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In his book Ace on the River, professional poker player Berry Greenstein has a very good section where he talks about how he views the “Fish”(weak players) at the table. Many poker players have a condescending view of Fish, and look at them as idiots just looking to give away their money.
Barry realized that this was a mistake. Playing in high stakes games, he played with doctors, lawyers, and business executives. These were obviously bright people. They just weren’t so bright when it came to the game of poker, but they didn’t spend hours in the card room like Greenstien and other players did.
Dealing with clients is a similar situation. They may be “Fish” when it comes to design and SEO, but they often aren’t dumb people, and have lots of other valuable knowledge. While a lot of people love to laugh at things like Clients from Hell, This condescending attitude isn’t doing anybody any good.
The reason this is important is that Barry realized that the fish are essential to his business, and for him to succeed he needed to treat them with respect. The same goes for programmers and designers, learn to treat your clients with respect, understand that there is probably a lot to learn from them as well. And to realize that sometimes you’re the fish. I may understand programming and web design, but when it comes to talking about the client’s business, I’m definitely the fish when it comes to things like dentistry and real estate.
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