First off, we’d like to confirm that no waiters were hurt in the making of this blog and we really do love waiters, so please don’t spit in our food.
Secondly, our gripe is not with waiters at all, but instead the idea of the ‘yes man’. The idea of saying and doing whatever someone asks, even if it’s not the right thing. The ridiculous notion of insipid compliance without standing up for what you believe in. The absurd belief *mounts high horse* that you don’t have any value to add. We could go on (really we could), however, we’ll dismount here for a second before the fanfare starts.
Our point, is merely that we live in a highly specialised world. A world of verticals and niche markets. A world of consultants and specialists. We’ve moved away from the ‘jack of all trades’ mentality and embraced an ‘inch wide, mile deep’ methodology. In short, people want to hire an expert.
We come across too many clients who have hired an expert and instead of a seasoned chef they get a nodding waiter and they’re understandably frustrated by it. There is an assumption that just like the customer in a restaurant, the client is always right. While brands have their own creativity, vision and input, they’ve also outsourced their advertising to agencies so they can broaden their perspective and have an industry expert nurture them in the market.
HOWEVER, let us also just take this moment to caveat that we do not advocate agencies sticking their finger up to their client and doing whatever they want, regardless of their opinion or input. That won’t get you anywhere my friend. To a certain extent you need to be a waiter, but brands and businesses want a chef. Someone who understands the components of mixing flavours and has the creativity to advise outside conventional routes. Someone who’s not going to be scared to suggest insane things like hot ice cream. (We still don’t know how that works but Heston swears by it). Someone who can mix ingredients to achieve the client’s goals and has the right training, learning, and skills behind them.
There is no value in nodding along just to keep clients happy, and in fact, clients don’t want that. You need to have the courage to challenge, discover and develop ideas alongside clients. Don’t just be the ‘yes man’, no one likes that guy.