Be Honest: The Truth About Clients

Posted: August 25, 2015

Topics: Digital Marketing, Strategy

“I don’t think that’s a very good idea.”

Although seemingly innocuous, that statement is one of the most contentious I’ve ever heard. And I heard it this morning.

On the surface, it seemed harmless – the idea isn’t a good one so we shouldn’t be wasting time on it, right? But here’s the twist … it was the client’s idea.

“So what?” you say. “My clients send bad ideas over all the time that we ignore.”

Well, I’m here to suggest that your clients don’t have bad ideas. They’re not always well-formed. They’re not always completely thought out. They’re not always interesting. They don’t always take into account the practical implications of executing it and they rarely take into account your production and/or vacation schedule.

But every client idea is a good one because, if you take the time to really think about what drove it, you’ll be rewarded with a fleeting glimpse into what your client is thinking. And that can be a very powerful thing.

Really understanding what your client is thinking is a rare opportunity and IMHO a springboard to success. It may not be obvious but somewhere amongst all the things they were thinking, will be an insight. It might be a big one. It might be a small one. But it will be there. And as anyone who’s been in this business will tell you, there are no great ideas without great insight.

So what’s the point to all of this?

Next time your client sends over a “bad” idea, don’t scream, “What were they thinking!!??” Take a moment and ask yourself, “What were they thinking?“ Use it as an opportunity to build to a better idea – one that achieves exactly what they were trying to accomplish in a more pleasing, smart, funny, crafty or clever way. Your clients will love your new “yes man” attitude. And you’ll be one step closer to understanding why maybe clients aren’t so bad after all. Well most of them, anyway. :)


This post was written by R. Wilkie, Creative Director at PUSH 22.