Drew McLellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute, offers a weekly agency management tip to agency owners.

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Hey! Drew here. Today, I am in noisy Chicago. You may hear some background noises, sirens go by. But I wanted to take a quick minute and tell you about a conversation that I had recently with a bunch of account executives. So I just finished wrapping up a two-day workshop teaching our AE bootcamp, and one of the conversations that I had with those AEs is the importance of face time with clients. Today with technology, it’s so easy just to bang out another email or, you know, leave a voicemail. But there is no substitute for actually spending time with our clients. That face time is incredibly valuable for several reasons. Number one, it bonds the relationship in a different and deeper way. There’s something about that eye to eye contact that you can’t have even by video. There’s something about physically being in each other’s presence. But the other thing is when you’re AEs are on site with your clients, they’re meeting other people in the organization. They’re overhearing conversations. Hopefully they’re doing a little job shadowing, maybe visiting the plant floor, sitting in on some meetings. So they get insight into the business, and they also spot and they learn how to spot opportunities for growth. So every agency should have a plan for every client, in terms of face time. And by the way, this is not something you charge your clients for. This is an investment that you make as an agency in getting to know their business and understanding them better. I promise you, while you’re not getting paid for your time, that investment will pay off. Your AEs will come back with a better relationship with their client, a deeper trust, and more projects and opportunities because they will have seen things that you can’t see through an email or a video chat. So whether your clients are worthy of a once a month on-site visit, whether your clients are worthy of once a quarter, maybe it’s only once a year. That’s determined based on budget and opportunity. But every client that is worthy of being on your roster is worthy of some face time. So get together with your account service team and figure out which clients should get what kind of visit and how often, and start setting those up. Your clients are going to love it. They’re going to appreciate the fact that you’re willing to do this, that you’re not charging for them for the time. And I promise you the ROI in this is incredible. So make sure you’re AEs get out from behind their desk, and hang out with your clients. I’ll talk to you soon.

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