Have you ever been with a group of people, smart people, business professionals and felt completely out of place as if you were standing in a circle with a bunch of extra terrestrials? Have you ever felt like you were the smartest person in the room, and wondered how a group of educated experienced business people could possibly be so dumb? If you answered yes, you are not alone. I have sometimes wondered how some people actually run a business, how they are able to operate an organization from day to day. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think that today will be the day, the day I find out I am from outer space and that I was accidently left here as a child and that the mother ship of my highly intelligent, highly advanced people are going to arrive today to finally take me back home. A place where people understand the difference between advertising and marketing, between direct mail and email, the difference between targeting and segmenting. A place where people understand the crucial need for public relations, a place where they understand that you cannot spend $300 on advertising and expect to make any money. Beam me up, I am packed and ready to go.
Most of us in business spend a major portion of our business life saying the same thing over and over and unfortunately that is just a part of doing business. Nobody is going to beam you up and take you back to the Alpha Centauri home world; you are stuck here with the rest of us. And yes you are going to keep having to give new customers the same information day in and day out. There is something you can do however to make your life just a little bit easier. At Throttle Media we created what we call an “Expectation document”, this is a document that outlines all of our polices, what the client should and should not expect from a marketing campaign, a list purchase, whatever. While this is not the answer to all of your problems, it will go a long way in explaining what your clients can expect, what is guaranteed, what is implied and what is not. By including a line in your agreements that state the client agrees that they have read your expectation and guarantees document, even if they have not, after seeing this, they may be prompted to read it to see what it is they have gotten themselves into.
Let’s face it, there were no guarantees when you went into business that all your clients were going to be members of Mensa. While you are sure to have some highly intelligent clients, it’s just as reasonable to expect that some of your clients are not going to be the sharpest knife in the drawer. So to make your life easier, put it in black and white, it won’t solve all your problems, but it will make some of your life a little easier.