Love Them Anyway: A Radical Approach To Managing Crazy ClientsWritten by ian
(photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/lordkhan/)
I had a really transformational, life changing epiphany a few short days ago, and I’m not so proud to admit it happened while watching a "TED" conference re-run on You Tube featuring their most motivational, inspiring and illumiating speakers over the last few years.
And I was only paying half attention to what was happening on the screen – my ADHD in heavenly high gear ( I’m Probably One Amazing A short and a Double D’s heavy on the acronym if anyone ever was) and blissfully paying attention to everything, and nothing at all at the very same time.
In the background, the indominatble Anthony Robbins was counseling a couple in crisis ( actually this was the post crisis interview) as the husband told the camera crew how his wife had SHAMED him publically at the last AR seminar, screaming at him on stage, belitting his EVERY single, soliatary shorcoming, inadequacy and insecurity for the spellbound room to suck in for all it’s upclose, personal and humiliating glory.
And the husband said…there he stood, silently – absorbing a virtirolic barrage of the venemous wrath of a woman scorned – quietly planning how fast he could pack his shit up when they got home and hightail it to a better life of wine, women and song somewhere, anywhere OTHER than where this wench was.
And, I quietly nodded my head in agreement – reading his thoughts as if watching a mirror of my own awareness, I’m already planning a similar escape in his honor, and I’m still single.
And then it happened. Anthony Robbins, in his metaphysical, transcendent glorious, everpresent awareness of knowing exactly what to say when…..walked by our red faced, shamed fallen hero and whispered in his ear -
"LOVE HER ANYWAY"
And the world stopped for a brief moment. The husband stopped planning his great escape. And I stopped trying to figure out at exactly which moment Anthony Robbins was fated to a dubious destiny of hot coals, burnt feet and bad bumper stickers. Because, I needed to hear this, and quite frankly, it changes everything.
Look, in total sincerity, I love helping people make more money.
I love the challenge,
I love crafting creative, kick ass content that makes people think, move, sit, smile, seethe, spit or spin.
I’ve always thought the dream job would simply be just to brainstorm great cosmic cash creating ideas all day long – and then simply stepping away and letting other people apply the energy to making them happen.
In truth though – like the great copywriter Gary Halbert once said…Clients Suck. People don’t do what they say, remember what they promised, or even have the energy to see a great idea through to fruition once you hand it to them gift wrapped and ready on a silver platter with twenty dollar bills for napkins. And that makes me angry – and I can’t help it.
Love them anyway.
I’ve done most of my consulting with the same group of clients for many years, 80% of them emanating from and living, dying or limping away in the higher, harder hurdles of OFFLINE direct response marketing mountains - from the telemarketing trenches, to huge direct mail campaings, fundraising, concert promotion, you name it. And in the life that is my own, a new chapter is beginning. I’m working with new people for the first time in a LONG time – no longer simply brainstorming and strategizing marketing machinations for the same faces of years gone by, I’m online – promoting myself anew.
And with that comes the challenge of dealing with NEW people, new faces, new personalities, new egos and all of that fine stuff.
Love them anyway.
I had a doctor hire me from LA back in August to take his failing online marketing endeavors and transform them from a dying duck of dubious distinction into a powerful player in the glamour world of Los Angeles teeth whitening and the pretty people that would need a healthy helping of perpetual pearly whites.
We tore down his existing flash web site, and put up a mini met of 3 WordPress blogs and two static sites to drive traffic to his new primary direct response optimized site to convert traffic to a whole new suite of loss leader services he could offer to bring in new "jaws" and the wallets they traveled with. On day 3 he called me and said in broken Engish – " I do search on Keywords I like and I no see them for my site".
I said – "uhhhh……we just put the sites up, like, Monday? "
He say – " I want to be first page Google very soon. You say you help me." I say…..
Love them anyway.
I’m not a religious person, but this just feels good. Love them anyway. Feel your anxiety dissapear, the angst subside. Difficult people? Love them anyway? Who cares? Why not? Try it!
My Dad is voting for Ralph Nader. I love him anyway.
Loving your clients feels light, smooth and almost effortless.
It brings humor and a sense of wisdom, levity and an almost protective pat on the proverbial head to almost the most insane person you will serve this week, this month, or this year. I love it, and will continue to share the love as long as my psycho inner demons will allow.
I’m hoping you join me.