"ask a few more questions"
This prescription could have come from Detective Lieutenant Columbo as played by Peter Falk in the eponymous 1980's television series. Questions are mother's milk to us at JDK/IRC; as essential to what we do as they are to the work of the seemingly befuddled, offhanded, disheveled -- but always successful -- fictional police hero.
We ask questions because we are curious about our clients. Curious about what they do and what they used to do. Curious about what they want to change and what they feel they must protect from change. Curious about what they want to do differently, what they feel they must avoid doing at all costs, and what they feel they must do at a minimum in order to survive.
We ask even more questions of our clients because we are sceptical. Sceptical about our clients' and our prospects' abilities to describe themselves well. Sceptical of our own ability to gain true and useful perceptions of our clients and prospects merely from their spoken and written word. Sceptical of any understanding of events as being true or even useful. Sceptical because we see the truth only, as it were, "...through a glass darkly," and never, "...the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth."
We frequently have various people within our company ask questions (usually the same sort of questions) of various people within the companies we identify as potential clients. Oblique repetition and overlapping emphasis is the warp-and-woof of a style developed by us because we fully respect the misfit between individuals and the words they use to express their ambitions, desires, fears, and perspectives.
Our business is not complicated, it is merely difficult. It is always difficult for our clients -- if they incorrectly believe themselves to be judged -- to account for their motivations in any meaningful depth when we ask questions that start, "Why...?" It is difficult at other times for clients -- especially if vanity intrudes -- to answer questions that begin, "Who in your company decides...?" It may even be difficult for some -- who believe that it is beyond their job description -- to speculate with us in respose to a query beginning, "So what if...?"
We move in human traffic when we are doing our job well. Not knowing for sure is never an excuse we use; not caring is never excused by our clients. Different and difficult questions serve as the steering wheel, clutch, engine, fuel, or transmission of our vehicle as we navigate congestion on the highway. So, when your trade credit or trade finance situation seems to be stuck in the inevitable oxymoronic "rush hour standstill," indulge us, please, while we ask just a few more questions. It is the essential beginning of what we do.