Making a great impression with client: Advice from a client
Van Trung Nhat Tai-s3357779
In the context of Client Management Course, we have studied many academic theories about developing and managing the bond between clients and agencies. Most of our knowledge and experience, however, are based on the agency’s perspective. This article will therefore provide you with some useful tips to build a long term relationship with clients – from an actual client’s point of view.
About the Interviewee
Mr. Do Hoang Loc, marketing executive of ISC-UKEAS, has a rich experience from both client and agency side: as account executive of Grey Global Group, marketing executive of StudyLink International, and most recently, ISC-UKEAS. In his position he represents ISC-UKEAS to work with various agencies to see through marketing campaigns from brief to execution. As the man in charge, he has bags of advices to share: from the dress you wear to the way you response – every detail could contribute to your success – or failure.
Challenge your clients
According to Mr. Bui Ngoc Anh (12 December 2013), managing Director of AVC Eldeman, agencies need to discuss with clients about the given plan and ask them smart questions to understand the problem better in order to determine the best approaches. Mr. Loc agreed with that. He added:
“I love to work with agencies that can both give advices and question my requirements: it clearly shows that they know what to do and capable of making creative and practical solutions to make my plan work – effectively”.
So the advice is: do not hesitate to challenge your clients with good questions about their plan to show off your creativity. Asking right questions also helps the client and agency to think and look at the success the same way (Gold 2012). However, there is a double edge: be sure to only ask relevant questions based on in-depth industry knowledge, decision criteria and the challenges to adopting new ideas (Wunker 2012).
Only provide correct information
“I once had got in a big trouble with my boss because one of the account executive gave me the wrong price for their newspaper advertisement. Since it was cheaper than market price, I decided to adjust many parts of my plan to fit the new price, which is actually one year outdated. My boss was very angry – it took me great amount of time and effort to fix the problem. Subsequently, I decided to end my 2-year relationship with that agency.” shared by Mr. Loc.
Giving wrong information will lead to serious damages to our agencies’ images and destroys long term relationships with clients. If you do not want to lose your customers, make sure to double check the information before giving them.
Response quickly with concise answers
According to Mr. Loc, the way account executive reply to his phone call or email is also very important in helping him evaluate the quality of the agency.
“I need account executives to reply quickly all of my phone calls and emails with concise answers when I contact them to check on the process of work or confirm delivery date. If they cannot answer me after 20 minutes, they must provide the reason for the delay. The actual reason is of secondary importance to the attitude displayed: I just want to know that the agency work professionally and respect clients”.
Be careful with what you wear
“Account executives that dress formally and professionally in pitch meetings will establish themselves as responsible and earnest people. It is necessary to avoid clothes that make you look ‘childish’ because client may assume that you are a novice, making it hard to earn respect from them.” said Mr. Loc.
Successfully dressing for client meetings will increase the chance of being chosen, emphasize your respect to clients and your professional manner (Business Dressing n.d). Studies have also proved that the way you dress can influence the behavior and attitude of others toward you (Martin 2012). Mind yourself to make concious fashion choices on when meeting client – you are the face of your agency.
“Surely the process of working with clients is very complex, still you must not overlook even the most trivial thing – clients can base on that to evaluate your agency’s performance. Noticing details in client interactions will create value in the clients’ eyes and enhance our agencies’ images.” Mr. Loc concluded
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Anh, BN 2013, presentation, 12 December.
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