David (NeO) is absent for this episode, so it’s just Brian Mark and me discussing a topic near and dear to my heart… how to treat your clients (or how to not treat your clients).
I tried to work myself into a frothy rant, but I was podcasting from an Omaha Barnes and Noble that was full of college kids who seemed annoyed that I was talking for an hour while they were trying to do their calculus homework. I was afraid if I started getting a little too into my rant, I’d get loud… maybe start gesticulating wildly, which is a real possibility because I talk with my hands all the time. I tried to restrain myself a bit because I didn’t want to scare the other patrons.
The potential frothiness was inspired by the consultants who were the reason I had to be in Omaha for 6 weeks this year. I basically had to babysit them until they finished what they were supposed to be doing. They seemed particularly annoyed that my team wouldn’t just go home and let them “do their work” <rant>… to which my reaction was (a) GLADLY; however, you’ve demonstrated you don’t actually DO the work and also (b) don’t give me attitude that I’m inconveniencing you when I’m the one who hasn’t seen the inside of my own home for a month.</rant> Ugh! Anyway… can you sense my displeasure?
The gist of this episode is basically:
- Treat clients like you like THEM, not just their money. It may sound like one of those “duh” things, but sometimes people need a little reminder.
- Be responsive and considerate of their wants and needs. If your client would like the reports in a different format, do it. If they want it on pink paper with glitter stars, try to accommodate them. You work for them.
- If you’re the client and you’re unhappy or would like something done differently, it’s your responsibility to communicate your wants, needs and desires to your vendor. Vendors and consultants are not mind readers. They can’t give you what you want if you don’t communicate your wants.
- If you have a client who is just “not working out for you”, it’s more merciful to cut them loose than to continue a mutually unsatisfactory relationship. See if you have anyone in your SEO network that might be a better match for the client and refer them over to someone else.