hundred equally competent professionals, I will give my preference to spending my money within the LGBT communitty.
  • Salubrious

    Posts: 420

    Nov 14, 2007 11:05 AM GMT
    4-2-1-3-5

    Experience is what matters, and I want to get along with the person I' getting serviced by (ok, I could pass up the double entendre). A degree is not nearly as important as his experience, IMHO, and the prestigious firm wouldn't mean anything to me (except maybe a lawyer, as perhaps a psychological advantage in the courtroom).
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Nov 14, 2007 3:59 PM GMT
    4, 5, 2, 3, 1. I recognize that that's probably partly due to my current circumstances in life, but for most professional services it really doesn't matter to me whether the provider is OK with gays or not. I doubt my realtor, for instance, knew I was gay, and I'm pretty sure his assistant did not as she seemed to be rather obviously flirting with me. Given that the house is entirely in my name and I had no boyfriend at the time I was looking for one, there was really no reason for him to know one way or the other. It might matter more for more repeated professional relationships, but most professional service providers I've dealt with have been much shorter term things, and therefore my orientation has been basically entirely irrelevant. I care far more about their ability to do the job than what they think about man on man action.
  • SpartanJock

    Posts: 199

    Nov 14, 2007 4:06 PM GMT
    1
    4
    2
    3
    5

    There is some flexibility with being gay friendly, depending on the service provided. If sexual orientation has no impact, or there is no real personal aspect of the professional relationship, then I would default to experience. Knowledge of the field, which may not be reflected by education, is very important.
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    Nov 14, 2007 4:09 PM GMT
    Personal and professional reputation.

    That includes both assessments of skill and business ethics.

    It's the old "lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas" thing. In business, as in life, you are only as good as the company you keep.

    Joey
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    Nov 14, 2007 8:04 PM GMT
    To agree with the previous poster, it should always be about personal references and professional reputation.

    Having friends or colleagues provide these will cover off things like whether they're gay friendly, what type of personality they have/exude, what firm they're with, etc.

    Good luck.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Nov 14, 2007 8:39 PM GMT
    ditto 3-4-5-2-1
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    Nov 14, 2007 10:00 PM GMT
    Besides the 5 points mentioned, I also make a point of supporting anyone--professional or company--who takes an active role in the life of the local community, be it through financial support or active involvement.

    And if I know the professional's political leanings, well... I avoid supporting Republicans. I did not feel this way prior to 2000, but I've been pretty firm about this since then.

  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Nov 14, 2007 10:09 PM GMT
    My ranking...

    1)Personality: I am a people-oriented guy. If I can't talk to you, we can't have a relationship.

    2)Gay Friendly: depending on what the service topic is this is either 2 or 3

    3)Years of experience: I need to know that you have a proven track record somewhere...it would be naive to think otherwise.

    4)Part of a well known firm: I do believe in the power of an organization and their reputation.

    4)Advanced educational degrees: Your degree doesn't tell me what you know beyond basic requirements like law, medicine, etc. It also doesn't tell me how GOOD you are doing what you do...just that you are probably qualified to take on my request.

    - David



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    Nov 14, 2007 10:16 PM GMT
    Eh, I just don't like my money going to someone who may use it to help support a cause that will work against me personally. So I do care about his or her politics. But that's me.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 14, 2007 10:58 PM GMT
    Excellent input. BTW, Kansas is a red state. I don't talk about my political views, unless there is discussion by the client in which I agree (and then I tend not to get too charged). I have right wing clients that rave about ideas (and people) in a way I totally disagree.. but... we don't go there.
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    Nov 14, 2007 11:28 PM GMT
    Interesting question. I always thought that the gay thing would merely be professionalism, not judging people about their lifestyle, realizing that the world is full of all kinds, etc.

    But I asked a friend in Iowa about this, and he said that he would actually consider it fairly important for certain things because it is like coming out. He is not out much as a colleague was and had great difficulty in his field. I hadn't thought of it that way.

    Other than that I would go with 2 as fantastically important, then 3 or 4, and 5 as least important, in fact it tends to turn me off.
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    Nov 15, 2007 2:35 AM GMT
    Everything in your post is important to consider but in my opinion when dealing with business or money issues, pay close attention to professional reputation. Find out from friends/colleagues who they use and how they feel they’ve been treated. Then you can make an informed decision, but don’t rush to judge. Some of the best and most effective professionals I have worked with are hateful bastards, its taught me that I don’t necessarily have to like the person if I know they are good at their job. Especially in an industry where you are under strict deadlines, you don’t wanna find out at the eleventh hour that your ‘professional’ hasn’t done a thorough analysis.

    Course it all depends on the professional you need. I agree with NNJfitandbi you wouldn’t want to hate your shrink.