April 05, 2017
In my last post, I talked about how you, as the agency owner, might start to see the holes in your account team. I talked about all the ways that a client might secretly tell you that they are “done”.
Today, I will touch briefly on how to turn that around…quickly.
Yes, I said call them. It really is that easy. Pick up the phone and phone your client. In the digital era we are now in, people have become increasingly phone-phobic. I have seen it time and time again. Emails and even texts have replaced a good ol’ phone call to a client. Account Managers can get lazy. If they CAN say it with an email, they tend to do that before calling. In the industry of online marketing, you have individuals that are very technical; it’s a necessity to understand all the metrics of digital, but that can create an account manager situation that relies more on the data than the individual who has hired you to provide the data. Ask your team to log some real, live, calls!
Taking a client out is fun. It’s part of why people ooooh and ahh when they think about working in an agency as an AM. Think Madison Ave circa 1985…pretty fun. The problem is, because of the nature of our business, we don’t have traditional work hours and a less than traditional workflow. We can email clients anytime and anywhere. We forget that clients are still people and not a just nameless face on the other side of the computer.
Having a personal connection during a meal is one of the best ways to remind your client that you care about them. My biggest pet peeve, however, is agency heads who are too cheap to allow their account managers to make the call to take said client out. Loosen the purse strings and give that account manager the power to take care of that client!
Working in an agency is tough, one of the most challenging jobs there is. Yes, I know there are jobs that are more critical in the world, but in the world of B2B marketing, this one is up there. We have long hours, mostly thankless days, and a lot of sitting in front of the computer reading data, etc.
When you are working with a business to help them reach their online goals, they may feel like they are swimming in a sea of crap too. Pay attention to them. If they have a birthday coming up, send them a card and a gift. If they have a vacation coming up, send them a travel gift basket, anything that says you are thinking about them. It can help snap them out of the overwhelming feelings they may have about all of the reports and data they are sifting through….most of which your account manager has sent them.
Some of these tactics can help turn a crappy relationship around for your clients and your account team. What it won’t do, is cover up a poor job in results. If your results are poor, no amount of dinners or gifts will keep that client for very long. The proof is in the pudding, so make sure you are showing results first.
Until next time,
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