If you are a business executive or owner or in the sales and marketing end of a business than you most likely at some point dealt with a client that wasn’t the brightest M&M in the bag. I mean let’s face it not every client or prospective client that we talk to is going to be rocking the Richter scale of intelligence. I cannot tell you how many times I have given a client information about what they should not do when conducting a marketing campaign, and what do you think they do? If you are thinking they did exactly what I advised them not to do, then bingo you just won dinner for two at the stupid people diner.
If most of you are like me, there are times that you wish you could just crawl through the phone line and beat the person on the other end in the head until they comprehend, but the odds are this would make them just that much simpler and you would be even more frustrated. I have often considered putting a wet bar next to my desk so that when the stupid line rings I can pour a drink to help ease the intense frustration I know is going to take place.
Seriously though, we all go through this and as much as we would like to just point blank ask the person we are dealing with if they are really this stupid, we can’t. One, stupid people have feelings too, so we don’t want them to feel bad, secondly it’s just downright bad for business because the stupid people have money to spend too, not to mention you don’t want to get a bad reputation. So how does one deal with these people? Well to start with besides not being able to smack them, (I think that might be illegal in one or two states, not sure I have to check with legal) it’s not really a good idea to verbally abuse them either, and you don’t even want to infer that they are stupid or that you think their ideas are stupid. The best way to deal with these clients is to take a deep breath, and calmly explain why what they are doing or what they want just doesn’t work, and as you know people don’t like to be told that their ideas stink, or that they don’t know what they are talking about, so follow this with an alternative of what will work, and why and try to get them to follow your common sense advice.
At the end of the day you cannot force the client to do anything; all you can do is give them the benefit of your expertise. At Throttle Media we require clients to sign an expectation agreement so that they understand exactly how things work, and if they choose to ignore the advice that they are paying us for, we warned them in advance and have their signature on file stating so. Whatever you do just remember that whatever the outcome, keep your temper in check, bite your tongue because you could end up losing the client, not to mention the bad reputation this could cause your business.