How to hire a mechanic?

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Every now an then I am reminded that common sense is not so common. I had a situation come up recently that took me by surprise. The beat down happened like this: espA few months ago I received a telephone call on my mobile from a prospective client. I was walking home from the grocery store, my hands were full. We agreed to meet a few weeks away and I asked the prospect to email me - spelling out my email address - the particulars, address and information about the project and hung up. Fast forward to this week and I received word from a colleague else that I missed and appointment with the prospect and they are quite upset. I had no contact information for this prospect, and after searching every inbox I came up empty handed. I located an email address buried in a forward, of a forward, of a forward, and figured I would connect with the prospect and see what was going on, explaining I have no contact information. Well, it was less than a curious reply.

Working with a designer is much like working with a mechanic. You call, you ask around, you might an appointment, give your particulars and show up when you need to. If you miss the appointment, there is no shortage of vehicles to service. Mechanics also will not call you back if you are only making an inquiry. Same with designers.

Working through all this I am reminded of a recent post "Help Me Help You: An Open Letter to My Clients" that Arne Salvesen, CKD of Useful Spaces wrote. In it, Salvesen says "I realize my ability to anticipate certain needs or desires you may have for your project may appear to come from some sort of super-natural designer ESP." and this is precisely the point.

Please understand that first and foremost I am here to be of service. If I am not provided with the communication pieces and tools to be of service, you will be disappointed.