Monday, June 22, 2009

And then we wait

A well known photographer was asked how he got the light "just right" in his scenics. His answer was, "I wait." Getting your perfume "just right" involves waiting too.

We've all had the experience where, for one reason or another, we've been pressured to rush our fragrance into bottles and into the hands of a customer. Some things you can rush. You can work longer hours (up to 24 each day), you can bring people in to help you, you can purchase equipment to automate filling. But you can't rush the chemistry that allows ingredients to blend together and bring the fragrance to perfection. This requires time, and waiting.

Recently I was presented with several examples of this need to wait -- and the client's impatience to receive the finished perfume. In the first example, a person acting as a middleman in a "deal" inquired about getting a private label fragrance. We went over the issues: custom or stock bottle, custom or stock fragrance, time considerations, etc. I thought we had an understanding and passed this person on to a friend who had, at hand, all that was needed.

Then the fun began. Suddenly stock bottles weren't good enough, a custom design would be required. The existing fragrance compound that was immediately available wasn't good enough and a new fragrance would have to be created. And all of this had to be done in ... a couple of weeks! In spite of the coaching, the client had no understanding of what was involved in creating a new perfume. Their planning made no sense.

Less than two weeks later I had a similar experience. This time it was someone else's client. A perfume had been accepted; an order had been placed. But it was needed in a week or two. What was the perfumer to do? The perfumer KNEW that the perfume needed more time to blend to perfection. But, it the perfume wasn't delivered as requested, the order would be lost.

For anyone who hasn't encountered it yet, in the business world being pushy is considered a virtue -- a sign that you care -- that you understand that you can make things happen faster by being outspoken and aggressive. At times this can be effective. At times it can be essential. But when the pushy, client side contact DOES NOT UNDERSTAND the mechanics of making perfume, does not understand of what can be rushed and what cannot, both sides quickly become losers.

Agreeing to give the client less than your best makes you a loser. Your reputation as an artist suffers. Pushing the perfumer to deliver what should not yet be delivered makes the client a loser, for the client is paying the full price for that which is not of full quality.

Proper planning will generally eliminate the problem. There are times when YOU have to take charge and set the schedule yourself and, if it doesn't work for the client, it may be more profitable to you in the long run ... just to walk away.

No comments:

Post a Comment