This is a post inspired by a recent nice post by Jari Parantainen at Sissimarkkinointi.fi. If you know your Finnish, go read it here. The message in my post is basically this: show what you got and stop speaking too much that professional BS.
Many times I’ve encountered a situation in the new media scene, where client’s understanding of the terms or the so called web slang isn’t at the same level for example with the ActionScript programmers or the social marketing professionals.
This doesn’t mean that your client company’s contact would be dumb or just too simple to understand these things, but more of that he or she understands more what terms like ROI and other similar mean, and they buy services and knowledge from people who know what for example Flex means and knows why to and where to implement it efficiently.
Sometimes the new media people thrown to the mercy of a customer service situation forget the old famous saying:
A picture tells more than 1000 words told in a professional slang no one else than you and your nerd homies understand.
When you pick up something solid to show, something concrete like a demo or a previous preference showing how your concept could work or look like, then it mostly doesn’t matter to the client with what technique you’ve done it [not talking about how much something can cost or how time consuming it can be], as long as it works and the client got what they came for.
Most of the time you’re not selling them a technique but a solution. And efficiently and robustly sell you must, or those neat project ideas you’re having in your sketch book, won’t ever see a light of day.
Delivering a clear message with something ‘cool’ [again I dare to use the professional word ‘cool’] in these situations often determines the outcome betweend will they say ‘Yes, let’s do that!’ or ‘Err… I don’t quite get this. Let’s stick with the old tune.’.
And another free advice to nearer the possibility of success to those who can’t stop speaking the web slang to their customers in a wrong place; pay attention to persons when you are speaking to them. Listen to what kind of terms they use when they speak about the subject at hand and try to fit your language to their world instead of showing off your language skills when talking about Nings, Twitters or even maximum CPU speeds [unless it’s preferred and OK in the situation – which is probably not a client presentation, but a get together with those before mentioned nerd homies of yours].
If your client seems like sweatting, distracted and his eyes are rolling because of the language you are using, it just might be better to change the tune you are singing the song. And show him something already!