As I sat down to write to you, an email popped into my inbox: “Good morning and happy Saturday. I hope you are enjoying your weekend…and I was wondering if there was anything that I could help you with.”

That’s lovely. Except it’s Monday.

Now I know this is an automated message. The guy didn’t just sit down at his computer and type “happy Saturday” on a Monday.

And I understand that little mistakes like that happen. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the writer or his competence.

But here’s the thing. This guy is a lawyer. And he’s selling attention to detail.

He actually tells a story about a coach who lost a round in court over a misplaced comma in a boilerplate contract. To illustrate why we need a lawyer – him – who will make sure things like that don’t happen.

That’s why he says I shouldn’t just grab some agreement from the internet and make it mine. I should hire him to write a client contract for me; he has the expertise to draw up the exact right agreement for a coach and her clients.

This is the third hiccup since I met this attorney at a conference. We had an appointment – he cancelled because something came up. He apologized in an email calling me “Cathy.” I don’t go by Cathy.

I was all set to engage him, but today I’m having second thoughts. Not because of insignificant missteps … but because of the incongruity.

If you’re selling attention to detail and you screw up the details, that’s a disconnect.

And the disconnect will kill the sale.

If you’re a copy writer, your copy better grab a reader’s attention, engage them and make them eager to hire you. If you’re a web designer, your own website has to shine. And would you go to a hair stylist whose hair is a mess?

Yes, there’s the story about the cobbler’s children going barefoot. Sometimes we spend our time and energy and best efforts on our clients. And we neglect our own copy, website, hair, whatever. But that’s a mistake if we want to grow our business.

I know, it’s a lot of pressure. I coach entrepreneurs and professionals whose business depends on being able to speak with more power and more pizzazz. That means every time I stand up to talk about my work, even to introduce myself at a networking event, I have to do it well. Phew …

I’m not preaching perfection here. We all make mistakes. The other day I sent an email to a new client, asking her to complete a questionnaire. It would have been hard for her to do … because I forgot to attach the questionnaire!

She forgave the small snafu though. Unlike the coach-friendly lawyer, I’m not selling attention to detail. I’m selling ‘unleash your creativity, get comfortable being you, and connect with your audience … to get clients.’ Attachment disorder is not a barrier; she still believes that I can help her accomplish her goals.

What about you?

What is the value you offer your clients or customers?

And are you congruent in the way you communicate that?

It’s worth taking a look at your marketing material, your speaking style, even your routine emails … to make sure the message you’re sending is the message you intend.

And do me a favor, will you? Comment below to tell me what you find.