Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to make your client happy - stop lying

A bit of a rant - thanks for being here for me.

I read a great blog post by Seth Godin today called The You Show, and it reminded me of a Mad Men episode, which I think was from the first season, where they coined the old Ad Agency adage about 'the day you land an account is also the first day towards losing the account'. This really does seem to be painfully true in so many client/agency relationships, and it's sad. It's like dating the wrong person, and as so many of us do at least once, even marrying the wrong person. We pretend to be someone we are not to impress them, and are able to hold together that persona for a while, but eventually our true nature comes thru. Not to say this is solely the Agency's fault, as the clients can be more than willing to make us think things about them that aren't true either.

Why is this? We are both in business to make a profit (unless you are a nonprofit and then you are there to serve a cause). Either way, we all complain we don't have enough time in the day to get everything done. We all need more space, more staff and more money. So why do we waste time attracting the wrong people/clients/vendors to ourselves?

I really try not to do this. I've always found that when I'm myself, I may not be relevant to every meeting or every RFP or every person I meet, B UT THAT IS OKAY. After 13 years or so of doing this, I really do know myself well enough that I know when I'm taking a bad meeting, yet, a couple times a year I'll do it and sometimes it can screw me up for months if I really chose a dosey.

Thanks for the reminder Seth! I made one of these this past year and it's still shaking itself out. Hopefully that will keep me honest with myself, my clients and my current and future friends for a couple years, as I always enjoy it when I listen to that 'still small voice' that guides me thru those decisions.

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