Selling Creative Part 3: Defending the Work

This is the third of four posts, written by Kristin Kidd, Director of Account Service at Amélie Company. These posts provide recap of key takeaways from Ad Club Denver’s “Food For Thought” panel on selling creative.

How do you defend the work without sounding defensive?

Go back to the brief. The creative brief is an expectation management tool. If the brief is solid, everyone agrees on its content, and the work supports it, then the creative shouldn’t need defending. And speaking of defending…

Support the work, don’t defend it. “Defending the work” represents an antagonistic point of view. Remember that everyone is working towards a shared goal of great work that supports a business objective.

Know the work well enough to know how much it can bend before it breaks… and know when to walk away from an idea. If it’s being changed so much that it no longer resembles the idea you sold, then be prepared to take it off the table. Walk away from it and come back to your client with something better. Tune in, listen to your clients’ feedback – they might be making the work better.

Avoid trying to solve problems on the fly, in the meeting as this dilutes creative thinking. It really is as easy as telling your client, “Thank you for your feedback, let us think about it and we will get back to you with a solution.”

Coming up, Selling Creative Part 4: Presentation Styles