Friday, August 15, 2008

Drawing up the hearse and letting them smell the flowers

When I was a partner in a large firm one of my colleagues had an enviable reputation. He was a really nice guy and yet was also renowned for his ability to persuade prospective clients that their problems were much worse than they had assumed when they arrived for meetings with him.

He described his approach as:

"drawing up the hearse and letting them smell the flowers".

I was reminded of this recently when I was told about one of the Big 4 firms. Apparently they studiously avoid giving any advice during initial meetings with prospective clients. I was told:

"If you go in knowing nothing, you know nothing more coming out, but you're very, very scared!"

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