So a few years ago I took my daughter to see a particular show that was on tour. One of the take-aways for her was the chorus to one of the songs. She would sing that line for months afterward. I think she may have actually learned something pretty important that day.
Around that time I learned the same lesson, but I came to it from a different route.
The summer lake house had about 4 feet of water in it...
The pipe burst during the winter and no one was around to notice. After months of wrangling with the insurance company the restoration work began in earnest. Summer was coming and the owners needed the project completed. The pressure was on. The problems were plenty. Trades were overtop each other trying to get their work done. It was the busiest time of the year. Finally the project was completed on time, with much stress and effort.
The client arrived from out of town and walked in to her newly renovated vacation home.
She didn't like some of the paint colours and they needed to be changed. Also, all the tile all had to go - she didn't like those either. This was totally unreasonable - she had picked the colours and tiles. There wasn't time to complete the adjustments in time for her original completion date. All the sub-trades were fully booked and none too excited to redo everything they had just worked hard to finish. The insurance company wouldn't cover the expense. We all couldn't believe this was actually happening.
Then the client provided some clarity to the situation. She explained that the house was jointly owned by 6 Vancouver lawyers. And she added: 'When you have as much money as we do, anything is possible.'
Sure, that comment comes across as arrogant and entitled at first pass. But as it settled I realized that she was right in a way. Sometimes problems are simply due to a lack of resources. If you really want something and you have unlimited resources at your disposal, a lot of things are possible. Customers want what they want. Often times they are willing to pay for it. If you are unwilling or unable to provide it, they will find someone who can.
Try to approach a situation from your client's perspective. You are there to solve their problem. That's it. They may not want to hear that you think their problem is unsolvable. Or that their expectations are not realistic. Put a price on it and let them decide if the solution is worth the resources required.
The A.I.P mentality has helped me to stay calm in situations where it feels like the customer is being totally unreasonable. People don't like hearing NO. Let them know that Anything Is Possible. And smile.
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