I’ve been thinking about sharing some opinions formed from my experience working with blacksmithing project clients. My experience is limited in several dimensions, so use my generalizations with caution.
I’ll plan to do this a little bit at a time as a thing occurs to me and tag them with a “dealing with clients” label so they can eventually be grouped by sorting if anyone desires.
This first installment is inspired by a current experience - a request for a handrail bid. Unfortunately, I didn’t read the name carefully enough and thought it was a request for repeat work, as I had already made a handrail for the person I had in mind about ten years ago. In actuality, it was coming from a relative of that client. I did respond promptly but included some references to my earlier work which were irrelevant. Great start.
Thankfully, the potential client graciously emailed with additional details and didn’t highlight my mistake. So, I suppose, my first piece of advice - Rule One - is to pay careful attention and think.
My broader perspective relates to staying organized to prevent misunderstandings in correspondence. My wife handles all the incoming email and passes on to me what is appropriate. My strategy to handling the back and forth is to label each computer file with a number which keeps the correspondence files in chronological sequence. I can review the entire sequence again and again to make sure I am comprehending all the serial changes in the plan. Rule Two - find a method to archive all correspondence in entirety and in chronological sequence.
The subtitle of Dealing with Clients is My lectures to Myself.