I've met all kinds of clients. There's one kind I don't quite understand. Here's how it goes for this kind.
Client: SO, you want to design my company website.
Me: Yes. I think Chan (insert the name of the poor foot-soldier to this emperor) contacted us to work on a proposal for you.
Client: Where are your samples? Come back next week with a few designs. Show me what you can do.
Me: Erm...well, perhaps we should do some groundwork first...Can you tell me...
Client: Wait, no need to talk so much, you design first, then we talk.
Me: Yes, I can see how you want to approach this. But first of all, it would be good if you can share with me what are the things you have in mind, so that I can get an angle into your requirements. Design is just another word for problem-solving. If you can share with me your...
Client: If I tell you so much, then you don't have to be creative already. Why should I pay you and then do your work for you?
Me: Well, that's not how I see it. Assuming you go to see a doctor, your doctor will need to ask you a couple of questions before she proceed to make the necessary diagnosis? Only after that can she prescribe you with the right medication. So, for us...
Client: Don't talk like a philosopher. I am a businessman. If I want to listen to philosophy, I can read today's news headlines. Let me get this straight. I just want to see how creative you people are. You understand me? Show me how creative you are. If I think you are creative, I will let you design the website for me. Otherwise, you are wasting my time.
For me, this is just so silly. Let's assume you want to build your dream home and you have an architect standing beside you. Do you say to him, 'OK, build me something, then we decide if you have what it takes!'
But what do you want? You would do well by first sharing your idea of your dream home, no?
Or imagine getting angry with your doctor when she asks you gently, ' Good morning, may I know what's wrong, where do you feel unwell?'
'If I know what is wrong with me, then I can be the doctor already. Why should I come and waste money on you. You should tell me what's wrong with me!'
I am sure your doctor will need to probe a little to get a bit of history and context into your discomfort or illness. Perhaps if you share with her all your pain and discomfort, she might be able to diagnose your illness correctly and prescribe a set of medication to cure you.
Is that a fair analogy?
Now, show me how creative you are...