What it feels like to be a buyer

By Nicky Rudd
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I was looking through some old files over the weekend and I came across an article I’d kept on what it feels like to be a buyer. We all buy from other people but quite often when we are marketing our brand, products and services, we can get a bit carried away (I don’t think that’s just me!!).

It’s always good to take a step back and think about your business from your customer’s perspective. It can give you clarity on whether you are talking in jargon, using too many acronyms, offering services that are too pricey, too complicated or too late or early for the market.

When you’re working with a communications agency for help with PR and marketing, it really is a partnership and there has to be an element of trust. We often describe what we do as being ‘a bit like Worzel Gummidge’ with his different heads. We work with a number of clients but before working on copy or pitching to the media for them, we need to make sure our ‘client’ head is on. As a client, you need to feel that you can trust us to deliver what you need in a language that you would use, in a tone that suits your corporate voice and has in fact, all of the things that make your brand what it is.

As a client if you haven’t worked with an agency before, you might well be feeling some of these:

  • I’m feeling insecure. I’m not sure I know how to detect which of the agencies is the best and which is just good.
  • This is my business and I’m feeling threatened. This is my area of responsibility and even though intellectually I know I need outside expertise, emotionally it’s not comfortable to put my affairs in the hands of others.
  • I’m taking a personal risk. By putting my affairs in the hands of someone else, I risk losing control.
  • I’m impatient. I didn’t call anyone in at the first sign of symptoms (or opportunity). I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I don’t know what sort of timeframes marketing and PR people work to.
  • I’m worried. By the very fact of suggesting improvements or changes, these people are going to be implying that I haven’t been doing it right up until now. Are these people going to be on my side?
  • I’m exposed. Whoever I hire, I’m going to have to reveal some proprietary secrets, not all of which are flattering.
  • I’m feeling ignorant and don’t like the feeling. I don’t know if I’ve got a simple problem or a complex one. I’m not sure I can trust them to be honest about that: it’s in their interest to convince me it’s complex.
  • I’m sceptical. I’ve been burned by these kinds of people before. You get a lot of promises. How do I know whose promise I should buy?
  • I’m concerned that they either can’t or won’t take the time to understand what makes my situation special. They’ll try to sell me what they’ve got rather than what I need.
  • I’m suspicious. Will they be those typical professionals who are hard to get hold of, who are patronising, who leave you out of the loop, who befuddle you with jargon, who don’t explain what they’re doing or why, who.., who.., who..? In short, will these people deal with me in the way I want to be dealt with?

Finding out what our clients want is one of the best parts of my job. I love meeting new clients and being able to see how by even shifting a few little things, we can really help them with their business communications.

There is a lot of bad press about PR and marketing professionals but, when you work with our company, I can guarantee that all of the above are taken into consideration and will not happen. Come and see for yourself. Either drop us a line or pop in to our office for a cup of tea to see if we can help you. And if you’re still not sure, take a look at our case studies and the feedback that we get from our customers on our testimonials page.

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