Pres­i­dent Hunter Tura shares some tried and tested tech­niques for keep­ing clients on side

Computer Arts - - Bruce Mau Design -

1. Make it about them, not you

When I pitch busi­ness to a client, I spend very lit­tle time talk­ing about us, and a lot of time talk­ing about them. They’re gen­er­ally aware of the work: they’ve seen the Sonos project; they’ve seen our work with Unilever. They don’t have to spend the next hour hear­ing about that all over again. It’s like go­ing out on a date and all you hear about is the girl’s six last boyfriends. The client doesn’t want to hear about our last six boyfriends. They want to talk about what we could be do­ing to­gether.

2. Make the client a col­lab­o­ra­tor

Ola Bow­man is the di­rec­tor of the Design So­ci­ety mu­seum we col­lab­o­rated with in China. But he’s an in­cred­i­bly so­phis­ti­cated thinker about design in his own right. So I said: why don’t we co-cre­ative di­rect this project to­gether, rather than me be­ing the de­signer and you be­ing the client? And it worked bril­liantly.

Know­ing the peo­ple that were pay­ing me also had a role in the cre­ation of this thing – and that I was lever­ag­ing the in­tel­li­gence of one of the world’s lead­ing design thinkers – cer­tainly made my job a lot eas­ier. Es­sen­tially, I don’t care how I’m cred­ited; I care that our work re­ally help­ing drive or­gan­i­sa­tions for­ward. You can call me the dish­washer if you want.

3. Man­age client ex­pec­ta­tions

Imag­ine go­ing to a bak­ery and ask­ing for the per­son there to bake you a cake. Imag­ine the guy tells you he’ll bake it at 350 de­grees and it will take an hour. But you say: ‘That’s no good – bake it at 575 de­grees be­cause I need the cake in 15 min­utes.’ The baker’s go­ing to tell you: ‘Well, I could do that, but I’m telling you, bak­ing it at 350 is how the cake is go­ing to taste the best.’

And it’s a sim­i­lar thing with clients. When they ask, ‘Can you com­plete our project in two months’ less time?’, we say that we can – but that this runs the risk of it not turn­ing out quite right. It’s a pretty sim­ple con­cept to grasp if you ex­plain it in the right way.

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