Confessions of a Hypercritical Client: What Your Clients Are Not Telling You

Clients can be frustrating with unreal expectations, last minute rushes, endless direction changes and redo’s. But too often, they feel pushback and wonder if their agency partner really gets it. Agency says “We’ll think about it,” clients hear “Not doing it”.  Agency says “We’re working on it,” client hears “They are not going to make it”.

Most clients would love to loosen the reins, but stakes are different. Agencies get embarrassed by missed deadlines or blown budgets; brand managers get fired. Rather than aggravate the situation by complaining, they tend to micromanage the process and judge more critically.

You both share the same goal of campaign success. To get there, you need even your most difficult clients to believe that you understand their brand, their situation and them personally better than anyone else ever could.

Join former Account, Creative and Marketing Director Jeff Hiller for some straight talk on solving these chronic client peeves:

  • Overpromising results and minimizing their concerns
  • Doubting their strategic, creative or long term vision
  • Keeping them out of the loop on projects and problems
  • Falling on your sword for every recommendation
  • Airing disputes or overcalling them for approvals
  • Pressuring for extensions or budget increases
  • Using “agency speak” to sugar coat all of the above.

Key takeaways:

  • Learn how to recognize and address unvoiced client concerns
  • Convince clients you think and act as they would
  • Overcome resistance to difficult or risky ideas
  • Know when to accommodate or draw the line
  • Position clients for success with their execs
  • Develop stronger and closer partnerships.

Who should attend:

Client-facing Supervisors, Managers and staff in all areas responsible for making client recommendations and delivering on agency commitments.

About Jeff Hiller:

Jeff Hiller is Director of Learning & Development at JB Training Solutions. Jeff started at Leo Burnett Chicago where he became VP/Account Director and earned 7 EFFIE Awards. He later owned a high end retail chain, was Marketing/ Creative Director for the NBA Houston Rockets, and VP/Marketing for Four Hands Imports, a 3-time Inc. 500 Fastest Growing company.

Jeff conducts 100+ workshops a year on business and management skills for agencies of all sizes. His agency clients include Omnicom, IPG and Publicis Groups and his advertiser clients include Phillips 66, Marriott and Eli Lilly. He graduated with High Honors from Dartmouth College and currently resides in Austin, TX.