Are your marketing efforts making you successful or happy?
I have a speech I give when a difficult client insists we go in a direction that we advise against. It goes like this:
Sometimes it's our job to make our client successful. Sometimes it's our job to make them happy. Today, we get the opportunity to make our client happy.
That's my least favorite speech to give because I know we are not giving our very best. I also know that although happy at the moment, when my fears come to fruition, my client's joy will fade. The difference between the two scenarios is this:
Making a client successful.
When our client is successful, it always leads to happiness. If they start the process not 100% sold on our concept, they will have doubts and concern that will cause temporary grief. When my plan works and my client sees the ROI of trusting me, happiness is found!
Making a client happy.
Merely making the client happy is not a guarantee for success. If I advise a client against going in a certain direction and they insist on going with what they like rather than what I know, they are happy when they get their way. They are happy when they see the end result that is possibly only appealing to them alone. When it fails, and it most likely will, all joy is lost.
Having a momentarily happy, soon-to-be-unsuccessful moment with a client isn't the worst thing that can happen. I always say in the planning moments leading up to the questionable campaign, "For the sake of my own integrity, I must warn you that this plan can and will fail.We commit to giving it our very BEST and if it becomes detrimental, we will make necessary adjustments and recommendations along the way."
If it begins to go down that path, we do make our recommendations on how to "fix" the situation. This very frustrating situation (for both us and the client) can be turned into a relationship built on trust. It's human nature to believe you know know what is best. It is human to also resist the invitation to trust another person with your business direction, especially someone who comes into it later on in your journey.
When I fix it using my expertise and gut intuition, this client now has unwavering trust in me. On the flip side, if in some upside down parallel universe the client ends up being right, I now know that I can trust them in taking the lead. The partnership in either situation is stronger and will bring us years of a successful, happy relationship.
Knowing this, I'll add a line to my speech. It will now go like this...
Sometimes it's our job to make our client successful. Sometimes it's our job to make them happy. Today, we get the opportunity to make our client happy. Hopefully tomorrow, we will get the opportunity for both.