Just when you think everything is going great. You’ve been building trust. Like driving 70 miles for in office demos kind of trust. The team is legit excited to work on the project.
Then they canceled call. We will catch up next week. Three shades later and the project is on “pause”.
I was discussing this phenomenon with the team on an incredibly successful project the other day. We were doing a retrospective of the Heine Brothers' Coffee packaging redesign I did, and reflecting on the wins of a seamless project. Christal asked, "So why do you think that everything worked out so well even though there were delays and a lingering project timeline?" We had a great client team that trusted us and stayed on track. Which made us think:
Well why do lingering project timelines often end up in dead ends?
This likely happens for one of three reasons:
- They are nervous or have an issue with the design.
- Someone has a new idea and they don’t know how to tell you.
- There’s a money issue.
We are going to try to help the client identify this better. They are wanting to ghost us. They just aren't sure the best way to communicate this delicate information.
The best question I have ever been asked in a kickoff with a client is: How can this project go wrong? My answer was:
Not being honest with each other.
If we don't have open lines of communication open, even when the conversations are uncomfortable, we will never truly have a lasting partnership.