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Adding value to client/agency relationship

To add value to the typical client/agency relationship means more than taking an output based approach, with clients expecting consultants to achieve a defined and mutually agreed set of monthly deliverables.
Here is a way to exceed those expectations.

V – Vision - Immerse yourself in your client’s brand and share their vision for their business - this shows that you care and have their best interests at heart. It highlights your desire to work with them as a strategic partner and achieve their objectives not just because they are paying the bills.

A – Agility - Do not take a rigid approach in a fluid, fast changing digital world; it will not score you brownie points. You may have a strategic plan to follow but you also need to be quick to respond and adapt to your client’s requests. Know when to amend the plan - clients love responsiveness, especially when things go off course.

123RF
123RF

L – Leadership - A proactive versus a reactive approach provides a definite value-add. Strategic consultants drive projects, gather information, generate story angles and take the lead. It is not about being pushy but showing active and eager participation to keep the momentum going. Conversely, you can really wow a client by pushing back if you do not agree with their approach. By questioning what they ask for and ensuring it aligns with the overall business and marketing objectives, you show your professionalism and that you will not just follow instruction if it’s not in their best interests.

U – Understanding - It might be a cliché, but knowledge really is power. If you do not have a complete understanding of your client’s business and your own industry, how can you add value? Keeping on top of industry trends gives you an advantage and helps you advise clients from an authoritative, informed perspective.

Another big part of understanding is listening. Listening is a skill. As communicators we are often too quick to share insights and information - we need to hear what our clients say. They are the experts in their field and have the intellectual property which can make for great content.

E – Effort - Adding value is all about going the extra mile and looking for additional opportunities that could enhance your client’s business over and above your normal defined scope of work. Though over-servicing is a huge thorn in many agencies’ sides, I follow the philosophy that over-servicing is what will retain the business (within reason of course). It’s about having your finger on the pulse, actively sharing news and insights and identifying potentially great brand building opportunities.

In an extremely competitive environment with myriad companies competing for a piece of the pie, you have to continually add value if you want to retain your client’s business.

For more information, go to www.bespokecomms.co.za.

About Kerry Simpson

Kerry Simpson, PR Account Director, Bespoke Communications

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