commARCH Nov/Dec 2021 Issue - Page 39

How do you share that story effectively , when you ’ re going to be working with a new client ?
LL : You know , it ’ s super challenging right now because this is — you and I having this phone call on Zoom is not the same as if you were sitting in my living room with me right now , obviously .
LGL : [ Recently ,] we were pitching a very strategic integrated team approach [ to a brand-new client ]. The first thing I said is , “ Our goal is to make your business better . We believe this project should make your business better .”
We ’ re not here to tell you how to do a better project … We can save you money or we can save you time or we can bring you a solution that ’ s been tested or what have you . [ But ] that ’ s not where we start . We start with , what are you trying to do as a business ? How can we help that ?
CA : Every business goes through this where you ’ ll get an overview from a potential client that is more aspirational too . And then it ’ s followed with , fill in the cells of a spreadsheet . You said you want this , then you just took us to the lowest common denominator of competition .
LGL : Yeah . Super frustrating for us . I feel like either buyers don ’ t know how to buy or even what they ’ re buying , and procurement processes approach it like it ’ s a commodity and all competitors are equal and you just want the very best price because it ’ s all the same . And some days it amazes me that this creative industry got to that place . That we went from , it all costs the same , because cost is irrelevant . It ’ s talent and connection that you need to be engaging . You make the right engagement , make the right match . And costs are 6 % of the project costs . There ’ s no cheaper , no more expensive .
How we got from that — which apparently was considered price fixing — to , we all are the same and you should pay as little as possible for our talent — what the heck happened ? And we did it to ourselves , I think . We need to get back to , talent and creativity matter , and you should pay for better talent and creativity ; you should value it .
LL : You know , that whole topic of the lowest common denominator , and filling in the cells on the spreadsheet and all that . If it ’ s literally that , and only that , we don ’ t always do that well . It ’ s a roll of the dice . But even in that process , there are relationships . And we may get a leg up . The procurement guy may not know us , or the supply chain people may not know us , but somebody has a relationship with somebody who ’ s in a decision-making role . We ’ re going to do a lot better in that kind of situation . We ’ re always looking for that , but it is a relationship business and it ’ s not only with your clients , but with your people too .
And you know , you get to work with smart people : as clients , as colleagues , and that ’ s what keeps you coming back to work every day .
You know , there is the challenge of new work , but I get the most jazzed about working with friends and colleagues and clients who are friends and may not be colleagues — it ’ s an awesome business .
I always go back to the other thing about our work , particularly , is that everybody deserves a good place to work — everybody .
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