“I know you don’t like that big beam and you want to remove it but you can’t – It’s a support beam. Take it away and the building falls down“
That’s black and white advice you just wouldn’t ignore and you would have to accept.
When advice like that comes with such a critical consequence you just have to follow it, and in a way it makes it really simple to take on board.
Often we give specific advice to clients, which we believe is critical to the success of their projects or business.
It’s really problematic when the person you are advising just won’t take the advice on board. Because no building is falling down as a consequence sometimes they ignore it because they feel they know better, they have a strong resistance for some reason, someone somewhere told them to do something else, they want to save money or they just have some other reason for digging in and not taking what you say on board. Often a course of action might simply take them out of their comfort zone.
In our case it could be advice around one or more of these elements:
- A business name change
- Branding refresh
- Merchandising and POS
- A new website
- Optimisation of the website so you will be found on Google searches
- Engaging on social media regularly
- Dealing pro-actively with a crisis PR situation
- PR for successful initiatives or good news
- Commissioning professional photos
- Creating an event to generate interest
- Profiling the individuals as well as the business
- Supporting campaigns with advertising
- Allocating sufficient budget to campaigns
I found myself chatting to a new client recently and we were reviewing their proposal.
The client was very reluctant about one really important element in the plan, which I felt was critical to the success of the campaign. For me if we didn’t do this element the plan would definitely not work.
After a long conversation and some unsuccessful persuasion I had to change my approach.
“Imagine I am your engineer and this is your house we are talking about. This element that you don’t want to go with is a support beam. If we take it away your house will fall down. Do you get my point?“
The penny drops …
If your client won’t take your “support beam” advice then maybe you should just walk away – you don’t want to watch a house falling down!