1. In 2018. by way of thanks for being a part of this community, we'll be choosing 16 active members of our community at random to receive a special gift and a gift certificate for one of our affiliate vendors, to represent each of our 16 years.

    Fok and the Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice

STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Who was your first client?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by gettoasty, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. whymakemedothis

    whymakemedothis Senior Member

    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    some people you'll build comfort and rapport wiht. some you wont.

    no big deal

    cant be everybodys friend
     


  2. Superfluous

    Superfluous Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    3,058
    Likes Received:
    200
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas
    

    Nothing in common????? That's silly. They're humans just like him and some would appreciate some "chitchat." I could especially imagine retired people wanting to talk as I'm sure it can get boring as well.
     


  3. mcbrown

    mcbrown Senior Member

    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    

    +2.

    I hate it when interns or other low level employees come over from one of my counterparties with a stack of documents to sign, interrupting my day with a tedious but necessary task, and then they try to chit-chat with me as I'm trying to sign these forms as quickly as possible while concentrating just enough to not sign in the wrong place and force the process to be repeated again later.

    I get it, you're just sitting there. You're bored. Guess what? I'm not - I'm actually doing something, and I'd appreciate it if you would either help me by pointing out what to do next as someone else suggested here, or by sitting quietly while I focus on what I'm doing.
     


  4. Superfluous

    Superfluous Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    3,058
    Likes Received:
    200
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas
    

    First of all, you sound like an idiot. Second of all, this is different than his situation.
     


  5. mcbrown

    mcbrown Senior Member

    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    
    To be constructive for the OP: you can do it better by focusing on what the client needs you to do in that exact situation and doing it. If there are a lot of signature pages or other things to go through, they will appreciate you queuing everything up, always having the next signature page ready the moment they are done with the prior one, and directing the whole process efficiently and quickly. If they want to chit-chat they will give you an indication - they'll make a joke about all the documents, or they'll ask you a random question, or something. Follow their lead. You just have the next document ready - if they sign it in silence, don't make small talk. If they make small talk, say something short in response and let them lead the conversation if that's what they want to do (them: "Wow, lots of papers!", you: "Yeah, but don't worry, I'll get you through it pretty quickly.", them: (as they're signing) "Ha ha, thanks. Did you see the Yankees/Cowboys/whatever game last night?", you: (as you're handing them the next document) "No, I'm a Red Sox/Giants fan... what happened last night?", etc.). Nothing to it. Just relax and focus on the task at hand above all else. The people at your firm would rather hear afterwords that you were efficient and boring than overly chatty.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012


  6. mcbrown

    mcbrown Senior Member

    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    
    First of all, thank you, that was beautiful and special. Second of all, I understand that it's not literally the exact same situation, but it is more similar than different: low level employee, not the guy I actually have a relationship with, doing the grunt work of having me sign documents, and not a situation where the client (in this case me) wants or needs that low level employee to do anything besides be as efficient as possible.
     


  7. Superfluous

    Superfluous Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    3,058
    Likes Received:
    200
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas
    
    You should treat them with more respect. However, the situation is: Client (human) wants something that requires signatures. OP (also human I think) is required to facilitate them signing it. If they want whatever service they're providing they have to sign it. Regardless, they're both human as far as I know. Unless they start snapping at him or mutter back one-word answers, what's wrong with it?
     


  8. mcbrown

    mcbrown Senior Member

    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Believe me, I am plenty respectful to all IRL... I save my poor attitude for rants on the Internet. :D

    My point isn't that the clients aren't human. It's that rather than deciding on a blanket approach he should follow the clients' lead, and either be chatty or not depending on their signals. But the world won't end if he errs on the chatty side. I guess I'm reading into his post (perhaps incorrectly) that the particular business might warrant a higher level of formality as a default. I could be wrong.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012


  9. Superfluous

    Superfluous Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    3,058
    Likes Received:
    200
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas
    I think he should relax about it as it's not a big deal. If he wants to talk to them, he should go ahead and do it. I'm guessing most people will be friendly, and if they aren't he should be able to tell pretty quickly and can then stop talking to that person.
     


  10. mcbrown

    mcbrown Senior Member

    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Fair enough. If they're like me and he overdoes it they may just dutifully indulge him to be polite and then feel annoyed about it afterwards. But the OP sounds respectful and not used-car-salesman-y - he'll probably be fine.
     


  11. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Stylish Dinosaur

    Messages:
    12,717
    Likes Received:
    1,806
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Location:
    Princeton, NJ
    One word answers are the indicator that you are asking too many questions or you are asking annoying questions. I run into a situation sometimes where I'm the only person in the room with someone else's client. I could ignore them but I like to chat so I will ask them about whatever random thing I think about. I usually avoid a couple things; work related topics being one of them. Most people do not like to talk about what they do and a lot of very wealthy don't want to explain their situation to you, especially if it is not a 9-5 type job.

    I used to shop in a store where every time I went in the guy would practically grill me about my job, i guess to make conversation, but It got pretty annoying pretty quickly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012


  12. Superfluous

    Superfluous Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    3,058
    Likes Received:
    200
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas
    

    For some reason I get asked what I do a lot. It gets old and annoying.
     


  13. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    I once had a job reviewing documents to be placed on a VIPs desk. We had a code. X was "read", Y was "scan" and Z was "I read it, I'll fill you in if it comes up".

    Ideally Z happens a lot, X minimally and you get the chance to show off what a smart feller you are. And maybe the VIP will ask you to start sitting in on meetings, acting as a personal or administratve assistant. Seriously, one of the VIPs needed a tuxedo jacket before a reception (Blue Jeans and Black Tie) and I was his size, so we took care of things. Even though he wore his own clothes, we picked out a jacket that would work, and get by as a temporary tuxedo (worn with blue jeans and no tie).

    Tom
     


  14. Kai

    Kai Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    804
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    This is the right answer.
     


  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Stylish Dinosaur

    Messages:
    20,605
    Likes Received:
    391
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    greater chicago
    learning to talk to clients is a huge skill, what seperates the men from the boys. one thing that I can say is reading about stuff that interests other people but not you is helpful - over the years I used to read about sports that didn't interest me and about movies and tv that didn't interest me very much, it was a jump start, back when I was in my early 20's.


    good luck
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by