5 Ways A Client Can Help Achieve Project Success

When it comes to working through a project, the process is a roller coaster. The question is, will you finish the ride feeling invigorated and excited, or stumbling around nauseously?

As an Account Manager, my hope is that you are interested in the former, and not the latter. And to that end, the following are five ways I believe you can help achieve project success.

1. Please Understand the Contract

I’m not interested in consulting a medium to help me understand why, and I’m not going to stand upon a box crafted from soap and be grouchy, but sometimes clients don’t even read the contract. Please don’t do that.

Why? Outside of the plainly obvious reasons, here’s a perspective you may be surprised by.

As an Account Manager, I am usually not a part of the sales process, and the contract is one of the first ways I begin to understand a project. And here’s the deal. I don’t view the contract as just legal mumbo jumbo, or a militaristic set of rules I get to enforce. No way!

Instead, I look at the contract like it’s a gift or present I get to open. We bang a gong at Oneupweb when a contract is signed. It’s an awesome moment, and frankly the contract gets me excited about the work we are about to do together. Pushed further, if you have questions about the contract, I am geeked out to answer them.

Sure, if we end up playing contract hardball, I’ll handle that like a boss. But in the meantime, please understand the contract!

2. Please Provide Feedback

It’s pretty simple. If you like something, tell me. If you don’t like something, tell me. If you are happy, sad, scared, excited, indifferent, or hungry. Please tell me.

As an Account Manager, I am your main point of contact throughout the project, and I intentionally work to ensure that your company’s perspective is shared with our team. And this is good news.

Why? Because I take it seriously! It is my job to make sure our team knows exactly what you think/feel about the project…good or bad. At times I will even advocate for and defend your position, arguing on your behalf if need be.

Please do not sell me short on feedback.

3. Please Respect the Timeline

Seriously, the timeline is established for good reasons. We need to establish a dedicated period of time for the work to get done. Our team is ready to go, and we need yours to be ready to go.

At the same time, we understand what it means to be flexible, and there is a time and place for using the phrase “scheduled flexibility” to think about timelines. There is a schedule. There are reasons to be flexible.

But if you are timeline obnoxious, this will result in the contract hardball mentioned above.

Let’s not go there. Respect the timeline.

4. Please Respond to Communication

I get it. You read “The Four-Hour Workweek.” You are checking your email once per decade. You are rocking an automated message because our project didn’t make the cut during your recent Parretto Principled, 80/20 reorganization of your inbox. Tim Ferriss would be proud.

Pretend it’s cheat day. Respond to my email or call.

(In fact, if that made any sense and you thought it was funny, please connect with me on Twitter. Let’s be friends.)

I am not looking to bomb your inbox with multiple messages each day, or call you constantly. No one likes that. But I do take time to deliver emails that contain important information and questions, and I do call if I feel a matter is urgent and important. Please respond.

Frankly, I don’t care if you use my name in the body of the email, if you offer a pleasant salutation, if you enjoy well placed emoticons, if the email is two words long, if you type your name or let your signature do the talking, or if you are creative enough to tell me that you hope the website redesign project is going to “be the change” you hope to see in your particular industry (I got that in an email. It is one of my absolute favorites).

Just respond. Please?

5. Please Collaborate

This is probably my most urgent request.

There is absolute beauty in the midst of a project when clients bring their expertise to the table, we bring our expertise to the table, and we work together on a successful project.

And the nuance therein shouldn’t be missed. With a client roster that includes industries as diverse as higher education, cookware, construction, international travel tours, inventory management systems, and community electric cooperatives; there is no way you can expect our team to know your industry as well as you do.

But pushed further, with digital marketing capabilities in creative services, web design and development, research and strategy, content marketing and SEO, paid media marketing and PPC, digital brand consulting, social media, and inbound marketing; we are confident that we are expert growth instigators in our industry.

Collaboration is the point where we come together, and produce amazing results.

Please collaborate.

At the end of the day I hope these are helpful, that you understand more about what creates a successful project from the perspective of an Account Manager, and that your next roller coaster project pushes you into the “I-did-this-and-got-sucked-into-buying-overpriced-memorabilia” vortex.

I also hope you had a good chuckle along the way.

{Image Credit: Tony Fischer Flickr}