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Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

A tale of two clients

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a lesson on being a better client.

Compare two six-month-old clients of mine, both service companies under $10 million needing branding help.

Client A has three partners, all open to coaching. They understand their long-term objectives, listen to professional advice, participate in weekly strategy sessions and are united in driving toward their success.

Client B has three partners, two open to coaching. They can’t agree on long-term objectives, barely listen to professional advice, must be dragged to infrequent strategy sessions and are anything but united.

As a marketing professional, I guide organizations to better communications results. I help owners crystallize goals and visions, determine resources and tactics, analyze results and adjust strategies as markets and objectives shift. 

But the owner(s) must set the tone for corporate objectives. As I’m not privy to every detail and prefer avoiding internal politics, I request ongoing guidance.

Client A’s participation at weekly meetings inspires unending dialogue, sparks voluminous creative ideas and encourages unique solutions and profitable results.

Client B throws their marketing over the fence, hoping things will work out. Efforts at communicating and strategizing deliver universal frustration, internal bickering and few accomplishments.

Both clients pay their bills promptly, but Client A gets way more than their money’s worth. We’re jointly building a business I look forward to being associated with for years to come. 

Client B refuses to take advantage of resources offered and discourages creative thinking.  

I fired Client B from my roster yesterday. While we’ll stay in touch, I can’t help someone unwilling to recognize the value of good marketing.

Every consulting professional encounters similar clients. Those like Client A encourage good results and loyalty. Those like Client B see service providers as vendors, rather than partners, and bounce from one firm to another.

Whenever you’re hiring any type of consultant, do everyone a favor by understanding your goals and being an active participant. This is, after all, your business they’re trying to help. 

Failing to keep your eye on the same ball virtually guarantees wasting resources and dooming the relationship to failure.

Oh, and my agency’s roster now has a rare opening. If you know your communications/branding objectives and are serious about growing your business, let’s talk.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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