There’s a client I go to see once a month. He is the local rep for a national company, so he is their only person in this state. He works from a home office, so when I see him, we sit around his kitchen table.
Usually, he has the kettle on when I get there, and two of those godforsaken yellow tags hanging over the cups. Oh, how I suffer to earn a living!
Today, it’s different.
“I bought you a present”, I say. From my briefcase I pull a bag of my Lord Petersham blend.
He is grateful. “Wow” he says. “If only I had a teapot we could have some now.”
“Easy fixed”, I grin. “I also bought you a teapot”.
I pull a nice little Woolworth infuser teapot out of my case. (Last time these were going out at $4 each I bought six for such occasions.)
Then, it’s time for THE MOMENT.
Whenever I pull this stunt – yes, it’s not the first time – there is always THE MOMENT.
THE MOMENT is their first reaction. It usually comes down to one of three:
- Genuine delight at my thoughtfulness and eccentricity
- Annoyance at the implied criticism of their filthy rotten stinking half-arsed dangling cheap paper bag filled with abominable tea-droppings dropped in some water for two minutes and passed off as drinkable
- Wondering if their affairs are in order and whether they can they make it to the lockable bathroom door and call the police.
It’s always tricky judging the best time to bring on THE MOMENT. Some clients, it will never happen. Some clients, I might pre-warn by working it into the conversation at a prior visit.
But mostly, it’s the first response on the list; and from then on, my visits to that client are always that little bit better.