The relationship between client and agency is like any other relationship in our lives – it takes good communication, trust and a certain degree of enjoying each other’s company and conversation (professional or otherwise) to make it successful.
There are days when parties on either side of this partnership love the arrangement and want it to last for a long time to come – and then there are days when those same parties just can’t see eye to eye and wish they could walk away from one another.
Its days like the latter that are a true testament to the strength of that partnership between a client and an agency – and that strength is inevitably what determines whether the relationship will lead to success or failure.
Build a solid foundation for the relationship with your clients from the onset. Try these four simple things to win – and keep – the favor of your clients:
1. Set the tone from the start: Make it known to your client that you have their best interest in mind, enjoy working with them (as a company and as individuals) and that you want to be considered an extension of their team (not just a “hired gun”). Show your enthusiasm during phone conversations and in emails.
2. Ask questions & share ideas: Don’t hesitate to ask questions about current or new products, previous marketing campaigns, or anything else that relates to the work that you are doing with them. Likewise, do not hesitate to contact your client with recommendations you have based on recent conversations with them, their partner companies, etc. The more you let your client know that you are thinking about their business and how to do the most you can for them, the more they will regard your relationship as something of value.
3. Tailor your communication style to theirs: When dealing with more than one client contact, you may have different relationships with each person. One client may want to open your conversations by chatting about last night’s football game – while another may want to focus solely on the topic at hand and not stray to other topics. Whatever the case, you have to learn to work with each client’s communication style and not take it personally.
4. Maintain a constant presence: Some days you will feel like all you did was speak to or email with your clients, while other days there will be complete silence on their end. During those “quiet” days, gently make your presence known by reaching out to say hello and remind them that you are there if they need anything. Something as simple as an email to say, “Hope your day is going well – holler if you need anything,” can go a long way.
Ask yourself if you do, or have done all of these things with your clients. If you don’t, give them a try and watch your relationship grow.