24 Jul

Digging for client-based gold

I saw a seminar, earlier this week, part of which talked about sales and how to sell to different types of people.

One of the types of people mentioned was a ‘D personality’ – someone who is task-focussed, just wants to get to the point, and doesn’t want to deal with seemingly irrelevant questions. In short, they don’t do chit-chat.

I found this interesting. Why?
Well, when I go to see a client, I always take a briefing form along. On this form are a series of questions that – having worked them out over time – are relevant to pretty much every business.
Clients seem to find this reassuring as we’re kind of working to a script and, as the form is a certain length, there are a finite number of questions they’ll be asked.

But…. I would say, nine times out of ten, the best information I get – which allows me to complete a project to a client’s satisfaction – is when I go ‘off piste’ and ask questions outside of those on the form: questions that might seem like chit-chat.
In many ways, I’d say the form actually acts as a kind of diversionary tactic.

Ask a business owner (or maybe their marketing director) why they started their business, what they expected from it, where they see it going, why they love what they do etc, and suddenly they open up and reveal all manner of useful snippets of information.
Unwittingly, they’ll give you the lions share of their ‘about’ section (if it’s a web content project), their ethos, the natural tone of voice for the company, why the business is/isn’t working well in certain areas.

This information is vital in producing a good piece of work for them/their business that is both creative and effective.

Without chit-chat, or – to put it another way – by sticking rigidly to a set conversation/form, I (and, I’m sure, many other copywriters, designers, planners etc) couldn’t produce work that ticks as many boxes for the client.

That chit-chat – I’m afraid – is bloody important!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *