Your Clients Have Bosses Too! – Millennial Marketer Series, SMPS Pittsburgh

You have a boss, don’t you? Everyone has a boss of some kind…even your clients have bosses! It’s a universal fact that everyone, everywhere wants to impress their boss.

If you understand this simple concept, you will have mastered a truly successful marketing skill. It is called “making your client look good to their boss.” It is a client-focused approach to discovering what your clients need to be successful in their jobs, their organizations, or their projects—and then doing all you can to help them succeed. At the end of the day, when they can claim a successful project, you have made them look good to their boss.

Here is a tip and an example of how it works. The next time you find yourself sitting in a client meeting, think about the fact that he or she has a boss to please. Realize that just as you want to look good to your boss, your client probably wants to look good to their boss too. After all we are all human! Your client’s boss may have several conflicting issues to manage: a complex construction design, public stakeholders to answer to, politicians to please, limited funding, or a very tight deadline. Your client might have a very specific directive from “the boss” to navigate all these issues. There may even be larger organizational or industry-wide constraints that are hidden from general conversation and only discussed at the highest levels. Wouldn’t it be great if you could anticipate these needs and deliver the project ahead of schedule or under budget with no stakeholder issues? As a consultant, your job is to help your client get the project successfully completed according to their particular critical success factors. As a marketer, your job is to keep that client coming back for more. You do that by envisioning what success would look like to your client and by always taking a “client-focused” approach in your conversations and your delivery.

So, during every touch point with your client, find out what is the biggest headache facing her project and then do what you can to ease her pain. As a Millennial Marketer, don’t focus on what you think your clients need—but rather ask your clients what they really need—and execute it. It is as simple as that. I call this practice, “making your client look good to their boss.” If you practice making your client look good to their boss, you will gain a loyal client. And isn’t that what marketing’s all about?

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