Have you ever seen the Netflix show Stranger Things? You know that show everyone was ranting and raving about and it is kind of like taking the hit movies The Goonies and E.T. and putting them into a show together, you have a very gifted girl with super mind powers on the run from the government and she befriends 3 kids who are looking for their missing friend and somehow it is all connected. Now if you know the show and you have seen both seasons then what would you say if I told you that the show almost didn’t happen? Scary right? No Dustin, Lucas, Mike, El or Will. Well here is an interesting fact the men who wrote and directed the show The Duffer Brothers were offered the remake of the movie IT and decided to not pursue it, now IT is a cult classic based on the book by the great Stephen King and has already had one movie done in the early 90’s and it was a hit. Now why on earth would the Duffer brothers not take that reboot? They took a risk with Stranger Things when they knew that IT was going to be a major draw. Why you may ask? They decided to bide their time, they felt in their hearts that Stranger Things was going to be huge hit and decided to hand off IT to someone else. Now the point I am getting at is in the digital marketing space you have to bide your time with the right client and or partner. You have to know when an opportunity is going to be the right one and when an opportunity is not going to be, I am not saying you should not treat every opportunity as if it is nothing but you should know the difference to when it is not going to be the right fit for you or your team. Let’s get started shall we?
Knowing Is Half The Battle:
When you are in the process of getting started with a potential new client and or partner the first thing I myself like to always do is an introduction, I will usually ask “ the way I like to start these meetings is I like to get to know you and your company then I will be more than happy to share about myself, would you mind starting us off today?” this right here shows them that you are not only here to earn their business but you are also interested in getting to know them, you want to make a good first impression and everyone knows making a good first impression is very important. When you start the introduction you get to know quite a few things about the prospect or potential partner, you get to know who they are, what their company does, what they are looking for, their goals and how you fit in. Those are key things when starting a new relationship and also helps to establish trust. Now on the other hand don’t be afraid to ask questions either, this shows them that you have a vested interest in them and you are not just trying to sell them a service, a lot of these folks have done their research and are shopping for the right company to service them. This is you chance to impress them and show them that your company is who and why they want to go with you. Take this as a time to really shine and do your company proud it will also the reward of signing them will feel so much better and you will know why they signed with you, because you know that you did everything right and you were able to impress in that first meeting. So not only have you impressed and earned their trust but you were also able to get intel on them as well as their company in the process, it is a win win.
Knowing When It’s Not A Good Fit:
Now here is kind of a touchy subject to some, a lot of people in this industry will sign any client or partner they can and not think twice about it but in my humble opinion this is not exactly the best thing to do in this situation, you have to know when it is not a good fit. The best way to determine this is by the introduction, see what they are looking for and what their goals are, then compare the two and see if it matches if it does then great, if not then it is best to be transparent and tell the client or partner “this is not in our wheelhouse” or “this is not something we usually handle” this is not saying that you and your company are not capable of doing these things it is just not your niche, the client will see this one of two ways either they will appreciate the fact that you were upfront and honest with them or they will elect to have someone else do it. Now I know what you are thinking “ I want to be the one that does everything for the client” while this is a great way to look at things it is not however the most logical, to take on a task you know is not a good fit for you or your company is not only foolish but also a risk. You risk not being able to hold up your end of the deal with the client and in turn that will hurt the relationship. So in essence you must bide your time and determine what fits right within your needs, the clients and your company.
In conclusion this article should shed some light on what is the best way to approach a situation where you are not sure if you are the best fit for the client, the best way to determine that is by introduction, the Duffer brothers were again introduced to the concept of remaking the movie IT and instead chose to do Stranger Things instead. Why? Because it fit their niche, it was not something on their radar and they felt what they had (product) was better than what was offered to them, the same as when a client proposes to you on a concept they want done but it is not in your niche, you can elect to say it does not fit with your niche or it is not something that you are comfortable with doing. There is no harm or shame in it, look at what the Duffer brothers did, they said no and they now have have a show that was their original product and it is now a phenomenon, nothing against IT but it already had a following and they decided to create their own. So do that! Create your own following and phenomenon. Thank you again for taking the time to read this article and I hope it has been helpful to you, remember you are taking care of your clients and one way of doing that is by being honest and open to them. Take your time with something before you jump head first into it, bring your team into the loop and see what they say and never be afraid to say “this is not my niche”, again thank you for your time and best of luck.
By: Josh Cardoza, Strategic Alliance Coordinator