Saturday, May 8, 2010

Business. Dealing with clients

Firstly, welcome to my new followers and I'll keep my blogs updated weekly with entertaining insights from Vietnam. I know some of you have joined after a bit of bribery or blackmail, but hey, that's how we do business here!

I realized I haven't posted anything about the business, so today the post is about the frustrations of dealing with a client (in particular, Vietnamese clients), and I'll let you in on a technique I learnt years ago on how to deal with your frustrations.

The" F*ck off and F*ck off now" technique

If your working in a client-facing environment, I'm sure you've been in situations where the client or even your internal clients make unreasonable demands. In particular, in the creative or advertising industry we have many "prima-donna" clients.

"It's not pink... It's fuchsia." or "It's not blue... It's sky blue." You know the type... Clients who think they are semi-hollywood movie stars. That type! So when the days are stretched and you're going far and beyond what you're supposed to do, just to support their prima-donna needs, and they still make demands. What do you do? Just tell them to F*ck Off... and F*ck Off now.

Okay, realistically it's not going to always work in your favour, but it's sure going to make you feel a lot better. And don't exactly use those words, but a tone-down approach such as, "George, I'd love to keep designing for you, but you need to pay me for the last job first". Translation = "F*ck Off and F*ck Off now!" So in your mind it's "F*ck Off until you pay me biatch," but you deliver the message it in a more tasteful way. It seriously makes you feel better... try it!

Origins of "F*ck off and F*ck off now"

This technique was brewed up years ago by a team that I highly respect. They were mentors to me during my first few years of management. I used to be nice and accommodating, and was stressed all the time until I saw a shining light when my mentors... let's call them "Marios Perella" and "Stephan Georganis" said to me, "You know what VQinVietnam (btw, that's not my real name), just tell them to F*ck off and F*ck off now!" And that's exactly what I did. And many of times, we actually used those exact words to our internal clients. It changed my way of thinking and until this day I still use this technique to make the day go by easier. So thank you guys and I hope this technique will live strong and passed on to generations of managers to come.

Vietnamese Clients

The Vietnamese are known to be quite fickle creatures. The want one thing one day and the next day the want something else. So when I get an approval to design something in a certain direction, I can guarantee you that they'll make about 5 more direction changes after that. In Australia, we can request them to pay for the additional hours spent on their "prima donna" changes, but here they want everything for free. It's the culture and that's the way it is over here, unless you're one of the large organizations who can really truly afford to say ""F*ck Off and f*ck off now" without caring about the repercussions.

It's also very hierarchical here. They use and abuse their authority and so in Vietnam, you will experience those who sit on their high horses and just say things for the sake of it. I once had a client asked me to design for him flash banners that would follow the user up and down the page as the person scrolled down the page (who does that in this time and age?). I advised them if we do that, it would cheapen your website and downgrade the preimiumness of your brand. You know what his answer was? "I am the General Director, and I said... I want scrolling flash banner, so you give me scrolling flash banners'" What do you say to that? So we gave him the damn scrolling flash banners.

Even the Vietnamese don't like working with the Vietnamese in a service-client environment. My team kind of shiver when working with Vietnamese clients because they know what to expect.

That's it for today! I'll leave you with this.... F*ck Off and F*ck Off now!


  1. Happy Belated FF!

    I'm your newest follower! If you get a chance, please follow me too at

    Have a great day!

  2. Great blog. Every culture is different and I can only imagine the frustration of having to deal with ever changing minds and requests in Viet Nam - although I would love to visit there one day. Oh, I see you recently had a birthday...Happy Belated Birthday! I'm a new follower. Well no f--- off for you - but thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to use it. Hope you come visit my blog soon!

  3. I can learn from you about my native country. My family fled shortly after the war when I was a toddler. Keep up the good work!

  4. I found you on FF and I love your blog! I'll be back lots :)

  5. the historical overview.

    Happy FF!

  6. Stopping by from Friday Follow to say Hi! I am your newest follower!

    Please stop by and see my review on Molly's Money Making Digest:

    And enter my giveaway for Peter Rabbit Children's Products:

  7. Well now, I am your newest reader and I can appreciate your posts as I am living in HCMC also although I am not working here and I don't have a blog to promote!