Don’t Be Afraid To Tell Your Client If Their Idea Sucks

We’ve all been there before. Whether it’s a new business presentation or a meeting at the beginning of the year where the client tells us what they are launching, we’ve all rolled our eyes at some point thinking to ourselves that even a 10-year-old could come up with a better idea.

That being said, many of us stand idly by, failing to speak up in fear that the client will not be happy to hear our viewpoint on their big plans. But isn’t that wrong? Shouldn’t we be of the thinking that clients WANT to hear our professional opinions rather than having them move quickly to spend thousands or millions of dollars on something that might just suck? I’m not saying to come right out and say, “your idea sucks,” but speak up and don’t be afraid to give an opinion.

Here are a few ways to handle a situation in which you disagree with what a client is proposing:

 – BE HONEST – Clients want to hear your opinions, or at the very least they should be open to hearing them. If you don’t agree with something, don’t just nod your head and go along with an idea simply because it’s the easy way out. Jump into the conversation and give your honest feedback in a respectful matter.

– PREPARE TO DEFEND YOUR ARGUMENT – Don’t agree that social gaming is the way to go for your client? Think there’s more of an opportunity on YouTube to reach a particular target audience? Make sure you can reference recent articles, studies, reports, and anything else you can in order to justify your recommendation.

HAVE A RECOMMENDATION IN MIND BEFORE BLASTING THE IDEA – Instead of coming right out being completely negative, present a different take on the idea being discussed. If you don’t like the name of a campaign then offer up a suggestion for a new name. If you think the effort is better positioned for a different time of year then offer that line of thinking.

PUT YOURSELF IN THE CLIENTS SHOES – Yes, clients have feelings AND budgets to deal with. Take this into consideration and let them down gently if you don’t agree with something.


2 comments on “Don’t Be Afraid To Tell Your Client If Their Idea Sucks

    • There’s definitely different ways of saying this to a client, so yes, your suggestion applies. It’s all about how you relay the message to the client.

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