At CONNECTIVE Agency we often get asked by the buyers of our services -- founders, owners, chief marketing officers, division/function leaders -- “what makes for a healthy and productive buyer-agency client relationship?”. Collectively, our team has worked in client service work for over a half century and we’ve noticed three (3) common characteristics that stand out as key commonalities in good relationships between our agency and the client buyers of our services.
There is no substitute for ‘goodness’ and acting with high moral standards in every business relationship. Integrity is defined as doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. First and foremost, we demand that our clients be good humans – not only to us, but more importantly to members of their own team, their stakeholders and all others they get to do business with, and we absolutely deliver that back to them without exception. Buyer-agency relationships usually involve a large transfer of trust, so both parties must always feel that the other side has their back and is handling that responsibility with great care and acting as good managers and custodians in their agreement. At CONNECTIVE Agency, our #1 company value is Always Act with Integrity.
A two-way servant attitude is a key characteristic of a healthy buyer-agency relationship. When buy-side and service-side managers reach alignment on goals, tactics and objectives, a selfless attitude will directly impact the level of productivity in the business agreement. A client must be generous with their time, feedback and commitment, and an agency must respect the client’s dedicated attention when they get it, while also being mindful of other competing demands for the client manager’s attention. Three ways to test this are: 1) Do meetings, calls and updates happen on time? 2) Is reporting complete and happening as scheduled 3) Are expectations being met or reset as needed?
FACT: It takes guts to ask for what you need to do a job right. Often times, client buyers that are under-resourced or under-staffed know what it takes to achieve a growth marketing objective, but do not have the support or conviction to ask for or commit to the resources to make it happen. It takes a courageous, bold leader to create and present a plan that will go beyond maintaining the status quo and achieve the outsized results needed for success. When our team presents marketing, communications and business growth programs for clients, we also include clear return-on-investment objectives that we create together with the client, as well as our pledge and commitment to making them happen. Lastly, we agree that we will go on the journey together and remind each other of two important things: 1) Nothing easy is worth doing, and 2) Will it be easy? Likely not. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.
We’re always looking for client leaders that have high Integrity, abundant Selflessness and bold Courage. Know anyone? If so, point them here and tell them to give us a shout.