We’ve all known someone who’s been a victim of cheating, or maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself. In 41% of marriages, at least one spouse admits to being unfaithful.
The crying, the self-deprecation, the insecurity. These people can often be difficult to deal with.
As a private detective, you face more disappointed lovers than most other professionals, which can be pretty draining. This article will tell you how to be more sympathetic to these clients and give you strategies for how to deal with them.
1. Why is Sympathy Important for a Private Detective?
You probably remember your grade school lessons on sympathy, which is feeling bad for someone because of their personal misfortune.
What you may not know is that sympathy or empathy can actually make you a better, more effective private detective.
First, sympathy helps you more clearly understand others’ perceptions of you. If you take the time to think about another person’s situation and look at the world through their eyes, you’ll understand a lot better what they think of you.
A private detective must know how his clients perceive him. If they don’t trust you, your reputation and business can suffer.
Sympathy also increases your ability to communicate clearly. If you’re considering another person’s view of a situation, you can better explain things without stepping on their toes.
As a private detective, you deal with some sensitive issues and need to be clear and concise when communicating them. The last thing you need is for a client to go confront their spouse with the wrong information because they misunderstood you. This could kill your business and could even result in a lawsuit.
Sympathy can also decrease your interpersonal conflict. As you try to experience what someone else is going through, you may feel less like snapping back when they criticize you.
As a private detective, you definitely don’t need more conflict in your life! When you have a difficult client, try to look at the situation the way they do. This will help you be more patient with them and keep you from pointing out how stupid they’re being.
2. More Reasons to Use Sympathy
Sympathy is also great for increasing your ability to predict people’s actions and reactions. If you’re already looking at the world from their point of view, it becomes a lot easier to guess what they’re going to say or do next.
This can help you as a private detective. You want to know how your client is going to react to your discoveries rather than having them fly off the handle in an unpredictable way!
Sympathy can help you better convince people of your view or advice. If you can understand what another person is thinking, you’ll know how to get through to them.
This is crucial for a private detective. Your whole job is to find evidence of an affair and convince your client it’s true. Using sympathy or empathy can mean a lot fewer arguments with clients!
Finally, sympathy can equip you to better handle negative people and situations. Remembering how awful someone’s situation is can increase your tolerance of difficult people.
Whenever you’re losing your patience with an obnoxious client, remember to take a walk in their shoes. Most of the time, people are going through their own mess. They act terribly because they’re experiencing something terrible.
Cases of Infidelity
Now that we’ve covered how sympathy can help you in general, let’s take a look specifically at clients who come to you about a cheating partner.
These clients are often embarrassed and feeling desperate. They don’t understand how this situation could’ve happened to them of all people. They may even feel like they’re paranoid or going crazy!
You are dealing with people who are going through the worst-case scenario in a relationship outside of someone dying. In fact, 33% of these marriages will end because of the stepping out.
Let’s look at a few common signs a partner is unfaithful to remind you what a person experiences when they’re being cheated on:
- Their partner is often bored with them.
- Their sex life is non-existent or filled with strange, new requests.
- Their partner is critical and quarreling more often than usual.
- Their partner is lying and being secretive.
- Strange charges appear on their credit card statements.
- Their partner is sneakily no longer wearing a wedding/engagement ring.
- A shared computer suddenly has two user accounts, and one is password protected.
- They may even have recently contracted an STD with no new sexual partners!
These clients need some sympathy!
4. Strategies for Sympathy
Now that you feel a little sympathy for your clients, how do you show it?
- Listen patiently- Don’t rush them through their story. Give them time to communicate their pain and disbelief.
- Put the client at ease- Make them feel comfortable talking to you. Let them know that this situation happens a lot, and they’re not the only person to be cheated on.
- Clear communication- Make sure they understand the specifics of what you find. No exaggerations, just facts.
- Use empathy- Look at the situation from their point of view. How would you want to find out your spouse is cheating?
- Give them attention- Take the time to call and give them updates. Make them feel like you value them as a client. They may not have felt valuable to anyone for a long time.
- Tell them you’re sorry- You didn’t hurt this client, but you can let them know you’re sorry this happened to them.
- Consider sending a follow-up card- Once you’ve given them proof and the case is over, send them a sympathy card. This extra touch will make them feel cared about and will help your business’s reputation.
While this may seem like a lot of extra work, this really will help your business (and make you a better person)!
Your clients will be happier and your reputation for going the extra mile will spread, increasing your clientele.
People aren’t going to stop cheating, and someone will have to keep breaking the news to spouses. Using sympathy will make sure you continue to get business and gives you the chance to help people find out about infidelity in a nicer way than they would have otherwise.
As a Private Investigator, you want to guarantee your insurer has detailed knowledge of the risks you face daily. Luckily El Dorado is the perfect insurer for you! Check out our PI Insurance page to learn more!
Looking for other ways to expand your business? Check out this article!