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10 war stories about selling creative services


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Ten war stories related to selling services. The stories themselves were strictly oral and are therefore not in this presentation, only the conclusions.

Published in: Business

10 war stories about selling creative services

  1. 10 war stories you (probably) won’t see on Slideshare Eric Reiss IA Summit April 9, 2010 Phoenix, AZ
  2. 1 slot 10 stories 20 slides 30 suggestions 40 minutes
  3. Caveat Tweet and blog with discretion Highlight the the generic lessons, not the gory details Don’t betray my confidence (I have the memory of an elephant)
  4. “What shade of lipstick can you put on our pig?” What to do when the client doesn’t care (a story from the public sector)
  5. Nota bene Do something quick and easy that makes your client look good (show that positive change is not impossible) Seek a true champion within the organization If you’re going to prostitute yourself, make sure the money is really, really good
  6. “Would you consider a no cure, no pay agreement?” How to get screwed in one easy lesson (a story from the airline industry)
  7. Nota bene Don’t let your enthusiasm get the better of you Always maintain control of the “cure” (and make sure the “cure” is well-defined) Ensure you establish your rights to the “cure” if the client gives your work to someone else for execution (and be prepared to sue)
  8. “Who called this stupid meeting?” “Who are you guys?” “Why am I here?” How to avoid meetings from hell (a story from the financial sector)
  9. Nota bene Write out a clear agenda and make sure everyone gets it prior to the meeting (hold the client-side organizer hostage) List your expected outcomes / decisions Provide short background documents if necessary
  10. “But social media is free…” The truth behind social-media marketing (a story about B2B)
  11. Nota bene Don’t be greedy and accept a project unless proper internal resources have been allocated Understand that social media are not marketing tools, they are communications devices Focus on communications goals, not projects (and don’t be seduced by false metrics)
  12. “BTW, I’m no longer in charge of this project…” What to do when the key decision-maker leaves the team a week before the contract is signed (a story from the private sector)
  13. Nota bene Make sure the new person knows that you know they are calling the shots (Don’t threaten, be supportive) Find out what the new person has in terms of personal goals and hidden agendas (and find out why the other guy left/got fired) Avoid talking about legacy decisions (even when the new leader is clearly looking for a scapegoat)
  14. “Oh, the contract is just a formality…” What to watch out for when dealing with bureaucrats (a story about charities and NGOs)
  15. Nota bene A contract is always a contract Cover Your Ass. Get something in writing from the client (an e- mail, for example) that shows they understand the true backstory and are gaming their system Be wary of contracts that appear after you’ve started the work
  16. “We want the best damned site in our industry. Can we have it Thursday?” How to give clues to clueless clients (a story about B2B)
  17. Nota bene Try and put the project into a familiar perspective (e.g. print: compare preparation needs and budgets with those for their annual report) Show how a proper development process works (e.g. See if there is a link to an internal process (e.g. LEAN – muda, muri, mura) muda = elimination of fluctuation (e.g. quality) muri = eliminating unreasonable work (planning) mura = reactive elimination of causes
  18. “You didn’t deliver what you promised…” How to avoid “deliverables creep” (a story from the private sector)
  19. Nota bene Don’t be vague just to get the contract. Vague proposal language will return to bite you in the ass. Make sure you specify your deliverables – and that the client understands exactly what you mean (not everyone has the same definition of stuff, e.g. wireframes) Always be prepared to give more than you planned on giving.
  20. “My wife says links should be blue…” What to do when the CEO pulls rank (a story from the industrial sector)
  21. Nota bene Pick your fights with care. Don’t waste time discussing the home page if you can win on stuff like better forms design. In a battle with the CEO’s wife, statistics will lose Get the CEO to choose between his personal business success and his wife (“You might become more profitable if you…”)
  22. “But your proposal doesn’t contain all the stuff we want but didn’t ask for.” How to read between blurry lines (a story from the private sector)
  23. Nota bene Find out how you got on the short list (probably because you are qualified) Don’t spend too much time proving your qualifications. Instead, show that you can think outside whatever box you’ve been given. Show folks success, not just process (People don’t want a drill, they want a hole.)
  24. You can (usually) find Eric at: The FatDUX Group ApS Strandøre 15 DK-2100 Copenhagen Denmark Office: (+45) 39 29 67 77 Mobil: (+45) 20 12 88 44 skype: ericreiss twitter: @elreiss