Following a few rather trying client meetings recently, I went home and unburdened myself to my aforementioned lifetime-in-retail Dad. He talked me down from my slightly hysterical state by saying that the way he’d always seen it, in retail it was all really a game and in the end (no matter how difficult the customer), if you got their money, you’d won.
He added that if a customer was really obnoxious, as the owner he could always palm them off onto a member of staff who was on commission and therefore likely to be a bit more tolerant.
But how could this work in AgencyLand? When you’ve already written a quote and received a purchase order for a project, you’ve technically got the money, but the joys of accommodating and/or challenging the client’s every whim are still to come. Without the end ‘sale’, the satisfaction has to come from a job well done (creatively, effectively) – which means fighting to do The Right Thing in the face of some erm, challenging client opinions.
And somehow I don’t think I’d get away with redirecting my more challenging clients back to the care of the New Business team…