Don’t worry. It’s not you.
If you’re in tech and support “very important person” types, there are some clear differences between them and other folks you’ll meet.
Things they like:
Aesthetics Simplicity Special, exclusive treatment Preferential attention / priority scheduling Latest and greatest gadgets Fastest Clean Conservative estimates Speed Accuracy
Things they don’t care for/about:
Details Being embarrassed / having their ignorance revealed Late or canceled appointments Messiness Extra costs / surprises Being treated like a peer or colleague Poor Quality Being talked down to People assuming they want to spend $ Cheap workarounds designed to “save” money Excuses
You have to adjust your communication style around VIPs. They can be intimidating, and if you let yourself be intimidated by them, it will a) hurt the quality of your work and b) make them not respect you as much.
They may ask you “why did this happen” – this doesn’t mean they want to know the complete answer. Don’t presume this is a license to launch into the full technical answer. They might want the basics. Not sure? Just ask. “Do you want the executive summary or a detailed technical explanation?” – then you’re not guessing.
VIP’s don’t want you to save them money. They want to save themselves money with your help. They can be incredibly cheap, and incredibly generous. They typically will have irrational interest in low-cost items, usually on principle. They are vigilant of being ripped off, but don’t want to waste time trying to save money. The contradictions are endless, but if you help them come to the realization of how they can save money, they’ll appreciate it more than if you just “save” them money on your own.