Throughout my ‘consulting’ career in SEO and online marketing, I’ve always had two general types of clients: those that tried to boss me around and/or make excuses for their poor choices, and those that — despite my young(er) age — listened with keen interest to my suggestions, and tried to implement them (if only in their own way).
Can you guess which type of client has had more success online?
I’ve mentioned before that “client pride” is BY FAR the #1 challenge I’ve ever faced as a marketing consultant. And it goes without saying that I (nor any other professional consultant) am not going to be “right” 100% of the time… but you’d think that clients seeking out an expert opinion would at least shut up long enough to hear your recommendations. NOPE! Convincing people to do something that you know is best, and that even has facts, data science, and analytics to back it up — is shockingly difficult in a postmodern world full of spoiled, egotistical, selfie-taking sissies.
“I don’t believe in excuses. I believe in solutions.” — Jon Taffer
A few years back, I was flipping through TV channels and happened across a reality show on Spike TV called Bar Rescue. Immediately, I was hooked (after verifying that the episodes were not staged in any way).
If you are not familiar with the show, it is hosted and produced by “nightlife expert” Jon Taffer, who first made a name for himself managing well-known bars and music clubs in Los Angeles such as The Troubador in Hollywood. For each episode, Taffer visits one bar or nightlife venue in the United States that is nearing bankruptcy (or complete failure) and attempts to re-launch the entire business, usually under a new brand name, after renovating the physical space, implementing management standards, creating a new menu, and putting the entire staff through grueling training for several days. Anyone on the team that refuses to put in any effort or that chooses to bail and/or mouth off throughout the show is often immediately fired (after being shouted back down to size and utterly humiliated by Taffer on national television).
Many viewers (and participants) of the show often comment that “[Taffer] doesn’t need to scream!” or other similar sentiments, questioning why the show insists on making every episode chalk full of confrontations. To be honest, I’m sure part of it has to do with maintaining high ratings, which is a normal part of reality TV. But there is much more to it than that…
Ultimately, Jon Taffer is not just a “nightlife” expert. Indeed, the man is a true master of psychology, sociology, human relationships, marketing, and more; he is able to pick out alpha males, wannabe alpha males, dominant-submissive power structures, weak links, thieves, liars, stubbornness and pride, non-sensical practices, and pure insanity in a matter of seconds, call things for what they are, and even propose a solution too, all before the end of one scene!
There are so many things to learn from this show, they are impossible to list (at least, not now). But remaining open-minded and trying new things as circumstances or information evolves is definitely one of the biggest takeaways.
If you haven’t watched this show, I encourage you to give it a shot. If someone like Jon can turn drinking a beer into a moment of real science and significance, imagine how much more powerful your own business decisions can be as you seek to inspire not only yourself, but also your customers and those around you.
P.S. as luck would have it, Jon Taffer also just released a new online course… feel free to check it out ;)