One benefit from 20+ years of operation is the amount of historical information allows you to see clear patterns.
Along this line, I went through the exercise of scrutinizing what causes a client relationship to end.
Obviously, some variables are out of our control.
In this era of consolidations, a merger or acquisition typically causes one of the agencies ends up without a chair.
The hiring of a new head of communications or CMO can also mean changes afoot for everyone, including the PR agency.
With that said, there are many variables within our control.
After evaluating such variables, a pattern emerged that I didn’t expect.
By far, the No. 1 reason that a client relationship derails comes down to a disconnect between our expectations and what the client delivers.
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “What the heck is he talking about?”
You’re the communications consultancy.
It’s your job to deliver a service that aligns with the client’s expectations.
Do your job and you’ll have a happy client.
But it turns out our ability to meet – or better yet, exceed – the client’s expectations has a direct correlation to the client’s beliefs, values and management style.
That’s the genesis for the SlideShare deck, “How Clients Get the Most out of Us.”
This isn’t about right or wrong.
There are many successful client/agency relationships that depend on a far different set of characteristics.
Instead, it’s about fit.
By being more transparent in how we work and what we expect from clients, we increase the likelihood of lasting and healthy relationships.
No doubt, some will view this deck as a bad idea because it reduces the size of our prospect pool.
I think just the opposite.
If a prospect reviews the deck and decides not to contact us, that’s proof that the system works.