Login or Join

 Login or Join

The Hosts

Chip Griffin is the founder of the Small Agency Growth Alliance (SAGA) where he helps PR & marketing agencies grow and thrive. He brings more than two decades of experience as an agency executive and entrepreneur. He shares the wisdom of his success and lessons of his failures. Follow him on Twitter at @ChipGriffin.

 

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, the lead blogger at Spin Sucks, and the host of Spin Sucks the podcast. She also is co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Follow her on Twitter at @GiniDietrich.

Recent Episodes

Getting the client’s perspective on agency relationships

In this episode, Gini Dietrich shares some of her experience embedded with a client to help agencies understand the other side of the agency-client equation.

Many agency leaders haven’t been on the client side, so it is useful to have some perspective about how they perceive some of the things that we think of as standard operating procedure or best practices.

Not surprisingly, some of the things that frustrate agency owners may be different from how the client looks at the same things.

Listen in for some insight to consider, as well as some tips on how to handle specific situations.

The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.

Chip Griffin  

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I’m Chip Griffin,

Gini Dietrich  

and I’m Gini Dietrich,

Chip Griffin  

and today we’re gonna learn from Gini’s experiences. Right after this that was my opening.

Gini Dietrich  

That was pretty bad. I’m not gonna lie. That was yeah,

Chip Griffin  

I just it was one of those ones where I just couldn’t think for something clever.

Gini Dietrich  

I mean, to be fair, you do come up with them about 30 seconds in advance. So maybe No, no,

Chip Griffin  

I come up with them. Literally, as I’m speaking I give it I give it not a moment’s thought. Until the words are coming out of my mouth. And yeah, very good. Today, nothing. Nothing was there it

Gini Dietrich  

was. Oh, my goodness, the out. I was

Chip Griffin  

gonna say you, you look, you look sort of like you’re in some weird nightclub or?

Gini Dietrich  

Yeah, well, yes, I have to change that label. didn’t even realize it until just

Chip Griffin  

this moment. reddish hue.

Gini Dietrich  

Yeah, I’ve got my, my fancy lights on the wall, but they don’t like from above.

Chip Griffin  

But that’s okay. My way out right here either. So

Gini Dietrich  

yeah, I was actually surprised that you could get the intro going with your janky setup there.

Chip Griffin  

Yeah, this is this is not how I prefer to record. But hey, it’s working, at least for the moment. Not gonna

Gini Dietrich  

Yeah, let me we should get through this. So before it decides to die on us.

Chip Griffin  

Yeah. So alright. So what we’re actually talking about today is that, you know, for the last, I don’t know, recently, you have been in a role where you have been working on the client side as an agency, right. So you’ve seen from the clients perspective, things that agencies are doing. In the past, I’ve been on the client side of agency relationships, as well. And so I thought it’d be interesting to talk to you about your recent experiences, and what you see agencies doing right what you see them doing wrong, because we spend a lot of our time talking about things, looking at it through the agency’s lens. But sometimes it’s helpful to see what our clients are seeing, and you’ve had that opportunity of light.

Gini Dietrich  

Yes, I have. And it has been eye opening. In fact, I was talking to the CEO of the company, just a couple of days ago. And he said, What are you enjoying most about this this arrangement that we have? And I said, you know, for me, I’ve worked on the agency side my entire career, I’ve never had experience to go inside a corporation. And the fact that I’m able to do that while still running my agency, but be inside and be, you know, I’m not an employee, but I’m effectively acting as, as the lead of a of the marketing department. To have that experience has been groundbreaking, like, I’ve never had the experience, I wouldn’t know, I definitely wouldn’t necessarily have it, because I do have a business and employees and payroll and all that. But it has been groundbreaking. And I hope it’s been eye opening, like the things that we do as agency owners that we think are clear and understandable. It’s not necessarily the case at all. It’s sort of the curse of knowledge kind of thing. But almost at a higher level. And we can talk about some of the specifics. But is it’s been eye opening for sure.

Chip Griffin  

I definitely want to get into the specifics. I think one of the key things that I always try to emphasize to my clients, because I have been on both sides, is the importance of thinking about it as a relationship. And, you know, it’s tough, because a lot of what you and I are doing when we’re working with agencies is helping them to improve their own business. Right? How do you get better margins? How do you close more sales. And so you start thinking about it with a very biased perspective. But you have to understand that there’s got to be some give and take here and you know, the client has certain needs, they may not match what we think their needs are, what we’d like there needs to be or how we can best profit or any of those kinds of things. But the more we understand that the better off we are so so I’m curious, you know, what are some of the things that you’ve observed specifically, that, you know, would be good for agency owners to be thinking about, and understanding differently?

Gini Dietrich  

Um, there’s so there’s a couple of things. Number one is that when a client or a prospect asks you for something by a specific date, do it deliver it, and don’t do the whole like, we need to have a conversation or can we schedule a call? If they’re if it’s very specific and it’s clear cut? And it’s like a quick answer, or something that you can deliver quickly do it because in many times they’re working against something internally that they have to deliver upon and without the information that they that you have that you can help them get there. It’s it’s not helpful. And I’ll give you a great example. We’re working on a project and I had a meeting on Tuesday, where I had to be able to say, it will take X number of weeks, and it will cost in the ballpark of why. And so I went to one of the agency partners that they use. And I said, listen, here’s what I need. This is the these are some examples of what we’re thinking about. I don’t need you to do any work on it, I don’t need a proposal, I just need to know how long something like this normally takes in your experience. And what you think the ballpark estimate will be. If I can have that by noon on Tuesday, I can go into this meeting, present that information and get the budget approved. This is five days later that we’re recording this, I still don’t have it. They have however, asked me for 30 minutes of my time on the calendar to go through it with me. I don’t need 30 minute a 30 minute conversation, I need to know how much you think it might cost ballpark? And how much it will take how long it will take. I still don’t have that information. Right. incredibly frustrating.

Chip Griffin  

Yeah, it’s similar to experiences that I’ve had when I was on the client side as well. And I think, you know, part of it is because you know, folks are drilled in on the agency side to having a process and making sure you understand the request. Absolutely. And trying to figure out, you know, how do you and I think I think one of the real things that drives a lot of this in a bad way, particularly comes to estimates is this whole value pricing thing, which you know, regular listeners know, I hate this whole value pricing thing, because it’s people totally misinterpret and misconstrue what value pricing is. And so they waste a lot of time and a lot of effort in trying to figure out well, what is this actually going to do for the client? I want to price this based on how much money they’re going to make off of it? No, no. Like, if you don’t have an immediate sense of it, don’t sit there and try to ask them these questions like, well, how much of a difference to the bottom line? Will it make you if we do this website this way, or if we run this ad campaign? Forget about it, figure out what it’s going to take to do figure out what a fair price is understanding the client and how they value things generally come up with a price. Just do it. It doesn’t take that much. Now, if you don’t have the information you need, by all means, ask those questions. Correct. Right. So if you have asked the agency for something, and they’re unclear about it, then they should ask those specific questions. Or what I’ve often done in the past on the agency side is just give, here’s a ballpark, here are the caveats or the assumptions I’ve made right right now, right, assuming that what you’re talking about, it’s like this or that, and it doesn’t include this or that. And so therefore, the range would be this to this. Yeah, simple. It’s not that hard to do.

Gini Dietrich  

Right. And really, I even said to them, it doesn’t have to be exact, it doesn’t have to be accurate, it may end up that the project changes, you know, and we have to increase the price or whatever happens to be, I really just need to know how much time it typically takes you to do something like this, and how much it typically costs just so that I can go into this meeting, like and say, we think it’ll take 16 weeks, and it’ll cost 70 grand. That’s all I need. Right? I can’t even get that.

Chip Griffin  

Exactly. And to be clear, at least from my perspective, I’m talking about existing clients, right? If it’s Yeah, I think generally worth more of a conversation, although even then, as we’ve talked about previously, on the show, I think it’s there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give some general ballparks like our projects typically start at 5050

Gini Dietrich  

have a minimum minimum mob, right? We

Chip Griffin  

require engagement slash like this are these are the kinds of things we do or you’ll give them something. Mm hmm. Right? I mean, if I go to a car dealership, and there are no prices posted, and I say, you know, tell me, what does this car cost? Well, you know, you tell me what you’re looking for in a car first. And, you know, tell me what cars you’ve had before and how you felt about them? And what you know, what, what were those feelings? What were the emotions you had when you got behind it? Who cares? Just telling me what these cars cost?

Gini Dietrich  

Yeah. Yeah, the other thing I’ve, I’ve noticed, and this is this is a big one for me personally, is that the things that I do inside my agency around the pace or model work, because I make the decisions, I’ve created the structure. And for the most part, clients hire us to implement the pizza model inside their organizations. What I’ve discovered, though, is that when you take that and you go into internal and you tried to implement implement the PESO model internally, you have to do it cross functionally, right? So you’re working with marketing, you’re working with sellers, you’re working with customer success, and they don’t always really like to change things. So you have to figure out how to take your your model or your process and implemented in a way that works for the client. And that changes client by client by client by client, some people some clients have it so that it’s, you know, working cross functionally works really, really well and every all of their systems and tech stack and everything is set up appropriately, but most of them don’t. So that’s been a big key learning for me is that While the idea of the PESO model works, and it certainly works in my business, and it has worked in instances with clients that we’ve been responsible for one or two things, it’s more challenging when you take it internally, and you have to work cross functionally as the quote unquote leader of the origin of the of the team to be able to do that. So you can take you have to sort of, I mean, there’s tons of compromise, there’s tons of sacrifices there meetings that I sit in, and I’m like, is this a battle I need to fight? Nope, it’s not okay. So you know, be that kind of stuff, where you wouldn’t necessarily have that experience as an agency, doing the work, executing the work, this is a different experience. And it’s been good from that perspective, too. Because I’ve been able to say, Okay, we should tweak this, this and this on the pace of model process in general. But, so that has been really good, too. I mean, you know, there are some agencies who will put employees inside organizations for certain amount of time, you know, to do the work day to day, I think if you can do that, first of all, you’re going to be considered a better partner, just because they’re, you’re there every day. And you’re also going to learn so much more about the business that where you’ll be able to go deeper and further inside the organization.

Chip Griffin  

Yeah, I mean, embedding your agency employees within the client is a, it’s a tremendous value to the overall outcome for the agency, as well as for the outcome of the project. In most cases, obviously, that’s not something that comes about on projects until they reach a certain scale, because they can’t afford to stick someone internally, if it’s, you know, a $2,000 a month project. That would just be nonsensical. But if you’re the kind of agency this is working on the kinds of engagements where you do have team members who are dedicated full time to a project, think about if there’s a way to embed them, you know, you don’t want to have them 100% embedded, and I think this is a mistake that some folks make, because you still want to have them in your environment. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, both so that they don’t forget where they have their checks. Staying Yeah. Right. You know, but also so that the client doesn’t forget that this is not our employee, because there there does need to still be some degree of a line there. Because otherwise, the, if it gets blurred too much, it can create problems for the individual and problems for the relationship, and, and all those kinds of things. But if you can have them there, 60 80% of the time, I think that’s fantastic. And I think that the broader point that you’ve made here is that you need to understand the internal dynamics of your client. And and not just, you know, who do you report to? Who’s the decision maker? But where do they fit within the overall organization? And what are the pressures that they’re feeling? Whether it’s on how to implement implement the PESO model, or anything else? Right? When when someone reaches out to you and says, Hey, I need this budget for this time, or, you know, the more you understand about how they’re working internally, the more you understand, probably that’s because the CFO called them into a meeting and said, I need to know this. And I need to know it now. And CFOs are infamous for this, by the way, they like to ask really detailed questions with almost no notice. It’s one of my favorite things working inside larger organizations. And so you can just pull it all together and have a solid answer. And you’re like, okay, like a few days notice at least would be really nice. So I can pull us together intelligently.

Gini Dietrich  

So it’s funny you say that, because one of the things I did about a month ago is I said to the CEOs, Assistant, can you send me a date of all the board meetings? Because what happens is the day of the board meeting, yeah, not not the day before the morning of the board meeting, you’ll get these panic messages going, I need this, I need this. And you’re just like, you knew this was coming. So I had her send me a list. And I have set up a process a process, project manager that that will say, okay, the board meetings in two weeks, we know you’re going to need this, this, this and this, what else do you need, and we prepare everything ahead of time, I still get panic messages, because they haven’t looked at it. And they need to understand some of the data, but it’s better than creating it on the go on the fly, which is what has happened.

Chip Griffin  

Right? And as an agency, you ought to know those things about your client, you know, if they’re, you know, if they’ve got a board, when does their board meet, if they’ve got if they’re a public company, when are their earnings releases or those kinds of things? And obviously, if you’re on the investor relations side, you’ll you’ll know that but you know, if you’re on the digital marketing side, maybe you don’t know that right? Top your head, right? Find it out, find out right, because because these folks are going to be feeling pressure related to those things know when their quarters are closing, if you’re doing marketing, lead generation type things because that’s going to matter to their sales team, which means they’re going to then start pushing on the marketing department all that so the more you understand about these internal pressures that they have, the better off you’ll be and the more that you can build relationships beyond your immediate client team, the better. I mean, if you get a chance to build a relationship with the CFO or someone in the finance department, that’s going to tell you, that is absolute gold, it can help you ease any payment issues that may come up down the road, it will often mean that if you’ve built a friendly relationship, they’re not going to be looking down the list of vendors and say, Oh, yes, folks need to go. Yeah. Right. Because because now you’re human to them. You’re not just because I’ll tell you a CFOs. Look at the list of vendors and how much they get paid. And agencies are often pretty high up on that list. Yes, they are, particularly because a lot of things may be funneled through an agency. And so if you’re showing up in the top 10 vendors for you know, a business unit, you know, you’re going to be on the chopping block when they’re looking for ways to save money, and CFOs are always looking for ways to save money.

Gini Dietrich  

Yeah. And it’s even worse in downturn economies, because they will that they look at the big big buckets, and they’re like, Oh, yep, go, you can go you can go blue, blue, blue. And it’s really easy to remove the agency,

Chip Griffin  

right, and not just downturn, but even periods like now where it’s just uncertain, right, because CFOs right now are big on not making long term commitments. So most CFOs, I know, are trying to get flexibility into contracts and things like that. And so, you know, you want to be aware of those things. And if you’re building some of those relationships, you may be able to, you know, at least mitigate the effects of those drives that take place internally, because you know, how they work and you’ve built those relationships.

Gini Dietrich  

The other relationship, I think, is really important for agency owners to have is with the general counsel, and this may be more on the communicator, communicator side. But, you know, having that relationship helps in those instances as well, because GC will say, No, you can’t let them go, because I can’t do my job without them. And the general counsel usually has pretty big sway. So, you know, there are lots of communicators who get frustrated by attorneys, because, you know, they don’t want you to say anything, and you know, but in my experience, when you have a really great, great relationship with them, you can negotiate some of that stuff, to be able to say, Okay, listen, like, your job is to protect us in a court of law. But my job is to protect us in the court court of public opinion. And we need to find some common ground here. So I would say that’s the other relationship. That’s really important.

Chip Griffin  

Yeah. And this is this is not a show about the relationships with legal departments. But I will tell you, that I think that that lawyers get a really bad rap. And I, you know, I think that a lot of times the advice they give is actually good. Yeah. Because they’re looking at it from a different perspective. And sometimes the legal exposure is much a much bigger long term problem than getting a bad story written today, or having people say nasty things about you on Twitter. Right. And so they need to be thinking about that. And and it’s their responsibility to make sure that to make the company look good today, you didn’t cost them a billion dollars down the road, right? Yeah, don’t ya don’t cater,

Gini Dietrich  

we can have a whole discussion about that. But I totally

Chip Griffin  

agree. Yeah. Okay. So what are some of the other things that you’ve observed from the client side that agencies should be thinking about?

Gini Dietrich  

So one thing that I have had really great experience with is before the VP of Marketing resigned, she had done an agency search for Search Engine Marketing. And then we had to put it on pause, because she resigned, and we were trying to, you know, like, get our arms around things. And the lead the marketing leadership team is one internal person and to external. So, you know, we’re trying just trying to manage all that, and there isn’t anybody internally you has that expertise, to be able to continue that search. And so we put that we paused it. And we thought that we were pausing it until the first of November, and I communicated that to the agencies. And they were, you know, they were prayed about it. But now, you know, we’re looking at December, and we still haven’t unposted. And so I’ve had to communicate. And I because I’m an agency owner, and I know how important the communication is, I haven’t just gone silent, I’ve been communicating it. And I’ve been saying like, listen Is it has nothing to do with you. And it’s not that we’re not doing we’re not going to do this. It’s just that we don’t have anybody internally to finish this project out and, and have the expertise to hire somebody. But one of the agencies came back and I was so impressed by this. And he said, Listen, I totally get where you’re coming from totally understand, kind of a crappy time of year anyway, because we’re all busy. We’re all trying to sprint to the end of the year. 100% get it. We were looking through some things, and here are 10 things we think you can do immediately with the team that you have internally, to have a big bang for your buck. And then we can talk to you in January. And that was I mean, that immediately escalated them to the top of the list immediately. And it didn’t cost them anything. It didn’t give us give us ideas that we couldn’t implement on our own. It just provided that action extra little booth for me to go. You know what, when we do this, you’re going to the top of the list.

Chip Griffin  

Right? But should he they gave away something for free agency should never give away something for free.

Gini Dietrich  

I give away stuff for free all the time. Yes. I mean, it works. I was like 100% 100%

Chip Griffin  

me luck. If you are understanding of clients predicament if you are generous in, in sharing your expertise, it’s going to come back and benefit you. And and frankly, if you don’t get that business because that one email solved all their problems, it probably wasn’t a worthwhile engagement. Right? Yeah, you’re right. If that if that is the end of the value that you provide. You have a problem. You do not have a business model? Yes. Yeah.

Gini Dietrich  

Yeah. And it wasn’t anything. earth shattering. Like if I stopped that, if I had stopped to think about it, it would have been, but that’s not my, I just don’t have the time, or the focus to do it. But I was like, Oh, this I can take and I can hand to the team, internally who can focus on this? And let them handle it? And they they are and everybody feels really good about it. So yeah, I mean, from that perspective, I mean, heck, I give away ideas all the time on the blog, and here and a podcast, you know. So like, it is what it is,

Chip Griffin  

right? So what about the the ways that agencies communicate with clients? So reporting meetings, those kinds of things, any any observations? From what you’ve seen on the client side of that?

Gini Dietrich  

It’s been kind of fascinating to be honest, because unless we ask for them, actually, we’ve had to ask for consistent communication across the board from every agency, not one of them has said, Okay, this is our process, we do weekly meetings, or bi weekly meetings, here’s what we’re not one of them, not a single one. And so we have had to say, can we have meetings at whatever time frame time intervals so that we can do this, this and this, we’ve had to do that across the

Chip Griffin  

board with all of them? Wow. That is scary. Agencies really need to do a good job on that. Because if you’re, if you’re not driving the communication cycle with your client, then you’re missing an opportunity to make sure that you’re getting the information you need to be effective, but also communicating to them what you’re actually doing,

Gini Dietrich  

and building a relationship. Well, if you’re not talking to them, again, it’s easy to fire you or let you go when you have to cut budgets,

Chip Griffin  

right. And that’s why it’s so important when you’re pricing to price in the communications time that you will spend, right, one of the reasons why some agencies don’t communicate effectively with their clients is because they see it as last time, right? Oh, well, we can’t we can’t build for that. We don’t We didn’t factor that in or so. No, you need to budget in the time that it takes to do the relationship building to do the communication of your results, to do reporting, whatever, all of those things need to be baked in. And it’s not just the time it takes you to create the website or write the ads or do the media relations, you need to include all of that other stuff, when you’re figuring out how to price and how to be profitable.

Gini Dietrich  

100% I mean, we call it account management, but your account management should be in everything that you do. Yep. And if it’s not included in that you’re not I mean, we bill for it. Absolutely. Because it’s included as part of our cost of doing business with us. Like that’s just, you’re paying for that.

Chip Griffin  

Right. So, so speaking of pricing, how about pricing and proposals? Thoughts on on what you’ve seen from the

Gini Dietrich  

you know, yes. Actually, I

Chip Griffin  

just had this conversation. It’s not a yes, no question.

Gini Dietrich  

There’s been something interesting that I have noticed on that end, and that is that, you know, we talk about you and I talk about this all the time, but we, as agency owners, we tend to undervalue ourselves. And I have been fascinated at the varying levels, like everybody will come back with the same proposal and ideas, but the varying levels. So, for instance, if we wanted to do 10, one minute videos, one agency charges 100 grand and another charges 20. And you’re like, what? What’s the difference? And so human nature you go, why is the $20,000 one so cheap? Do they not know what they’re doing? And so you question their expertise, because there’s so much cheaper and the $100,000 wine you’re like, really? So you tend to go more in that middle range of like 50 to 70, you know, so it’s been fascinating from that perspective, because Now certainly we can’t all go out and price exactly the same and all that But you definitely have to increase your prices, because clients will look at that and say, That’s too cheap. Like, what? Why? Why are you so cheap? And then they think you’re not, you’re not effective? Because you’re so cheap.

Chip Griffin  

Right? Well, and I mean, it sounds to me like that also speaks to that they weren’t very clear about, you know, what you were, I mean, other than that, you are getting a video, you know, what made it different, right? Because there are things beyond just pricing, definitely, that can make you did any similar, right? If Yeah, if you if you do animation, if you’re assuming that we’re, we’re doing some, you know, on site shooting with actors versus just, we’re using some stock footage, I mean, I, you know, in a past life, I commissioned a lot of video production type stuff, and you had to be really clear about what you were looking for. And it because it made a wild difference in the price, and different agencies may make different assumptions, you should communicate those assumptions in the proposals that you’re putting together so that folks don’t have to guess. But this is also the area where you know, value pricing can come back and bite you. Because if you are in that kind of a competitive arena, and you’re value pricing it at $100,000, because you say hey, I know these videos are really going to make a big difference. So even though they’re only gonna take me 10 hours to do, I’m gonna, I’m gonna price them for what I think they’re going to, you know, actually make off of them. And that’s where, you know, it can become very disproportionate. So you do have to be mindful of those kinds of things and how they’ll be perceived on the client and when compared to others in the market. So you know, it both extremes, there are issues to consider here.

Gini Dietrich  

And then the last thing I will add to that is, there’s one relationship that was already existing with this client. And so they’re already an agency that the client uses. And it doesn’t, it literally does not matter what we asked for, it costs $10,000. If it’s a 30 minute conversation, it’s 10 grand, if it’s to execute for a month, it’s 10 grand, and I’m always like, No, I’m not paying $10,000 for a 30 minute conversation like, No, right? When it does not matter, that is always the answer. $10,000 And you’re just like, Okay, I’m gonna go find someone else, then cuz I’m not paying 10 grand for

Chip Griffin  

that. Right? Well, and the corollary to that, that I’ve seen when I was on the client side is is, you know, don’t appear to be nickel and diming your client, right? So, you know, yes, if you’re asked to do something, that that’s out of scope, you need to address it. But don’t get to the point where your invoices start, you know, looking like, you know, a lawyer’s billing sheet, because you wanted to make sure that you didn’t miss out on any piece of revenue that you could get, right. I mean, this and I’ve told the story many times of the, you know, when I was on the client side years ago, and agencies used to charge for faxes and things like that, how annoying and frustrating that was, but you know, there are there are agencies that I’ve worked with, who have said, you know, well, you know, we will do this 30 minute call with you, but we’re going to have to charge you for it, even though it’s not a per hour kind of thing. And I’d be like, you know, we’re already paying you 10 grand a month, can’t you just give me a 30 minute call to talk about this and figure out if there’s something we can do. I mean,

Gini Dietrich  

it’s just get you more money in the long run.

Chip Griffin  

So yeah, I mean, certainly not doing this is going to get you less, right. And so you also need to think about how you how you frame your project, so that you’re not being Pennywise pound foolish. And you’re not doing things where you’re containing the scope, but in such a way that you’re foreclosing future opportunities, because they feel like you’re, you’re, they’re so hemmed in, that they don’t even want to bother talking to you about something else, because they’re afraid of how much it’s going to cost. So be really mindful of everything that you’re doing, how it’s going to be perceived on the client side, that sort of, that’s how I would sum up this, but do you have final words of wisdom that that you’d like to share from your, your client perspective?

Gini Dietrich  

Yeah, I would say and I this is what I’m telling my team internally here is that if the client asks for something, and it’s going to take five hours or longer than and it’s not inside the scope, then we should have a conversation. And that should come to me first, and then we can decide how to handle it. If it’s something that they’re asking on email or on Slack. And it’s an easy answer. It’s outside of scope. Let’s just answer them. It’s not that big of a deal. Because it goes a lot, lot, lot, lot lot further. When you do that when you and we all talk about, we want to be seen as partners, not as vendors and we want to have relationships, well, the very best way you can do that. If that’s what you really want is to actually act like you are a partner, and that you’re willing to help them. And even if it takes 30 minutes out of your day, do it because it’s going to help in the long term. Because they’re always gonna remember that you were like, well, it’ll cost 10 grand and you’re like, Okay,

Chip Griffin  

I’m not even gonna bother to ask right now. Yeah, you’ve conditioned and aligned the good way. Yeah. But I love what you’re doing on the agency side to respond to that, which is being really clear about expectations with your team. And so they understand where those lines are. Because that, you know, a lot of these problems can stem from the fact that you put pressure on your team not to allow for scope creep, right? And they, they need to know what does that mean, because if they clamp down too hard, then they’re causing problems, too. And so just sort of like, you know, the, you know, high end hotels, like the Ritz Carlton have certain dollar values that every employee can up to that amount, they can fix problems, without having to go ask anybody else you want to know, you know, how much is within their discretion? And that’s something that I learned early on in my days of owning custom scoop. And so everybody understood, you know, what the parameters were, you know, how much how much could you refund a client? Or how much could you wave, you know, from one month to the next, if they wanted to cancel earlier, if they wanted to start, you know, on the 28th instead of the first you know, all that kind of stuff. They all knew what the parameters were and certainly there were things they had to come to me or someone else arrangement team about, but but a lot of it was within their control because it was already defined.

Gini Dietrich  

Love that. That’s a great analogy. That’s a great way to end.

Chip Griffin  

Indeed. So that will bring this episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast to a close. I’m Chip Griffin, 

Gini Dietrich  

and I’m Gini Dietrich, 

Chip Griffin  

And it depends.

Subscribe by Email

Get the latest Agency Leadership Podcast episodes delivered straight to your inbox!

MORE OPTIONS:   Apple Podcasts    |    Google Podcasts    |    Stitcher    |    Spotify    |    RSS

Like this episode? Share it!