What was that noise? I heard it in the middle of the night during the Polar Vortex that recently swept the Midwest.

In my groggy state, I figured it was a tree hitting the house or perhaps something to do with expanding water pipes. In any case, the roar didn’t reoccur, so I went back to sleep.

Introduction to Frost Quake

The next day, the Daily Skimm answered my question. The bang was a frost or ice quake. I’ve heard thundersnow, but this was my first experience with this phenomenon.

The conditions were just right. A frost quake or cryoseism occurs when the ground is saturated and then temperatures quickly drop. Experts report that a sudden cracking action in frozen soil or rock saturated with water or ice may cause frost quakes.

I relaxed once I understood this seismic event. My water pipes didn’t burst nor did a tree hit the house. My ignorance led to unfounded fears.

Give Clients Peace of Mind

What I learned from my frost quake revelation may apply to how prospective clients feel about their engineering or architecture project.

Prospective clients – often non-technical officials – realize they have a problem. It won’t be a bang in the night, like the frost quake, but they can’t ignore the troublesome issue any longer.  

 Before deciding which firm to hire, they’ll speculate about possible solutions. When reviewing the credentials of potential firms, they’ll be looking for professional who can clearly explain a project’s challenges and the best way to address them.

In the professional services world, clients want to work with teams they know, like and trust. Clients seek assurances that the technical team they select can solve unexpected problems and keep their communities safe.

After a client signs the contract, it’s up to the professionals to maintain a trusting relationship. Once that’s forged, chances are the client will return to the firm for future work. Clients seek professional services firms who will give them peace of mind.

Understanding Reduces Concern

After I learned the large “boom,” was a frost quake, I felt better. And then, when I understood the cause, my worry turned to interest and acceptance.

Like me, clients must deal with challenges they don’t fully understand. They look to professionals to identify and explain the issue and offer solutions. This collaboration leads to long-term working relationships that benefit all parties.

What’s Your Revelation?

Have you experienced a “frost quake” moment with a client?

Once you clearly explained a potential solution to a client, you demonstrated that you understood their problem. And perhaps even more importantly, you gave your client peace of mind.


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