Drowning the Client with Benefits...

By: Big Ideas Collective  27/04/2011
Keywords: marketing, web design, advertising

I was reminded this week about a great book - 'The Jelly Effect' by Andy Bounds (available at all good online book retailers, plus some "soon to close but so much nicer" high-street outlets). I would love to say that I was reminded about it because I had successfully used one of the many tips included in the book, but no, it was for a far more negative reason.

Now I'm no book reviewer, but what Andy says succinctly is: find out what your client wants, show them you can do it, then shut up. I paraphrase obviously, but I think he would applaud the brevity. Andy reinforces the point that just because you've worked out a particular feature of your service or product, and even if you've made it all the way to working out what the potential benefit of that feature is, if it's not relevant to the prospective client then you shouldn't say it.

You shouldn't waste their time or yours.

So, why was I reminded of it? I was looking at a proposal I had done quite some time ago (isn't that where we all start when writing new proposals?) and I was struck by how much "waffle" I had included. The points were all valid, there were genuine benefits in there, but the client had initially asked me a simple question and I had taken it as an opportunity to provide them with lots of irrelevant information. Now, this particular client knew me well. She knew I could do the job, that I would do so quickly, effectively and with integrity, but I let my fear of not getting the job dictate that I should include lots of supposedly relevant "additional material".

In this instance the client decided to go with me, and indeed I did the job and improved her business, but thank goodness she either decided not to read most of my proposal, or if she did read it then she didn't hold the time I had wasted against me.

So, lesson for the day for me was - when writing a proposal, if it's not explaining a benefit that's relevant to the client, then don't say it.

I'll shut up now.

Keywords: advertising, brochures, corporate identity, Design And Marketing, design, copywriting, creative, ideas, marketing, advertising, e-commerce, ideas, leaflets, marketing, marketing company, Multimedia Advertising, Pr Marketing, web design,

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