Is Client Turnover Making You Uncomfortably Numb?
This episode comes from a conversation I had with an agency principal.
Overall, this principal said he was optimistic about the industry, but struggled with the lack of client loyalty, the RFP slog and potential clients constantly shopping.
Our 3 Takeaways provides you with some important food for thought if this sounds familiar.
I had an agency principal describe his current feelings toward the agency world recently, and on the whole, he still enjoys what he does, has a strong agency and is, for the most part, keeping up with new business.
But he’s staying about the same year over year, not really growing (the reason he was talking to us) and he described the other side of the coin in regards to the business, and I’m paraphrasing here, but he said:
“I’ve just become numb to the client turnover and the account losses. I genuinely still like the business, but the lack of client loyalty, the RFP slog and potential clients constantly shopping make it harder every year.”
Thankfully, business is good for him, so while the quote comes off as a little grim, this principal recognizes the daily struggles and is taking the appropriate steps, in terms of hiring, client diversification and supporting new business for the agency.
This principal isn’t alone-I’ve heard the same struggles from other firms regarding client turnover and I’m betting many of you watching this can relate as well. A positive though, from our 2019 New Year Outlook survey: 52% of Marketers told us their plans for marketing and advertising spend this year would increase “somewhat” or “significantly.”
With that positive comes a further reality though. Another stat from our report:
56% of agencies told us they believed obtaining new business will be somewhat, to a lot harder this year. So what does it all mean? Here are your three takeaways:
Your first: You have to be more open to conversations with potentially ideal clients, even if there is no immediate work in hand. Critical to this is “potentially ideal clients.” I’m not advocating you’re talking to anyone and everyone, but if they fit that ideal client profile, you should be talking to them if they’re showing willingness or interest.
Your second takeaway: You have to be more open to projects (again, with potentially ideal clients), even when not be at your ideal billing. Of course, you have to be discerning, this can be a dangerous path ongoing, again, not taking on anything and everything, but the recommendation here is simply to be more open where there looks to be a good chance to land and expand.
And you third takeaway-You must have a consistent new business program, however you get it done. So a lot to be positive about in this industry, but also a lot of reasons to be ever-vigilant.