Interpreting Your Clients

Posted by JasonBlumeron Oct 19, 2017 in

In a team meeting the other day, we were talking about how to help our clients. We were discussing one particular example of a client's request to one of our team members. The client used words we didn't understand when they were asking a technical tax question, so we had to interpret what the client meant. I was helping our team understand that client requests come to us through a filter that the client lives with. Non-technical clients don't often know how to ask technical questions. So their questions seem odd, and they use words that don't make sense to us.

Here are a few filters we need to consider that our clients are operating from:

- their business situation - some clients' businesses are doing well, while some are struggling. Our clients are asking us questions through the filter of how they feel about their own business.

- their risk tolerance - our clients are operating from a lens of risk. Some are willing to take huge risks, while some are fearful and approach their decisions more slowly.

- their words - some clients don't know how to form questions about technical things with the language we are familiar with using as their technical advisors.

As expert providers who care for our clients, part of our work is to interpret our clients. As a firm we have decided to take on fewer clients and work slower so we can interpret our clients. Interpretation takes time, and it means we often have to discuss their emails or questions before answering the emails. It's hard to do this in a fast-paced firm. So we slow down and price our services higher so we can take on fewer clients to support us. Our clients are worth it, and we want to provide a deep level of care and fully seek to understand what they mean when they speak. Interpretation is an investment of your time!

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