My client’s a donkey. Or is that an ass?

In Clients, Wannabe CEO on April 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

The book you see above has been in the press a lot recently. It was written by one of the brothers of that annoyingly successful Foer family. Joshua Foer is a researcher and journalist but also US Memory Champion 2006. He and I employ the same remarkable technique. No need to argue here about who got there first. That would be petty. Suffice to say, I’ve been far too busy to write a book.

Back to the technique. What and why? Well, how many times each week are you introduced to a new client? If you run an agency the size of mine, the answer is plenty. They all want to meet the top man. Some of these guys are the salt of the earth, but others are a complete nightmare who swear by the first rule of Account Handling which I’ll summarise for you here. The client pays the bills, you bite the pillow.

They expect you to hang on their every word and remember every snippet that they’ve ever imparted to you. Regular readers of this blog will know by now that I’m a small man who’s been blessed with a big brain. But just because it’s big doesn’t mean it behaves itself. Quite the opposite. Just yesterday I was standing in our boardroom in front of a new Marketing Director who had the air of sadist about him. While I should have been paying attention to polite details such as his name, what he was saying about the cab journey over to Knightsbridge and that his nonogenarian grandmother plays backgammon on the web, my brain was straining at the leash, wanting to jump around like a frog. To keep it under control, I deployed my technique. You should try it too. Joshua’s making a mint out of it.

I gave my client, let’s call him John Smith, a quick once over. He had bushy neck hairs, cavernous nostrils and large ears. So John Smith is a donkey. His company sells body depilation cream. (For the guys out there, that’s hair remover.) The donkey’s got silky-smooth legs. He kept hinting how much he loved lunching at Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus. The silky-smooth-legged donkey speaks with a Scottish accent and has got a nose bag. Would I send an all-staff email out promoting his wife’s interior design business? The silky-smooth-legged donkey with a Scottish accent now has a nosebag in deep fuchsia chenille. Could I have his daughter in on work placement? Her name’s Daisy, she was in a girl band and now wants a real job. The silky-smooth-legged donkey is now singing Tell me what you want, what you really really want in a Scottish accent while eating wild flowers out of a deep fuchsia nosebag.

Get the picture? One day I’ll introduce you to the rest of the menagerie.


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