ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?
So what do you do when your client challenges you on-the-spot with this throw-down: "Excite me"?
Two little words, but the underlying message packs a wicked punch. As you gather your wits about you, your mind starts to grabble with how to take your client's business to the next level “creatively”. Your client wants a solution that excites. One that will engage their customers.
But before torquing any solution wheelies , a scope of your client's market terrain should be your first move. With every new project, client expectations is the FIRST thing everyone needs to understand, clearly and completely. Miss this first step, and everyone’s dangerously speeding into loose gravel.
So what killer solution do you pitch to your client? You know your team’s got the “creative chops.” They're experienced and bold.
#1. MAKE IT COOL & EDGY
Yes, we hear that all the time. But what’s cool and edgy to you may fall completely “flat” in your customer’s eyes or it may make their eyes pop with fear that it's too way out there. And on the flip side, the client's idea of what's cool may simply be gimmicky. Again, expectations. Get it right at the beginning, and the rest will fall into place.
#2. ROUND UP THE IDEA CREATORS & DIGITAL TECHIES.
Easier said than done, right? The creative team and the techies need to play well with each other. Actually, the designers and the programmers need to play off of each other, as well as with your client. Your project team needs to understand which media convergence tools and platforms best address the needs of the target audience. It’s all about the client’s business landscape in the digital marketplace. The solution must go beyond thinking outside the box; it must be grounded in the right business context. After all, your client has business goals and requirements that need to be met.
So at the end of the day, everyone's got to play together.
#3. WORK WITH YOUR CLIENT.
At its most basic level, that means good communication. Your development teams have worked on countless complex projects and no doubt, some methods and technologies are second nature to them. Buzzwords and tech-speak abound in daily conversation. Your client, however, may have no clue what a “wire-frame” is or what it means. Get a feel for your client’s level of technical competence and don't just throw out techie terms at them. That's not how to effectively communicate with your clients, and it's not how to impress them.
Provide compelling business benefits for the design and implementation of your proposed solution. Walk them through your solution's framework as well as its overarching business premise for their buy-in. Your solution shouldn’t just dazzle, it must perform.
Results is how you impress your clients.
#4. COMPETITION NEVER SLEEPS.
In the process of knowing your client’s needs and requirements, also take time to research your client’s competitors and help position your client competitively in the marketplace. Even if your client is already in a leadership position in the industry, complacency will not win the day. Innovation aligns with winners. Every time.
Remember, your client challenged you to design a solution that excites.
#5. THE POWER OF NICE.
Whoever said "nice guys finish last" probably had a bit of an attitude problem. Being #1 in your market space does not preclude being nice to your customers, vendors, partners, contractors, employees, ... In the age of global business connectivity, people are craving nice right now.
Don't underestimate nice. Don't discount it. Nice is not only amazing, it's good business sense. In its most basic form, it means enjoyable, delightful, entertaining, amusing, charming, likeable.
Wouldn't you like to do business with companies that are nice? Likewise, wouldn't your clients like to do business with nice companies? Like yours? Here's the power behind nice. Nice is what will land you the clients you never expected. Nice companies put the clients first. Nice companies make communication effortless and easy.
Nice companies remember that they are only in business when the client feels their interests are being served.