Why do customers tell me personal information?

I'm a freelance graphic designer. Some of my customers tell me what's going on their life. I don't understand why. We're not friends and this a business transaction. I keep things very professional. My clients like to call me names of endearment such as "Boo", "Sis", "Queen", etc. I truly don't understand it, nor do I appreciate it.

The other day a client was telling me about how they named their business after their deceased brother and that this is also the reason they don't want to use their logo on their business card. It didn't make sense then and still doesn't now. I've had another one, mention how she missed my sale because she was spending time with her son who surprised her by visiting, he's supposedly in the army. She mentioned it several times.

When my customers mention personal details I never address it...ever. I feel very uncomfortable and confused because we're not friends. And I'll assume they're trying to get some sort of sympathy from me for a discount. I see this as manipulative.

Update:

I'm 31, btw. Apparently that matters.

Update 2:

I'm very socially selective and keep to myself. I have no desire to become friends with people I make purchases from, nor do I tell my personal business to people I don't know personally. This is why I was seeking answers to better understand.

I'm actually successful and very creative. Been in my line of business for over 10 years. I keep business as business.

Thanks to those who answered my question instead of judging ;-)

9 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    People no longer have boundaries and are desperate for attention these days. Even my new insurance agent went way to far to ask me what I do in my spare time, and of course I shortened the call. In a perfect world it would be okay but  you have to be careful sometimes dealing with people you don't know or never met in person.

  • 2 months ago

    It is called bonding. Most of my customers and I are friends at some level. I have clients I have taken to lunch. They may be spending $40k or more with my company. Hookers and drugs is where I draw the line.

  • 2 months ago

    You have a snide attitude toward your customers. You'll never be successful in business if you think you're better than everyone else. They're trying to be friendly. You're trying to be antagonistic.

    Find another line of work.

  • 2 months ago

    They're trying to bond with you and make a deeper connection. If you had any brains, you'd rejoice in that, an leverage it to help your business. People want to do business with someone they know and have a relationship with.

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  • John
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    AAAND you never WILL be friends, apparently.

    This is the start of my 38th year. I'm on top of my field here in San Francisco, widely known, highly regarded, and liked or loved by many. Not priding myself, I just have friends all over the world. You are what you pretend to be so be careful what you pretend to be. You ASKED for judgements.

  • 2 months ago

    If they call you names like "Boo", "Sis", or "Queen", they think you are friends.

    If you can't understand how the history of the founding of the company impacts the branding of the business, you are totally in the wrong line of job.

    You didn't acknowledge how wonderful for your client to have a surprise visit from her son, regardless of his job = pretty b____y

    You need a job at google, godaddy or somewhere else where you are so buried in the dungeon of a web development department that you have no contact with clients and do exactly what you are told instead of have any creative development.

    In response to the comments:

    I know a lot of webdesigners who build websites at super low rates.  Building a website for $500, what's the profit in that?  Less than nothing special.  Depending on how long it takes to build, it might be less than minimum wage.

  • 2 months ago

    It's part of being human. 

    1. Some people overshare. 

    2. Covid sequestering makes people lonely. 

    3. Some want to converse and keep trying different tactics. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Its not manipulative.  

    Don't worry about it.

  • 2 months ago

    That's what people talk about.

    Your generation likely doesn't understand socially normal things.

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