Friends don’t do that
By   |  User Experience 

Having worked for a bit longer than three years in Live Content, both in Lisbon and now in Sao Paulo, I realize how blessed I am for being part of a No policy environment.

All of us who are fortunate to work in social media, marketing, advertising or any other related field in this ‘never sleeping always smiling’ industry, have dealt with different kinds of over demanding clients who sometimes make you feel that you are part of those chosen to pay for humanity’s past lives sins by pushing you to sell sodas to diabetics or toothbrushes to babies.

Working in a No policy agency means you have to be bold enough to say, exactly, No.

No to one week deadlines for 12 month strategies.
No to red line fees for your team’s know-how.
No to ‘we have to publish this because our CEO said so’.
No to ‘we personally don’t like that image’.
No to ‘can we change just this sentence’.

And I started by saying that I’m blessed because, in Brazil just as in Portugal, people are afraid. Afraid of the deadlines, the brand manager, the CEO and, ultimately, afraid of the fans.

By letting fear undermine your confidence and your beliefs you are not only, and most importantly, compromising results – they hired you for your skills, right? – but also compromising your relationship which, eventually, will lead you to lose the client.

Don’t get me wrong: saying No is probably the hardest thing to do. It’s not about being a grumpy cat all the time but pointing out solutions, delivering and gaining trust. When you say No you’re also saying: I’m the best and I know what is best for you. And they’ll expect you to prove that.

My guess is that you won’t make it to more than a half of first meetings with your prospects. No one likes being told what to do.
The other half, however, will love you because you had the guts to stand for what you believe it’s best for the brand and not just to win another client.

I love you, man.
But I won’t let you leave the house with those pants on.

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