Thursday, August 19, 2004

"Show The Client A Scribble"

Someone recently gave me a copy of Paul Arden's little book, "It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be." Arden's an advertising exec, a former honcho at Saatchi & Saatchi.

The book contains anecdotes and advice from a creative, seasoned guy about how to stand out, get ahead, and most importantly: how to sell.

One of the gems I liked best addressed the need to involve clients in the brainstorming process. If the Agency does all the positioning work, and steps into the board room prepared to wow the client/prospect with their daring originality, then "there's nothing for (the client) to do. It's not his work, it's your work. He doesn't feel involved...It is very difficult for him to imagine anything else," so, he needs to find fault in order to feel as if he's been important to the process.

Arden says, "Show the client a scribble. Explain it to him, talk him through it, let him use his imagination. Get him involved."

That's crucial to our process at SHIFT. Rather than present ideas that are fully-baked, we admit upfront - with a chuckle - that most of our ideas are half-baked, and we engage the client to help us fill in the blanks. In the process, we capture their passion and creativity and come out of the room with ideas & campaigns that are essentially approved and fully backed by management.

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