In the movie titled ‘Being There’ Peter Sellers play the role of ‘Chance’ a gardener for a reasonably comfortable businessman who suddenly passes away and this leaves ‘Chance’ on the streets.
Chance always introduces himself as ‘Chance – The Gardener’ and on one such occasion his words are interpreted as ‘Chancey Gardiner’. What follows is a remarkable story involving a billionaire, a foreign Ambassador and the President of the United States.
The billionaire’s wife whilst out one evening offers Chance the opportunity for some medical treatment following an accident when her chauffeur inadvertently pins Chance between his employer’s car and another parked at the kerb.
During the course of the next day or two Chance, now called ‘Chancey Gardiner’ meets the aging billionaire several times starting at the evening meal and then ‘in the den’ after dinner to discuss matters of interest. Chance is mistaken for a business man who has fallen on hard times instead of a gardener who was evicted by the lawyer for his employer estate.
During each such conversation the billionaire talks about business however Chance always replies as if he were asking about gardening. You see Chance was not only a simple man but his intellect matched his demeanour.
The result is the billionaire recognises that if he were to look at business or politics more simply then answers were easy to find. During the course of Chance’s stay with the billionaire he meets the Ambassador of China and proceeds to unintentionally give the impression that by keeping relations with the USA strong both parties will benefit.
Chance also does this when the President calls (prior to meeting the Ambassador for talks later in the week) on the billionaire to seek his ‘counsel’ on how to handle relations with China. Naturally Chance has become the billionaires new confidant and sits in on the meeting with the President. When the President ask the billionaire his views on the USA/China relationship the billionaire ask Chance his opinion.
The advice that Chance gives is by talking about seasons varying every year and so long as the roots of the tree are strong then winter will pass and spring will bring growth. The President takes this to mean that there will be good times and bad times but if both parties stay strong (strong roots) then the seasons will pass and the relationship will continue to prosper.
Chance is declared a genius but all concerned and all he was doing was giving simple advice leaving out all of the political and economic jargon and detail.
A little long winded I know but the lesson is ‘keep things simple’.
As soon as we go above the simple factors things become complicated and complication brings doubt and doubt brings indecision which results in inaction.
So when you talk to your clients don’t give too many details, speak in simple terms, leave out the jargon and your client will get more, much more from the time they spend with you and will be more willing to listen next time you ask to talk or discuss the possibility of additional services.