What clients truly want is… Assurance.

Your Take-Away:  
Failing to provide assurance is the single biggest reason why creatives fail to gain new business.

Think about your last pitch or sending out your latest proposal or even estimate to your clients. Did you provide assurance alongside your inspiring vision? If not, you most certainly failed to win that client.

Assurance means everything to clients. If you can not back your vision with a proper plan which you can execute within time and budget, allowing several iterations, clients will not buy into your solution.

You wouldn’t either. Still, we fail creating a safe harbour for our clients. We are all about vision, excellence and creativity. No matter how mundane a job might be. That is our approach to win clients. We sell visions. Although this is a great tactic to get clients interested, it doesn't close the deal. Only assurance closes deals.

Clients value assurance more than creative excellence. Even if it means receiving mediocre creative results. Clients measure results, not in awards or industry attention. They measure success in a so-called 'return on investment' (ROI). In simple words, they want results on the money they spent on us. So beyond a certain threshold, our creative excellence will quickly burn their investments.

If we can not deliver because we were too bold in our approach, or because we strive for creative excellence, their investment will vanish in front of their eyes.

Creative excellent is only welcome if it doesn’t come with any risks whats-o-ever. Clients will always go with the safer or let's say less risky option. They don't like any risks on their investments.

Here is what you need to do in your next pitch:

  1. Make sure to involve your client early (even in a pitch). 
  2. Listen closely to what they expect of you. It might not be what it seems at first glance. Go deeper, ask questions.
  3. Make sure that clients don’t have to stretch too far from where they are now. Animate them to leave their comfort zone that will excite them. But make sue you stay right on edge. Do not go too far into new territory; this will make them anxious.
  4. Minimise risks. Seriously, anything. When you can do an indoor shooting instead of an outdoor shooting, go with the less risky option (even if it might be more expensive, yes).


Provide the assurance clients seek in any situation possible. Immediately, you will become your client's favourite creative studio. 


In the coming weeks, you will receive more insights on what clients truly want from us creatives. Every insight can immediately influence your business. But none of it has to do with our creative excellence.

Get started by checking out last week's article: 'Your portfolio fails its purpose. Here is how you use Pain Points to attract Clients'.

Next week we continue the series on what clients truly want. Apply this insight, and you will immediately have a competitive advantage in your next pitch.

This January, I will be speacking at the CATALYST 2018 | Amsterdam event hosted by /REVTHINK/.