The yellow Ferrari
Singapore, 5th June 2010
What goes through your mind when your potential new client arrives in a yellow Ferrari sports car at the site? What if you have been to his house, sorry mansion, before and you further saw a green Lamborghini and were told these where not all the cars he owned…yes, obviously he likes (fast) cars!
This is what happened to me this week when I went out with my colleague to meet a potential new client for interview. You first think…ok…money shouldn’t be an issue, let’s see what kind of guy we are dealing with, see how we can make this work! We all like clients which have no apparent money problem, don’t we? However you may want to consider how they got rich in the first place! Some of them think they own the world, treat you as a servant and getting paid is often like extracting a tooth…painful!
I have no previous knowledge about this client who seems to be one of those quiet achievers. The architect working with him also cannot really enlighten us about his credit worthiness. So we will have to take a leap of faith if we get appointed … nice projects though, so we are definitely keen. However time will tell if he will turn out to be a great client and great paymaster…you never know. It is often a matter of whether we click as personalities. Our meeting was much about this…getting to know each other.
These kind of clients are willing to spend to be “unique” and have things that others don’t have. Not so much showing off to the general public (these people live quite secluded anyhow) but to impress their friends and business relations for sure. Not long ago I was summoned to the big boss in one of our India projects to present the façade lighting of his building. We were told we had 30 minutes and in that time the architect and the interior designer also had to present some of the latest design changes. I started but less then 10 minutes into my presentation his secretary came in with a file and the next thing we know we are all admiring his private jet and he is asking us about how to decorate the interior…
These people live in a different world……