Re: Client woes: a question to ask yourself...

Subject: Re: Client woes: a question to ask yourself...
From: Charles E Vermette <cvermette -at- juno -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2002 14:36:54 -0500

Bruce Byfield wrote:
<<<why do most technical writing programs almost entirely ignore the
business aspects? Most people seem to learn the way that I did - by
plunging in and making mistakes and trying to learn from them. That's an
effective way to learn, but I can't help thinking that it's also a very
wasteful one. A few hints could have saved me a lot of grief, and I'm
sure that most contractors would agree...>>>
Because business savvy is more art than science, and I'm not sure how
much of it can be taught. Sure, you can teach someone about W2 versus
1099, or how to use Quicken, but you can't teach someone when to start
talking money in a client meeting.
I took business management in college, but what little I know about
business I learned from a.) my father, b.) a man who was my boss for six
years, c.) my tenure as a broken down rock and roll wannabe, and d.) my
stint as a buyer/troubleshooter/manservant at a large direct marketing
Most TWs who come from a large corporate environment have a tough time
with business savvy - they've been buried in a department or "team", and
are used to having various resources at their command. I've been lucky to
have been close to the real workings of business (even if I was just in
the room) with some sharp people who knew how to read situations and see
around corners.
Here's a tip - business principles are business principles, regardless of
the business you're in. For instance, clients who waste time are the same
whether you are selling technical writing services, used cars or
corrugated cardboard. They are all interested in solving their business
problems as cheaply as possible, they want to deal with someone who
understands their business, and they all give the same "tells" (to use a
gambling term) that can tip you to their situation. (with the exception
<<<No matter how aware you are of the need for caution in dealing with
people, a certain amount of trust is necessary. To give an obvious
example, every company in the world has to assume that a signed contract
is honored - otherwise, doing business becomes impossible. However, it's
not impossible to come across someone who calculates that they can break
a contract and that you won't spend the time pursuing them. So, no matter
how careful you are (and, personally, I've learned more than I ever cared
to know in the last few years about other people's dishonesty and general
lack of integrity), there's always a certain amount of vulnerability
that's inescapable...>>>
You're right Bruce. Robert Ringer refers to this as "The Big Lie Theory"
- no matter how savvy you are, you can do little (if anything) if someone
is willing to tell "The Big Lie" - i.e., they have no intention of
honoring their agreement and didn't from square one.


Sponsored by eHelp Corporation, makers of RoboHelp - the industry standard
in Help authoring. Download a trial version today or get special savings when
you buy the RoboHelp 2002 Holiday Edition. Visit

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: Client woes: a question to ask yourself...
Next by Author: Re: Client woes: a question to ask yourself...
Previous by Thread: Re: Client woes: a question to ask yourself...
Next by Thread: Re: Client woes: a question to ask yourself...

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads