I had to scrap today’s regularly scheduled blog post.
Why? Well, something kinda cool happened yesterday: A question I asked on the Arment Dietrich’s Facebook Page was featured as the Facebook Question of the week. If you aren’t familiar with AD’s blog, Spin Sucks, I suggest you add it to your daily reading. And if you missed my F.B.Q.O.T.W., you can view it here.
I walked away with ideas for KBK. Ideas that I’m really going to implement.
Below, is a compilation of some of my favorite comments.
At the end of the day you want to do business with people who want to do business with you; people who appreciate the value you bring. If you don’t have that relationship you are no more than a vendor so there is merit to cleaning out 10% of your book every year. – Bill Dorman
I think one good technique is to get clients reinvested in their own goals and deadlines. One reason this is effective is you will find out if those goals and deadlines have changed. Assuming they have not, you can then (diplomatically) show how the lack of follow through is preventing you from achieving those things on their behalf. “We just want to clarify what you are hoping to achieve… Great, we can do that for you but here’s what we need from you..” and so on. -Adam Toperek
Clear expectations are a MUST, as are deadlines and updates. I find that each client is different. So now, before we begin the meat of the work, I give them a client profile and determine how often they want updates and meetings with me, what their expectations are, their willingness to be on camera, availability, etc., their ‘point person” if they are not available, and in turn set the tone for what they have to do and what I have to do. -Erica Allison
I’ve worked with a lot of associations, and “committees”, like @KenMueller a conglomeration of clients. I’ve learned to include a section in my proposal and then my contract, that states what we need from them; Our expectations. I always say we need one responsive point person, etc. I will outline deliverables, and estimated time needed from them for us to be able to do our jobs. It’s worked very well, and educates them up front that just because they hired PR, does not mean that they will be able to cross it off THEIR to-do list. -Lisa Gerber
For me, it gets down to two things 1) Managing expectations; and 2) Being willing to have ongoing, direct discussions between client and agency. Too many agencies build unrealistic expectations on the part of their clients because they’re unwilling to have direct discussions from the get-go. To the point in your video, have the guts to outline “Here’s what you can expect from us,” as well as “Here’s what we need from you in order to do the best job for you.” Meet with clients at least quarterly, NOT on the subject of the communications campaign, but about the relationship and in particular, the client’s view of the agency’s performance, how you can better deliver Five-Star Client Service to them and, what you need from them to do so. @RepmanCody not only insists on regular agency “report card” meetings, but puts this into the contract. This guarantees that the agency always knows if f the agency is meeting/exceeding client expectations, and gives the agency a chance to share how the client can help the agency do a better job. -Ken Jacobs
We are a client of a company (Angel Vision) that I think does a GREAT job of dealing with this up front. They make very clear what they consider a “good client” to be. They lay it out in an agreement (things like, all people contributing will be on these calls, or you’ll turn things around within x period of time etc.) and then provide a “Good Client Discount.” Now, I know that their real fee is what they’re charging me after the “discount,” but I got to tell you a feel more commitment to get things done for them. After all, we all like to get rewarded for what we’re supposed to do any way, don’t we? -Doug Davidoff
In the intrest of keeping this post to a reasonable length, I couldn’t post all of my favorites. So, again, I encourage you to jump on over to the original post and read through the comments.
Question: What would you add? What management techniques have you used, that have worked? Share your comments below.