There is a distinction that I want to make that may be a big shift for some of you.
Your client (the person who hired you) is not really your client – the BUSINESS is your real client.
What the heck does this mean? As an OBM you are there to manage the *business* and keep an eye on the bottom line. And sometimes your client may get in the way of this (believe it or not.)
For example, let’s say your client wakes up one day and decides that they want to launch a new program next month. There is already a good plan in place for what is being launched over the next 3 months, and you wonder if this is the best idea? You fear that if your client changes things now it might complicate things, and could potentially back-fire by trying to squeeze it all in vs. sticking to the original plan. Plus you aren’t really sure what the payoff is here – how does this new program fit into the overall growth plan for the business?
If you just say “OK, let’s do the new thing” regardless of your concerns, that’s not taking a stand for the business… that’s just looking to please your client. Taking a stand for the business means you are willing to bring up these concerns, and that you are looking at what is best for the business overall (vs. going with what is sometimes bright-shiny-object syndrome from our clients.)
You can say something as simple as “As your OBM I’m always looking at what is best for the business overall, and so I just have to ask…. [insert questions here]”
Will your clients always agree with you? Probably not, they could decide to go ahead with the new idea anyhow and that’s a-ok – but the thing is that you are coming from the right place and are willing to step up and ask some key questions to make sure this is what is best for the business now.
Now THAT’S what being a great OBM is all about.