By Lori Whitbey | 12.8.15
Whether you’re a veteran of the marketing business or recently started, we all have something in common: the unfortunate capacity to share client war stories.
Everyone has their own version of a blood-thirsty battle. But unfortunately for most, our typical day includes an uncomfortable conversation of impossible deadlines and too rounds of revisions.
Karl Sakas has encountered his fair (or unfair) share of troublesome clients. But instead of being perpetually afraid of answering the phone or email, he’s learned to empathize and communicate with taciturn clients. And luckily for all of us, is helping marketers like him champion stronger client relationships.
In a special, free event for NAMA members, Karl Sakas visited Nashville to give us strategic advice for building better client relationships. His tips were sound and easy to implement.
Here’s one tip: R-O-C:
When clients demand the unreasonable—either a stressful deadline or an out-of-brand request—here’s what to do:
R: Cite a Reason. Explain why their demand can’t be met.
O: Give two or three Options. Say, “I can’t provide final art on all your advertising assets in 20 days, but I can give you social media and digital advertising.”
C: Let the client Choose. Give them freedom to decide. It’s easier to live with a decision you’ve made.
Several NAMA members put his advice into play with some tough role-playing. NAMA members played the argumentative customer, while Karl showed us how he smoothes ruffled feathers and calms the savage beast.
If your client is one who expects a return text at 11PM, turn to Karl Sakas for guidance. You can follow him on Twitter at @karlsakas or check out his book, “The In-Demand Marketing Agency: How to Use Public Speaking to Become an Agency of Choice” or blog on his website. (insert http://sakasandcompany.com/)