Nothing seemed to be unusual when I started communicating with a potential client. My friend who lives abroad asked me if I was still into sailing, her friend’s e-mail address was carbon copied (cc) so I responded that I would be more than happy to help any friends of my friends in terms of organizing a nice sailing trip.
So my communication with a friend of a friend continued directly. Again, nothing seemed to be unusual – standard Q&A list on dates, budget, rates, type of the boat, additional information etc. My patience was still on the satisfactory level even after my 28th e-mail. Nothing unusual again, I like it when all important information, doubts and questions could be clarified in advance.
I was excided when my potential client informed me that the idea of a sailing trip was accepted by his relatives and they all accept what was offered and can’t wait to come aboard. In addition, they made me even happier when they informed me about their basic sailing course they took in order to be ready for the sailing trip. I appreciate such way of thinking very much – they decided to get educated in order to understand the circumstances they are about to be involved in. Respect!
Unfortunately, it did not turn out as I expected… First of all, as soon as we have met at the charter base I realized that they did not read my explanations and instructions previously sent almost at all. The questions they were asking made me think I was right. OK, I think to myself, there are people who do not read e-mails and there are those who forget quickly. Something told me to slow down and explain the whole story once again as soon as we embarked. I was right, that was crucial because they reacted like they are hearing it for the first time in their lives.
Somehow we managed to put ourselves together and took off. The first thing I heard behind the stone face and futuristic sunglasses was weird “I wanna see this guy sailing!”. OK, I said to myself, it seems like you are about to have a nice week of single handed sailing. So it happened – every single day my customers were watching me setting and trimming the sails, pulling the ropes and doing maneuvers – all by myself.
They acted more like a jury than like people who came aboard to have fun and relax. At first I was surprised by such behavior and still thought that they need some more confidence before they get involved into sailing. Afterwards I realized that they do not intend to contribute while I had all pleasure of sailing all for myself.
At the end of the week I explained my wonderment to my friend and discussed behavior of my clients. He was not surprised by my clients’ behavior. He just explained to me that there are people who like to watch and are willing to pay money for that. OK, I said, then my clients have paid the first row to the show!
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!