Here's a question for my fellow labourers in the copywriting, marketing communications and design community: can you name the last time you experienced the wonder of working with a perfect client?
Yeah. That's what I thought. Had to dredge up some old memories?
It was my pleasure to just conclude a series of projects with Roger Clarkson. Roger is an executive coach in Toronto and someone with a vast background in senior management, marketing, operations, and consulting in various industries. From Southam Publishing to Molson to Spencer Stuart, Roger fashioned a great career. He's now making his breadth and depth of experience to executives and high-potential candidates who actively desire to become full-blown, competent leaders.
You can learn more about him at www.rogerclarkson.ca.
But back to my experience of working with him.
Roger was enjoying success in his new career as a certified coach but had a feeling that perhaps his brand was not being properly presented. He agreed to undertake a Brand Clarity exercise with me and trust me when I write that to do so as an individual takes some courage and willingness to be vulnerable. With the assistance of two close friends he explored the full range of elements that went into making up his brand expression.
What we learned was that his superior listening and conversational skills were not effectively communicated nor was the firm but friendly approach he brings to working with his clients.
Once we arrived at a solid brand essence only then did we proceed to the rewrite and redesign of his site and collateral materials.
Here Roger proved himself to be the perfect client.
- willing to be provoked
- have his view disrupted
- collaborate fully and openly
- acknowledge where he excelled and where he could improve
- responsive not reactive
- capable of expressing objective perspectives on creative approaches
- an exceptional listener
- thorough in his evaluation of copy
- encouraging and supportive.
I have had the good fortune to work as an independent ink-stained wretch with some terrific clients. Roger climbed to the top of the heap though and while I know this may read as some sort of mash note, I needed to publicly acknowledge him and the rekindling of spirit he brought to my work and enthusiasm for what I do.