One of the top reasons clients give for firing an agency is that after awhile, they think we start to phone it in and stop bringing them big ideas. There’s a simple fix for this and it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of time or money.

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Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. I am coming to you this week from Queenstown, New Zealand. And as you can see behind me, there’s this amazing lake and mountain range called The Remarkables. And honest to Pete, they earn their name. Every time we turn around, they are sort of surprising and delighting us. In some cases, it feels so beautiful it doesn’t even seem real. And honestly, that’s what I want to talk to you about in today’s video, is how do we surprise and delight our clients after we’ve worked with them for a while? A couple years ago, we did some
research where we asked CMOs and other people who hire agencies, we said why do you hire and fire an agency? And one of their number one reasons why we get fired is because they feel like, after a while, we take them for granted. We’re dialing it in. We’re not bringing them big ideas anymore. And I can hear you already. You’re saying you know what? We stopped bringing them big ideas because they never bought them. And that’s not what this is about. This is about demonstrating that we’re still thinking about them, we’re invested in their business and we want them to succeed and we are capable of big ideas whether they buy them or not. So here’s a little idea I want you to try. So I call this the Ideapalooza but you can call it anything you want. But it’s very simple. So I want you to do this at least once a year for every client and for some of your larger clients, more valuable clients, you might do it two or three times a year. And after you watch the video, if there are certain clients on your list that you say nah, we don’t need to do that for them, then I would ask you why are they on your client roster at all? So let’s assume you’re going do this for every client and what you’re going do is, once a year at minimum, you’re going bring a team together and around the conference room is going be a group of people, some who work on the account every day and others who have never touched the account. So, if you’re a super small agency, you might have to go out beyond the agency and bring some folks in. Or if you’re a larger agency, you might cherry pick some people who are good idea generators but don’t touch this client. And for about an hour, hour and a half, typically over food because we’re an agency, so bring some pizza in or whatever and brainstorm. No governor, no rules, no censoring. Just make a huge list of all the ideas. So, you’re going give them about a five or 10 minute primer on the client. Here’s who they are, here’s who their competitors are, here’s what they’re trying to accomplish. And then just let the ideas flow. And the whole idea is to come up with a crazy list of ideas and then just collect them. And then what I want you to do is, I want you to curate them in terms of putting them into buckets by categories. But no cutting ideas out, no matter how crazy they are on the list. Then reach out to the client and say hey, you know what? We held a meeting on your behalf, put 10 or 12 people in a room. We are not charging you for this meeting. We just wanted to think bigger about your business and helping you accomplish your goals. I’d like to run these ideas by you. Some of them are crazy but some of them might spark some other ideas, so I’d really like to sit down with you and just walk you through them. So either go to the client’s office, have them come to your office or if they’re far away, then go ahead and do a video chat. But however that is, present the ideas. Now, no PowerPoint, no visuals. This is just a laundry list of ideas that you want to go through with them. And watch what happens. The client may or may not buy any of them. Often times they do. Or one of your crazy ideas may spark an idea for them. But remember, that’s not our goal. Our goal is to remind our client that we’re capable of big ideas, that we’re thinking about them and we’re still sort of romancing them like we did when we first won the business and that we are always ready to invest in their business. So whether they buy an idea or not, you’ve accomplished your goal, which is to remind them how much you care about their business and how smart you are and what you’re capable of coming up with. Give it a try. You know what? If you’re watching this real-time and it’s the holidays, it’s a great time. Normally agencies are a little quieter over the next few weeks, so why not try this for some of your big clients and start the next year off with a huge bang by showing your clients that you are committed to them and, by the way, this is a great way to teach your team how to brainstorm. I’ll talk to you next week, thanks.

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