Speaking the same language

August 27, 2016

Speaking the same language

"We're speaking the same language, but you don't understand a word I'm saying." (Timeline, 2003)

Have you ever experienced a time when you felt there was a "disconnect" between yourself and your client - a time when you were talking rationally and succinctly, yet your words failed to hit their mark?

Moments of disconnect could be the fault of either yourself or your client, and could stem from reasons such as:

  • Your client has a hidden agenda they are not revealing.
  • Your client is feeling pressure that you are not aware of.
  • Your client's decision-making is based on personal rather than business factors.
  • Your client does not understand agency processes or why something needs to be executed a certain way.
  • The brief has been misunderstood or miscommunicated, or some important information is missing.

The downward spiral

Effective communication is vital in account management, so you need to ensure you and your client are speaking the same language in order to achieve your project goals and grow the relationship.

It is inevitable that you will have the occasional disconnect with your clients - that's normal and part of learning how each client ticks. However, if disconnect happens repeatedly this is a symptom of a deeper problem that needs to be addressed.

By working through some of the possible causes of disconnect you'll be able to get to the root of the problem and repair it as soon as possible. Disconnect leads to frustration, which leads to more disconnect and more frustration, and a client will only tolerate this downward spiral for so long.

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