Um, no you have the wrong person…

Be prepared for a funny client meeting story.  If you have any funny stories I would love to hear them.  For the sake of confidentiality, let’s call my potential client Walter.  As well, let’s say that he is opening a psychologist clinic for pets.

It was a gorgeous day in Vancouver in the month of January.  I am on my way to a potential client meeting.  I have not met this potential client before so the night before I sent him an email mentioning a few things about what I would be wearing to help pick me out of the coffee shop crowd.   I mention in my email that I will be wearing a blue jacket with brown trim, glasses and a brown scarf.  But, the sure tell way of picking me out, is that I look very much like my email signature cartoon character created by iVatar.

So, as I walk into the coffee shop, immediately to my right is a gentleman sitting alone at a table with two empty cups.  He is enthusiastically waving me over to join him.  So naturally I assume he is the man I am looking for.  As I approach him, he is on the phone, but still waving me over.  I whisper under my breathe, as to not disturb his phone call, and ask him “Are you Walter?”  He smiles and nods and signals me to sit.  Again, VERY enthusiastically.  So I am thinking, WOW, I must really look like my iVatar.  So, I sit down and start taking off the layers, the scarf, the gloves, the winter jacket….

He hangs up the phone and engages me in a very exciting conversation.  He asks me all about Christmas and if I enjoyed the break.  Did I go anywhere he asks.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am ALL about client relationships.  I don’t do business solely for business, I do business because I enjoy people.  But, in an initial meeting we need to get to the point, and so after about 5 minutes of great conversation I get to the point.

“So, tell me a little bit about your business and how I can help.” – I said

Looking puzzled, he said “Pardon me?”

“You are looking for some branding for your new clinic right? You need help with developing your logo to start with?” I continue…

“Um, I think you have the wrong person” he says.

I interject “Um, I think YOU have the wrong person.  You called me over, aren’t you Walter?”

He chuckles, shakes his head…and in the thickest deepest Italian accent he shares “No, I am Franko”.   While looking at me, like I should have known that.

I ask, “Why did you call me over to sit with you? I thought you were the person I was supposed to meet for a meeting that started over 5 minutes ago”.

With certainty, he gives me a perfectly good reason…

“My company is in the bathroom.”

With that, I thank Franko for the entertaining conversation, pick up my stuff look for the real Walter.

As I walk through the coffee shop, looking for single men (NOT like that, I am married).  Another person waves at me…so I start over again. “Are you Walter?” and when he responds with a simple “Yes”.  I reply “Are you sure?”.  Obviously puzzling the real Walter, to the same extent that I am puzzled today over Franko.

So, thank you Franko for the great story that I have enjoyed telling many people.  Too bad, did you buy my coffee.