Smashing Magazine published an article today entitled, “How to Identify and Deal with Different Types of Clients.” It opens;

“In business, being able to read people and quickly get a sense of who you’re dealing with is an invaluable skill. It turns your encounter with a client into an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the upcoming project and how it will need to be handled. It is one of the building blocks of a professional relationship.”

Building relationships is essential (ok, I’m stating the obvious). And we’ve found that sustaining them is almost fully attributable to our (1) being forthright and (2) doing what we say we’re going to do … exceptionally well.

To my first point, clients need to know *us* just as much as we need to know them. Being forthright about our recommendations, expectations, and processes is a primary reason we’ve grown in a down economy. Yes, being honest means sometimes giving some tough love so they can understand the pros and cons of pursuing various options in today’s digital landscape. But being proactive is key; everyone deserves to have the facts up-front to avoid unpleasant surprises later.

To my second point, the buck stops here. Recommendations are just wasted effort without proper execution. If we receive a request that doesn’t align with our core strengths, we’ll recommend a specialized partner instead.  When it comes to execution, we *know* that clients are paying for the best, so we execute the best work every time.

In the end, it’s our brand.  Honesty and integrity command respect, and we know that’s a two-way street.