Why hide things? Be transparent!

……..why hide things indeed and what exactly would I be hiding?!!

Be clear!

The reason for this post is to share some experiences which have helped cement client relationships for me in the hope that it will reassure you that there is nothing wrong with being transparent in the way you work.

For nearly 20 years I have been working in the advertising and marketing industry and in that time I would like to think I have learnt a great deal…….. I will also admit that I have made some mistakes, some bigger than others!

At a previous “agency” I was taught to say “yes” to every client request and then worry about how to deliver it. For example, “do you do xyz” or “can you help me with xyz” ? Basic questions, yes,  but the agency in question didn’t have strengths in areas like SEO and therefore it was outsourced……unbeknown to the client. We then took the credit for the work marking up the actual suppliers cost. This is actually quite common in my industry and it made me feel very uncomfortable.

When I set up Bath Marketing Consultancy, it was my aim to deliver the best marketing to each client and if that meant I couldn’t physically deliver a certain initiative, I would work with an associate who is better at it than me. Why hide this from the client and pretend that it is me doing everything? Surely no client would expect you to be the best at absolutely everything so tell them what you are doing and the benefits they will have from this situation….??!

In another “coming clean” scenario, I have previously put a proposal to a client based on an initial brief, done some more detailed research and market analysis and then discovered that I could actually do the job better and cheaper if I did it differently – sometimes meaning a cheaper re quote. I could have kept quiet, but I informed the client and the result was real appreciation and gratitude.
Both the above scenarios demonstrate that it never hurts to be clear in how you work and what resources you employ. In my opinion, people buy people and, like any relationship, transparency is key.

If you cant do what you want, find someone who can. After all maybe that particular door will swing both ways and, you can also tell the client that, because of your connections and relationships, you can bring in an expert to help you solve his problem saving him/her time and money. In addition, if you feel that you have to back track from a proposal, be honest about why and outline the benefits to the client. I am confident that this will lead to a long and lasting relationship.

Does any of this strike a chord? Do you have any similar experiences?


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