Most people who buy promo trust you – the promo expert. They turn to you for guidance on everything from which products to use to how to use them. They value your expertise in all things promo and rely on you to help them achieve their goals.

Sometimes, though, clients aren’t quite as trusting. They may have a different idea or want to see alternative solutions. Or maybe they just want to do things their way.

It’s important to approach these situations tactfully. You want to steer your client in the right direction without losing your cool. Tom Ewer, the founder of WordCandy, has a few suggestions that we outline in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

Look at it from your client’s perspective. If your client wants to make changes, maybe they suddenly realized something vital is missing. Or maybe they thought they liked a particular logo placement but now want to change it. Ewer says if you can make their adjustment relatively easily, go ahead and do it. This can build goodwill. But if you’re looking at scrapping everything and starting over, it’s time to get to the heart of the situation and make sure you’re on the same page.

Stand your ground. Some clients seem to enjoy making changes. They liked the promo in blue, but now they want it in green. Or they liked the logo on the front center, but now they want it smaller and also on the back. This is a power play you don’t want to get into, Ewer says. The only way to get around this is to have firm guidelines about when you will and won’t engage with clients, and what you regard as reasonable input.

Have a clear agreement. Whether you’re the one making changes or you have an art team, constant changes can take a toll. If you or your team have provided something incorrectly, that’s one thing. But if you’ve provided what the client has asked for and they’re still not happy, this is where you can refer back to the agreement. A good agreement should define the end result and explain how things should progress.

Bargain. If a client wants a big something extra, Ewer recommends bringing your powers of persuasion into play. If it’s something that isn’t integral to the current project, you could also suggest that this might be an ideal start to a new phase of the project or product.

Educate your client. It’s important that your client understands that your time isn’t free, and it’s up to you to ensure they recognize this, Ewer says. Try explaining your time and cost estimates. Break these down in detail, so your client can see the amount of work involved. They might now know all the steps involved.

Show your expertise. If your client wants to do something you know is ineffective or won’t lead to the results they want, assert yourself and use PPAI research to back up your point. Say something like, “I can see why you might want to use Product A, but I want you see why Product B is a much better choice.”

It can be challenging to work with clients who keep changing their minds, can’t make any decisions or simply don’t know what they want. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, refer back to the points above to get to the bottom of the issue.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Tom Ewer is the founder of WordCandy, a full-service content provider.