How do you feel about the person who tells you you’ve got a spec of something between your teeth or a tag hanging from your sweater? Do you respect the person who tells you that style just isn’t right for you? Do you have people in your life who push you to do better? Are there people you respect even though they don’t share your point of view? Do you have a go-to person when you really need an honest answer?
Should business relationships be any different? Some companies have people to manage relationships. Client manager. Relationship manager. Client relationship manager.
Does your relationship need to be managed?
I like to think that by the time you can call something a relationship it’s strong enough that it doesn’t need to be – managed. Paid attention to – yes! Managed – no! Managed sounds controlled and supervised. I’d like to think that much like acquaintances can become friends, over time a client-vendor relationship can turn in to a client-partner relationship (and, sometimes a friendship). How honest do you want the relationship to be? Am I hearing a chorus of, “Very honest, of course!” ?
We love delivering good news. “It’s actually under budget.” “We can meet that deadline.” “Sure!” “The shoot went great!” “The video just won an award.”
A partner can give you more than just the easy answers
But, what I hope you want in a vendor is - to take advantage of their experience, honesty, to be a good steward of your money, to provide a value, to listen, and to meet or exceed your expectations. In that spirit, sometimes we push, prod, question, discuss, express our point of view and give you our straight-forward response to whatever circumstances come our way. Are you prepared to hear, “that’s not the best way to…”? “That’s just not enough time!” “This is good, EXCEPT…”. “Here’s what we need to do!”?
We truly appreciate the honest give-n-take that results in a satisfying process and great results. We’d prefer not to be the ones to tell you that the hot pepper flake you put on your pizza is lodged between your two front teeth, but darn it, if we have to tell you that adding B roll to those interviews will make for a much more engaging video and much better story, we’re not going to be afraid to say it. That’s what you’re paying us for! Right?