The door to my office at work is fitted with a special mind wiping device. I had it commissioned and installed many years ago. What it does is ensure that every word that I speak to my clients is instantly erased as soon as they leave to go back to their busy lives.
Only today I fielded a call from someone asking me to explain some technical point they did not understand, which I duly covered for them. This guy though, has a modicum of awareness so at least had the grace to say “Huh…I have probably asked this before…”
Yes Brian. We have had this identical conversation every January for the last four years
Clients also continue to give me the information and documents they think I want, rather than what I asked for. Every year.
There is a startling systematic repetition of errors. At least people get it wrong in the same way every time, so that saves me a lot of hassle. I already know what’s missing or faulty in their information before I even open the bag or their file. And yet, it is only ever after they have given me the wrong thing, that my request for the right thing has any effect whatsoever.
Advice, in particular, is a thorny service. People pay me to give them advice. In general, either;
a) I advise them to do what they were going to do anyway and they are happy; or
b) I advise them to do something different to that, they are unhappy, reluctant to pay my bill, and then go and do exactly what they were going to do in the first place.
After 25 years of this I should have learned. I should just ask people what they have already decided to do, tell them it sounds great, and ask them for a cheque.