How to pick your battles

June 18, 2015

Have you ever experienced a time when you and your client butt heads over creative or strategic direction? What about the time when you wanted to tell your client they should do X, but you know they will do Y just because they have always done Y? Tough to bite your tongue, isn't it?

There exists a fascinating dichotomy in the agency/client relationship. Your client enlists your agency's services because you are the "professionals". You conduct the research and analytics, know the mind of the customer, and know the tricks of effective marketing and promotion. BUT...your client knows their business better than you do, and your client is paying you to achieve their objectives - not yours. So what do you do when you and your client have a difference of opinion and are at an impasse?

What most clients don't want are "yes men". They want you to have an informed opinion. They want to feel like you have confidence and that you know what you are doing for their greater good. To that end you need to be assertive in your client dealings.

Along with being assertive, a key account management skill is knowing when to ease off the throttle, capitulate or even keep silent. There will be some "battles" that are worth fighting for - such as those where you know a course of action will fail if you don't correct it. There will be some "battles" you will have to concede - even if you know the decision is wrong.

One thing to consider is that your client's idea may well be better than yours. They know their business inside and out; and they know the marketing tactics have worked well in the past, and which ones have not. An opposing opinion can still be highly valid and should be considered - even if that means you have to change your strategy or creative. Sometimes we need to lower our agency-ego to embrace new options - the client may not always be right, but they're not always wrong either!

The client may not always be right, but they're not always wrong either! – Sarah Ritchie

“Share

As we know, it's really our clients who pay our wages. Therefore you'll need to balance nailing the brief, hitting targets and ROI, and producing kick-as creative, with ensuring your client feels listened to and valued. As Kenny Rogers sang, "you gotta know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em". It's worth singing that to yourself next time you go head-to-head at the meeting table!

.





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Latest Tips & Tricks

How to turn random ideas into reality

February 17, 2019

Ideas are the core of every agency. They are what will differentiate you from your competitors; they are what will impress your clients and earn your agency money, and they are what will win awards. Most ideas will be generated to match a client's brief, but what do you do when someone presents an idea that's random, and isn't on-brief?

View full article →

Working with event ticketing suppliers

February 06, 2019

If you are responsible for planning an event, you may decide to enlist the services of an external ticketing supplier, which is especially helpful if allocated seating is involved, or if you have a large number of expected attendees. However, not all ticketing suppliers are created equal.

View full article →

How to survive a last-minute deadline

January 20, 2019

Last-minute deadlines are something all account managers have to handle. The good news is that there are things you can do to ease the pain of the moment.

View full article →

Our gift to you!

SIGN UP TO THE AM-INSIGHT NEWSLETTER, AND YOU WILL RECEIVE 100% OFF THE PURCHASE PRICE OF ANY ONE MICROSOFT WORD OR EXCEL RESOURCE FROM THE AM-INSIDER WEBSITE. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW!