Think about the people that you serve, ask yourself: What does essential look like to them? How would they define essential and how do we deliver that?

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– Hey everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, once again, I am coming to you from my home. And this week, we’re out on my back deck. So when I bought this house a few months ago, having a great back deck and a beautiful patio, which you can’t see, was not high on my list. I travel all the time, I’m on the move, but you know what? After being in lockdown for the last two months, now all of a sudden, this back deck is very important to me. It is essential. And so as I was thinking about what I wanted to talk to you about today, what I really want to talk about is this notion of being essential and how that changes. Our definition of essential changes. So we’ve talked a lot, through COVID, about what an essential business is. And one of the things I’ve observed is when I look at the agencies that are still crushing it with clients, that clients have not hit the pause button, for many of them, they have established themselves as an essential business or an essential partner to that client. And I think we all have the opportunity, as we come out of this, to position ourselves as an essential partner or business. So the question I want you to ask yourself and the question I want you to kick around with your leadership team is, “What does essential look like for the rest of 2020 for our clients or our prospects?” And I think it’s going to look like a couple of things. Number one, it’s going to look like: Can we move the needle and get our clients’ clients or customers to spend money again? Can we help our clients land new business or new customers? Can we help our clients land new business or new customers? Can we help our clients manage and reduce expense? Can we show ROI, either through reduced expenditures or increased sales either through reduced expenditures or increased sales that directly ties to the work we’re doing? Can we prove that the work we’re doing is ringing the cash register? Can we prove that the work we’re doing is helping them retain the staff that they want to retain? Whatever we’re doing for our clients, how are we demonstrating the value that that puts to the business and the business’s bottom line? That’s how we’re all going to be evaluated for the rest of 2020, is how are you helping me get back on track? How are you helping me regain what I have lost, whether that’s people or clients or dollars or momentum? So we need to be thinking about it, and we need to be positioning ourselves with our clients in a way that they understand and they view us as an essential part of their business. That is how we’re going to rebuild our business by helping them rebuild theirs. Okay? So pull your team together, client by client or industry by industry, however you think about the people that you serve, ask yourself: What does essential look like to them? How would they define essential and how do we deliver that? And how do we get credit for that? Because in many cases, you may be delivering it, you’re just not getting credit for it. But you need to pull the team together and you need to have a strategy around becoming an essential part of your client’s business or your prospect’s business, so that you can grow their business and yours. Okay? I’ll talk to you next week.

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