“I know exactly what I need. I just need someone to put it all together.”
Admittedly, we don’t hear this often, but we do hear it. And it sometimes complicates things.
In the communications field, anyone who believes “The customer is always right” is doing their clients and themselves a disservice. We’re not in this industry to pacify or placate. We’re here to help our clients make their marks and grow their businesses.
Remember, nobody can be right all the time. And, that applies to every one of us. After all, if we were always right, we’d never need anyone’s help, would we? When we accept that fact, we take a huge step toward bettering ourselves and our businesses.
To overcome that predicament without compromising our relationships, we respectfully challenge our clients when we believe their thinking might be a bit off-target or incomplete.
That doesn’t mean the customer is never right. (After all, we would never presume to know their business better than they do.) But, any time they’re open to being challenged, we gain our best chance of delivering the results they’re really looking for and growing our partnership.
During these times of commoditized design tools and creative services from discount houses and overseas sweatshops, we owe it to ourselves, our industry and, above all, our clients to have the creative communications professional viewed as a holistic, strategic partner who offers real value that reaches well beyond assembling clever words and cool pictures.
And, a huge part of that responsibility is in challenging conventional thinking.
So, if you’re up for it, let’s talk about what you really need.
Get to know your customers on a more personal level and understand what’s behind their buying decisions. Make them feel special and important. Engage them while listening between the lines about their needs and concerns. You’re not just providing a product or service; you’re providing a unique and positive experience that will distinguish you from your competitors and lead to more referrals.
Networking is not just about making connections and creating awareness of your business. It’s also about forming an alliance of credible professionals to help you fill organizational gaps and be able to confidently refer others.
Jeff Brown proved that success is found when you engage your audience, make them part of the experience and deliver on your promise. Whether your business is in a highly competitive or under-served market, the lessons he learned are the same.
Francis Bacon once wrote, “A Prudent Question is One-half of Wisdom.” Knowledge comes from inquisitiveness and the willingness to accept your own lack of it. We don’t pretend to know everything. So, excuse us while we throw a few inquiries your way.
Delivering effective creative communications is not just about cool pictures and clever headlines. A strategic relationship is critical to the success of any creative effort. And that requires a relationship of proximity.
Sure, when you go to the local fast food joint, you know that what you see on the menu isn’t really what you’re getting. Perhaps, we’ve become accustomed to being misled to the point where it’s no longer misleading.