One of the things that COVID has taught us, or maybe reminded us, is the power and the value of existing clients.

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– Hey everybody! Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute. This week, I’m coming to you from Portland, Oregon. One of the things that COVID has taught us, or maybe reminded us, is the power and the value of existing clients. In our business, we spend so much time talking about Biz Dev. And we talk so often about finding the whale, landing the big fish, all of the analogies, but it’s all about finding the new client. And I think all too often, agencies do themselves a disservice by not paying enough attention to retention. You know what? The clients that have stuck with you through COVID have saved the day. And oftentimes, when clients leave us, it’s because they don’t understand the value that we deliver. And that’s our fault. That is completely on us. One of the things that I find is very true in most agencies is that there is no retention plan. There is no orchestrated effort to retain and grow existing clients. And that can’t be just an account service thing. That has to be an agency-wide thing. The account people may drive it and they may measure it and make sure that each of the check boxes get checked, right? But it is an agency-wide thing. It’s everything from billing being accurate to how responsive everybody on the team is, to the client feeling like you value them and are excited about their business. But one of the biggest reasons why we lose clients is because we don’t merchandise what we’re doing for them. Many of you are doing amazing things for clients, but some of them are visible and some of them are not. And if you’re not constantly helping your clients understand exactly what they’re getting for that monthly fee or that retainer or that project fee, however you’re billing them, if you’re not helping them understand what they are getting and the value of that and, most important, how what you’re doing moves someone deeper into the sales funnel or drives someone to a trial or a sale, if you can’t quantify that, if you can’t talk about that, and many of you can and you just don’t, and it’s one of the many corners that we shave with existing clients because I think we take them for granted. And so one of the things I want you to think about this week is I want you to pull your team together and talk about, number one, let’s look at all the clients we’ve lost over the last 12 months. Let’s take out the ones who we lost simply because they didn’t have the money because of COVID, and let’s look at the rest of them and what were the reasons why they left. And if we don’t know the reasons, how do we find that out? How do we pick up the phone and have that conversation? Even if it’s been six months, how do we figure out why they left? And once we have that data, and we also know just intuitively some of things we do that maybe make a client question our capabilities or our dedication or whatever it may be. When we start making that list and we start figuring out what systems and processes and checks and balances need to be in place to make sure that every month, our clients know we appreciate them, they know what we’ve done for them, they know the results and the value of what we’ve done, and they know how we are moving towards their goals with them. When we do that, they’re going to stick around a lot longer. And you all know that a client that sticks around for two years or three years or four years, that’s where the value is. It’s not in the first year. You’re ramping up that first year, but it is really in year two, three, and four where we can get additional value and profit out of a client by exceeding their expectations, by driving to their goals, and by helping them understand our role in their success. All right? I think that would be a great meeting to have with your team. And I think that’s a great summer project as we wind down summer, is how do we kick off a new retention program starting September 1? Okay? Talk to you soon.

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