The Anchor: 5 ways to maintain a healthy relationship with the client

30 May,2012

By Ayan Chakraborty

 

Respect yourself

By far the most important. No one respects the person who doesn’t respect himself. More so when the relationship has a professional angle built in. The client does, or should, look up to you as a professional who will find him a solution to his problems. Note, though, the difference between self respect and vanity.

 

Respect the client

The client isn’t a moron. The insistence on a bigger logo, the objection to a particular word might be a function of past performance – the market’s, the consumers’, the boss’. In either case, it is better to find a way to understand, appreciate and convince rather than dismissing him and muttering under your breath on the cab ride back to office. And if you are wondering why a client makes you wait before every meeting, think of your just-reaching-almost-there delays in reaching meetings.

 

Insist on your pound of flesh

Steve Jobs had said in a different, but relatable, context “Sell dreams, not your services”. Use this thing called opportunity cost.Opportunitycost is much higher than what you have delivered. It means what the other person has got. And do not undersell.

 

Make friends

Communication is a very simple but subjective faculty. It doesn’t always add up to the arithmetical sum. The chances of your client buying your work are much higher if he wants to buy, in the first place. And it always helps to know that the person you are presenting to lovesGarfield.

 

Have a point of view

Most of the business splits that I have seen have been because the ‘agency didn’t have a point of view’. This business is not for popularity seekers. Challenge assumptions, ask difficult questions, step on toes, make a little criticism. When you present your ideas, they will do the same. That’s the way the fat sizzles. And makes for tastier communication.

 

I would like to end with this seemingly obvious advice from the Mr Ogilvy: “The relationship between a manufacturer and his advertising agency is almost as intimate as the relationship between a patient and his doctor. Make sure that you can life happily with your prospective client before you accept his account.”

 

Ayan Chakraborty is chief growth officer, Percept/H

 

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