Sunday, March 22, 2009

A people person

No, not me. A client. Two recent ones, in fact.

I encounter most of my clients at a distance. I’ve had projects that lasted several months and that involved long and complex discussions by email but few if any telephone conversations. This seems perfectly natural to me. It doesn’t work for everyone, though. I recently completed a small project for one local client and I’m in the midst of a large project for another, both of which could easily have been handled entirely by email. But both of these clients are people to whom personal, face-to-face contact is important—more important than the details of the work they’re paying for. They trust their own judgment of the person they make eye contact with and shake hands with more than they trust their judgment of the goods that person delivers. So they make up reasons to stop by. That’s fine with me; I enjoy meeting clients when there’s an opportunity to do so. And it’s an excuse to straighten up the living room.

But I tend to focus on the details of the work and sometimes forget that not everyone cares as much about those details as I do. One day I may be working with a client who admits to being a perfectionist; the next I may be dealing with one who, having shaken my hand, trusts me to produce good work and doesn’t care about the minutiae.

It’s all good.

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