Are you clients micromanaging your AEs? Are you getting a sense of discontent or worry from your clients?

There’s a simple reason why…and a simple fix.

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– Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute, this week coming to you from New York City. It’s actually a little after midnight and I just got in from a long walk. One of the things I love about this city is that there’s an energy about it, 24/7. But I also was sort of watching the people and I was overhearing some conversations. And one of the reasons why people are out walking this late at night is because they’re worried about something. They’ve got something on their mind. That made me start thinking about our clients and how oftentimes we’re getting emails from them or pings from them at 10:00 at night or 4:00 in the morning. It’s because they’re up worried. And I think we have an obligation to help them manage that worry. Here’s the deal. If we don’t do our job, they lose their job. That’s how integral we are to their success. And so it’s not just about hitting the KPIs or accomplishing some goals for the business. It really is about their family and their livelihood and their career. That’s what they’re counting on us for: to hit the deadlines, to get it right, to hear the nuance when we have conversations so that we can help them accomplish their goals, but also grow in their career, whether that’s with a promotion or a raise, or at the very least, not losing their job. Because we know CMO jobs turn all the time. So, one of the easiest tools that you can use to help a client sort of calm their worry is a weekly status report, which you’re probably saying, “Drew, we already do it. We have a weekly status call, blah, blah, blah.” Hang on. So, every Thursday afternoon, right after lunch, I want your AEs to have a prepared document, whether it’s an Excel spreadsheet, a Google sheet, something simple, down and dirty, that’s easy to update, and it just lists all the projects, the next step of the project, when that next step is due, and who’s responsible for it, and then it’s got some notes on the side. Maybe it’s got your final deadline as well. And every Thursday at 1:00 or 1:30, your AE sends it to the client, that just says, “Hey, here’s the weekly status. I’ve turned anything that’s due this week, meaning by the end of the day tomorrow, green to give you a heads up, and anything that’s past due is red.” So, this tool does several things. Number one, it relieves your client that they’re not going to know where a project is, when somebody knocks on their door and says, “Hey, where are we at with the website or the this or the that?” They’re going to be able to pull up that status report and tell the person that they know exactly where the project is, and it’s on time and on track and all those things. Two, it’s a very subtle nag. Because a lot of times, the reason why your projects are past due is because you’re waiting on something from the client. So when they see their name in red, again, it’s subtle but it’s clear, “We’re waiting on you for this stuff, and this is now delayed. We’re past due because of this.” So, it’s a great nudge for them. And by sending it on Thursday afternoons, they have a day and a half to still get it done before the weekend. So, it’s a great way to sort of urge them along towards the tail end of the week. It’s also a great tool for your AEs to use with your internal teams to make sure everything’s on track and that nothing has fallen through the cracks. Now, I know you probably have a project management system and I know it’s super sophisticated and I know it can spit out reports. But the beautiful thing about this is that it’s a live document that constantly is being updated. And the best part of it is, is when you give this to a client on a consistent basis, all that micromanaging and all that worrying goes away. So, it’s down and dirty, it’s super simple, but I want you to give it a try. Super simple status report every Thursday, right after lunch. See what happens. All right? I’ll be back next week. See you then.

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