The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

There’s Confidence, And There’s Drug Dealer Confidence …

One of the questions I’ve been asked more than any other is how do I tell clients what is wrong with their brand.

The first time this happened, I kept asking for clarification because I couldn’t work out what they were asking.

But over the years, it has become apparent that to some, offering clients honesty and transparency is seen as potential threat to the business rather than creating the foundation to answer what is needed.

For me, giving clients honesty and transparency is a demonstration of how much you want them to win.

How much you want them to win, better.

That doesn’t mean you have to be a dick about it, but it does mean you have to be open about how you see it … and in my experience, if you do it in a way where they understand your reasoning and your ambition for them, then more times than not, it’s welcomed.

That doesn’t mean they will agree with you, but it’s amazing how much respect they’ll have for you … because frankly, they’re surrounded by people who tell them what they want to hear and so someone coming in and saying, “actually, we have a different view on this situation to you” is a breath of fresh air.

Hell, even if they hate what you say, you’d be amazed how many times they’ll remember you. I can’t tell you the amount of times people I once pitched for and lost have come back to me/us at a later date.

But I get it can be daunting, even more so if your bosses are saying. “just do what they want”, which is why the next time you’re in this situation, I encourage you to look at the photo at the top of this post.

That photo is Pablo Escobar.

Columbian drug-king Pablo Escobar.

And yes, that photo is him with his son outside the White House, taken when he was the US Government’s most wanted criminal.

So if you think telling a client how to be more successful requires confidence, imagine what it takes to have a photo with your son outside the building where the President of an entire country wants you dead?

Not so hard now is it?

Have fun …

28 Comments so far
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I’m up early so I get to be the first to comment on my own post. Which is the ultimate egotistical move isn’t it. However after hearing how Trump has tried to deviate attention from the US’ terrible coronavirus situation by claiming New Zealand are in the throes of a massive death spiral (they’ve had 22 deaths compared to the US’ 150,000 … which even if you use proportional population, is still minute) … it has led me to believe Trump could have dinner with Escobar and still not realise the man is the most wanted in America. Hell, he’d probably call him. “A good American” or some other ridiculous idiocy. And with that, I’m going for breakfast.

Comment by Rob

I encourage you to sleep longer.

Comment by Bazza

That’s the advice of a budding Escobar.

Comment by John

Very true Robert. Trump’s NZ comment is ridiculous, especially as most of his voters don’t know where NZ is.

Comment by George

His NZ comment is just a continuation of all the other ridiculous statements he’s made.

Comment by Pete

get with the fucking program auntie g.

Comment by andy@cynic

I think this is dangerous advice. It’s not wrong, but you have a false sense of positive outcome because you have this twisted talent that makes clients like you more, the more you insult them. I don’t understand it and I admit I enjoyed watching it, but it’s not a normal outcome so people need to tread much more carefully than you understand.

Comment by Bazza

Robert does have an unnatural skill, but his point is still valid. He also acknowledges you can express the truth without resorting to sounding like a dick, but you do have to tell the truth.

Comment by George

Disagree without being disagreeable

Comment by Northern

Corporate toadie. ; )

Comment by Rob

bazza you twat. ill give you this, campbells so ugly clients let him be a prick to them because they know he has nothing else going for him.

Comment by andy@cynic

What an extraordinary photograph. Excellent post as well.

Comment by George

Be more Escobar*.

* But no murder please.

Comment by Pete

Wasn’t adland in the 80s more Escobar than Escobar?They were definitely some of his best customers.

Comment by Bazza

but modern adland is murdering more fucking creativity.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

If you aren’t providing your clients with critical thinking, what’s the point? They’ll go bust without it.

Comment by John

You would be surprised how few clients want it, John, As well as how few companies are actually capable of delivering it.

Comment by George

In which countries/industries does this prevail more than others?

Comment by John

Everywhere John. But the US and South Korea are in another league.

Comment by DH

It’s a bit like bedside manner with a doctor — imagine if the doctor just told the patient what they wanted to hear instead of the truth — but the delivery does count.

I remember once someone told me (maybe it was you, Rob): you can be technically right, but if everyone thinks you’re an asshole, you’re not going to get anywhere.

Comment by Bryan

Couldn’t be Rob, his bedside manner is more Dr House rather than any doctor on General Hospital.

Comment by Bazza

Thanks – I think – Baz. Hahaha.

I don’t know if I said that to you Bryan, and I know my manner can sometimes be slightly too much burn than sting … however I have, in the main, been able to convey my viewpoint is down to my desire to help clients succeed more than they imagined [rather than just get a kick out of being a dick] and so I’ve been met far more with respect and confidence than anger or indignation.

Which is as much of a surprise to me as it is to everyone else, hahaha.

Comment by Rob

a great big fucking surprise.

Comment by andy@cynic

id trust a murdering drug dealer more than a fucking agency or client. at least you know exactly what they want, how they will evaluate it and that theyll not leave in a year for another fucking job. prison or death but not another job.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re on fire today Andy.

Comment by DH

Hey man I miss you. let’s zoom or something soon.. how are you?

Comment by paul macfarlane

are you ill? wanting to talk to campbell is bad enough. wanting to see the ugly fucker is another level of bad fucking decisions.

Comment by andy@cynic

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