Sometimes when you sit down with clients you have no idea when conversations may end up or what creative projects may evolve from them. Years ago, I abandoned the dreaded death by Powerpoint where possible, and used Apple's Pages or Keynote to develop more interesting materials, but as handouts at the end of the meeting rather than a crutch to talk from.
It's an old tried and tested technique from my sales days, where I discovered more business could be got when I engaged and chatted with the doctors rather than trying to read from a fancy detail aid with small print upside down.
This strategy has several effects:
1) People loosen up
2) Everyone is engaged and boredom is banished
3) You discuss and brainstorm real live problems and issues to create potential solutions
4) It's much more fun!
Image via Wikipedia
When clients are amenable to this approach, especially over lunch or in the cafeteria over coffee rather than a dreary office or conference room, you end up with sketches on napkins or scraps of paper and a greater chance of buy-in when you send in a proposal.
Talking about social media strategy and how you can go from baby steps to some real projects that add value while offering a good strategic fit with current company and brand goals is very rewarding. Everybody wins.
My general conclusion is that bottom up strategy driven by end users gets much more buy-in and acceptance from an organisation than top down directives, guidelines and rules.
What's your experience?