One Maverick’s Take On Agency-Client Relationships

When it comes to relationships between clients and agencies, I have worked both sides of the fence. During the past 10 years I have been the graphic designer, the business owner, the marketing manager and now VP client services with Lessing-Flynn.  I like to tell people I can’t hold a job, but honestly, in the marketing arena, if you’re not moving or changing, you’re not taking in enough experiences or learning opportunities. I read the other day that the average tenure of a CMO at a top branded company is 23 months!

Everyone likes the challenge of landing a client. But the real challenge is what it takes to keep them. Here are a few of my thoughts on what it takes to keep the client-agency relationship its best:

# 1: The customer is always right.

#2: If the customer is wrong, go back to Rule #1. (Maybe not all the time – see #6 )

#3: Think like the client. You need to know their world, the challenges, their priorities and the politics they face.

#4: Know how to measure ROI and what they expect in terms of measuring success.

#5: If you don’t know…ask questions. Your not going to appear dumb when your trying to fully assess and understand a situation, market or product.

#6: Be honest in telling the client what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear. No one wants to pay a “yes man” to be their marketing consultant.

#7: Deliver solutions and ideas.  That is what they are paying you to do. It will set you apart from lurking competition.

#8: Make sure the work is as good as if the most senior level employee had completed it.

#9: Admit mistakes. No one is expected to be perfect.

10#: Treat each project like a new assignment. Complacency can easily set in with long-term relationships.

The best relationships are those that create an environment where both the agency and the client are comfortable having difficult conversations. Trust is established, both parties challenge each other as well as celebrate the results achieved.

Author: Jess Held www.lessingflynn.com add to del.icio.us :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank :: post to facebook