Being interested is more important than being interesting

Marketing agencies are a dime a dozen. To stand out, engage new clients, and maintain long-term relationships, it’s necessary to listen to your clients, advocate for them, and show them you’re more than “just another agency.”

Clients want you to listen

How can I help?” In the initial meeting, clients want a potential agency to understand the obstacles they’re facing, their business goals, and their wish list. It’s best to ask questions, take notes, and be a good listener. The client will be far more willing to hear your strategy once they know you understand their needs and objectives. Listening to them upfront will enable you to solve their problems later.

Communication is key. Follow up and stay in touch through an occasional email, phone call, or social media post. Learn as much as you can to create an opportunity in the future and be responsive. So many missed opportunities happen because an agency gives up after pursuing a potential client for three to six months. Just as importantly, an agency needs to respond quickly to communications or requests for quotes from a potential client. Being the first to respond could earn you an initial project and the opportunity to prove you’re the agency this client needs.

Commit to the long haul. The three rules of client relationship building are: be responsive, under-promise, and over-deliver. Do whatever it takes to support your client when they have a rush project for a special launch, meeting, or event. Once a relationship is established, provide your client with exceptional service and high-quality work at a fair price to increase your value as a trusted partner. Remember, a healthy working relationship that took years to establish can be destroyed in only five minutes.

Clients want an advocate

Be the consultant. Listen and remember what’s important to your client to set realistic goals and benchmarks. Schedule regular short meetings to audit marketing plans and offer suggestions based on history and current trends. These moments will unify project expectations and keep work on track.

Be the problem solver. Deadlines and budgets have always challenged businesses and will continue to do so. Clients need agencies to bring the perfect blend of talent, technology, and experience to complete tasks accurately, on time, and within budget.

Pay attention to the little things. Letting your client know that you’ve taken care of the small details will make their job easier and have a significant impact. Answering a phone call or email promptly or responding before you log out for the day goes a long way with a client. Being available makes all the difference.

Clients want to see your social proof

Do the right thing when it isn’t easy. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly important in a market saturated with similar products and services. When the economic climate and business pressures are less than ideal, it’s imperative that a company continues to do right by its team, vendors, and community in order to remain successful.

Committed to service. One company may not be able to solve all the world’s problems,
but it can definitely make a difference for those it does help. Whether the cause is environmental, social, medical, or religious, having a team of clients, vendors, and associates who value people and resources will always result in top-notch service.

Choose the right agency

Having the best marketing partner is critical to meeting business goals and achieving long-term success. Consider a consultation with an agency to help you create a personalized marketing mix. An experienced agency can show you how to reach your target market and convert potential customers into loyal customers.

By Steve Fleishauer and Marcus Grando