By: Julie Hoyer, SDN Communications
Working in any capacity in the advertising industry can be tough. No matter what your position – agency, in-house or media – you face decision makers that have completely different perspectives. You may work with engineers or accountants that see the world in black and white, while you see the world in many shades of grey. So how do you find common ground and introduce some color into that black and white world? Here are some tips:
- Go the extra mile – This doesn’t mean staying late and working on a birthday party invite for the boss’ kid. It means that you need to take the time to know your decision makers. What do they really hear/see when presented with an idea? How does this relate to their lives? Even knowing what they do on the weekends or their favorite sport can help you sell an idea.
- Don’t ever open with “You’re going to LOVE this idea.” – People have a natural tendency to resist. They will be closed off to your idea before you even start.
- Present ideas like they were great lines from movies – If a decision maker can walk away from the table with a simple line he can remember and repeat, you have won.
- Show your passion – Selling is a transfer of enthusiasm. Be excited about your work and others will be more likely to “jump on the bandwagon” and trust your direction.
- Don’t be a victim – Anytime you say “they just don’t get it,” it makes you a victim. And victims are powerless. If they don’t get it, it’s your job to educate them. Make sure you define the real problem and remember that they aren’t always wrong.
- Educate yourself – Find out more about the industry you serve (this applies to both in-house creatives and those in agencies). Ask questions and search for answers. Be responsible for your personal growth and creative health.
Bottom line – we are chefs, not cooks; architects, not brick layers. Respect is well-deserved, but we must all do our part to earn it.