How to Avoid the Wrong Experts — But You’re Not Going to Like It

How to AVOID the Wrong Experts

There are a few things in my industry that I get really fired up about. Near the top of that list is a sneaky little question that clients get asked all the time. And it’s actually the hallmark of an amateur. The question is: “Do you like it?” If you want to avoid the wrong experts, run—don’t walk—if you’re being asked this question.

Listen to Season 2: Episode 15

What People Think Is No One’s Business

Opinions are like…noses: everyone has one. That’s exactly the problem when it comes to engaging an expert and then inviting in opinions from everyone. There’s no winning. And there’s no right. There’s only what everyone likes or dislikes—and that doesn’t actually drive any business results.

In most cases, the vendors who ask their clients “Do you like it?” don’t know it’s the wrong question to ask. It’s just that they don’t have better evaluation criteria to guide the client. While they might seem like a great fit, you’ll avoid the wrong experts if they don’t focus on if you like it.

And the bigger issue with this approach is that this trains clients to think about their business assets in terms of their opinion. While that might feel nice, to run your business by your personal preferences, anyone who’s been in business knows that’s not how we get results.

Avoid the Wrong Experts Who Will Ask Your Opinion

When I first tell clients that I’m never going to ask them if they like it, because their opinion doesn’t matter, I get a lot of funny looks and some really interesting reactions.

Here’s the truth: The marketing you do for the business that you work for or run is Not. For. You.

I get it; you are currently yelling at me: “Try telling the CEO that!”

The CEO, chief marketing officer, director of marketing, and the agency you hired are not the customer. The only opinion that matters is the customer’s, and actually, it’s not even their opinion but their action that matters.

The purpose of hiring experts is to help you grow, improve, or add capacity. To do that, the experts bring their skill and experience. Most of all, they bring perspective and can help you keep your eye on the prize. They can help first define, and then keep in front of you, the business results you want. When experts fail to do this, this is when debates start about whether the CMO likes blue or red. I don’t care if you like it because your opinion does not get business results.

Hence why to avoid the wrong experts who consider your opinion above that of your target customer.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

The process here is pretty simple. Keep the business results, and who the work is for (not you, the customer) at the forefront.

Strategy and a plan are key tools for staying on track. And when deliverables are reviewed, we always start by revisiting the result we want and who the audience is for the deliverable so that we can keep those things in mind. The other way to make sure opinions don’t creep in is to listen for the four-letter word “like.”

At no point should anyone say, “I like this”, or “Do you like this?,” or maybe the most cringy “Oh, I think, the executives will like this better.” The word “like” does not live in an expert conversation.

One of the biggest benefits of having an external agency or expert is that, in addition to executing their expertise, they can help the organization stay on track to business results. But be aware, you are going to have to navigate a lot of unwinding of “but my opinion mattered before,” if you’ve hired previous external agencies that operated on an opinion and not results.

The payoff of avoiding the wrong experts is that you can stop the dead-end debate of opinions and start pursuing actual business results and build assets that are for the people who are going to actually buy, not the people who work there.

Hire the Right Experts to Elevate Your Game

Want more value from the experts you hire? At FieryFX, we know a thing or two about getting the most from working with experts. Plus, we’re experts in strategy, websites, analytics, smart business, and technology. Find out how to benefit from hiring an expert by booking a consult with us.

In the next episode of Leverage Your Spark, we’re discussing how to work with an expert. There are lots of ways to engage with experts, and we’ll talk about how to match your needs up with what experts offer. Stay tuned!

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