Lots of clients are nervous by nature. If you give them exciting, original creative work then you probably make them more nervous. Many of them also have layers of management above them who make them even more nervous. It is so often down to you to keep them calm and help them get comfortable with the work you’ve done.
Then eventually they get you into their top management meeting in the big boardroom. The tension rises. The Big Cheese comes in through the “You’re Fired” door. The mid-level clients are hyperventilating. They forget that their boss puts on his pants one leg at a time, just like them. All seems to be lost.
An ad agency head I know was making a presentation last month, at just such a meeting, to a big beauty-business client. The – gasp – chairman was there – you could smell the fear!
“This is no good” my friend thought as she got up to present to the assembled, tense and silent women. She paused, and dramatically adjusted her bra strap. “I got this new bra”, she said “and I’m still figuring it out”. The ice was broken. She knew her audience: everyone there had a bra story and wanted to tell it. Friends were made and work was sold. She knew they were just folks.