Don't become the client from hell.
Over more than two decades involved in some form of client service – first as a corporate marketing staffer and later as the leader of my own brand strategy firm – telling stories of clients from hell has become one of my not-so-secret guilty pleasures. While I enjoy adult beverage-fueled fireside chats detailing unreasonable requests like “Can you make this PowerPoint slide just 10% sexier?” and “Can you please find an ethnically ambiguous moderator for these focus groups?”, I can honestly say that most of the people I work with on a day-to-day basis are model clients. I’ve learned that the most profitable and trusting relationships I have with clients have a couple things in common. I’ve documented these things (conveniently, there are 10 of them) and put them into the short list below.
Ten tips for being a beloved agency client:
- Be concerned with impact – not your own greatness
- Be a generous partner – make quick and thoughtful decisions, be clear about your expectations, respect the entire team
- Give and RECEIVE feedback
- Say “thank you” now and then
- Connect and collaborate with your agency team – we’re not just order takers
- Involve us in your business, not just your marketing
- Step outside your comfort zone
- Be available
- Don’t delegate important decisions to the agency
- Have a great sense of humor
Yes, of course, if you’re a current agency client, it’s likely you follow these rules. And I promise not to tell anyone which one of you asked us to create a logo that looks “modern vintage.”