No question about it, the financial paperwork that accumulates on my clients’ desks and kitchen tables—from tax documents to medical bills—is no laughing matter. It all has to be taken seriously. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t also have fun. As a financial organizer, I get my best results by actively engaging clients in the process, and making the work we do together fun. It’s the best way to get it done.
How do I do this? By keeping a smile on my face and putting one on theirs.
Choose a good place to work
I find that if I keep it light, tackling the mail and untangling the paperwork puzzles are less challenging for my (mostly) senior clients. When there’s a choice, we work in a light-filled room, preferably with a pleasing view. Keeping my client appointments short (usually two hours), playing soothing (or lively) music in the background, sharing snacks or a beverage all help assure that visits are enjoyable experiences and the work at hand gets accomplished. So does having a sense of humor.
Stick with it
Sometimes, I need to remind clients that even the most thorny financial paperwork problem will get resolved if we stick with it. An incorrect invoice is not the end of the world. After all, we’re going to make the necessary phone calls, ask the right questions, and persist with our follow-through until everything is resolved. They have a skilled, patient, and caring professional by their side. We get it done.
When clients are relaxed and put at ease, they become the ones cracking the jokes and we laugh together.
My clients help make it fun
Just for fun, I’ve collected some of the amusing things my clients have said to me over my ten plus years in business. I hope they make you laugh too, or at least crack a smile! Do you remember Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say the Darndest Things”? Here is Personal Money Manager’s version: “Clients Say the Darndest Things”!
“Karen, I think you’re turning me into an organized person. My friends won’t recognize me!”
“We get so much done! And laugh all the way.”
“Are you an angel?” (Which made me look around in case there were stray feathers in the air.)
“I love you. It’s paperwork I hate.”
“I don’t think “sailboat” should be the security word for my credit card. I get seasick!”
“Karen, you are so calm. You are like a walking Valium pill!”
My message to clients: Paperwork must get done, but it doesn’t have to be drudgery.