Having gotten married in 2019, my husband and I asked our closest friends and family for advice for the years to come – what is the secret formula to a happy marriage?
The flurry of sentiments which came back had me reflect on the fact that a lot can be mirrored in the client/agency relationship. Many see it as an ‘us’ and ‘them’ scenario, but this shouldn’t be the case – and doesn’t need to be.
So, whether you’re client or agency side, here are some top tips from me to you. Like love and marriage, may this advice help your business relationships go together like a horse and carriage.
1. Be kind to one another
A good base for any relationship is to simply be kind to one another. This goes beyond making small talk, e.g. “how was your holiday/weekend/[insert time off here]”? I would hope this is general etiquette!
It means appreciating each other. This could be celebrating each other’s successes – a fantastic piece of coverage, a stellar social campaign, some great customer quotes – but also being understanding of the fact we’re all continuously learning and bettering ourselves. It might sound simple, but a bit of kindness can go a long way in the relationship between client and agency.
2. Work as a team
An interesting piece of advice we received was: don’t expect your partner to complete you. Relationships are all about give and take, you both need to bring something to the table in order to build respect and a solid support framework.
For business relationships, this means being able to rely on each other, and to work together towards a mutual goal. As they say, there’s no ‘I’ in team, and agencies should be seen as an extension of a client’s team. Only by working together can a business and an agency reach their goals.
3. Build a foundation of trust
A staple to a healthy relationship is being honest with each other. In business, people can shy away from this, scared to disagree for fear of potential outcomes.
But as in life, even the happiest of couples disagree from time to time. As an agency, you’re hired to consult, and with this comes the good, bad and ugly. Ultimately, if you’re honest and you obtain results, your relationship will become stronger and you will have built a foundation of trust. So, speak up and show your client your expertise.
4. Push each other’s boundaries
Many say that opposites attract, and often this is due to the fact that these couples push each other outside their own comfort zones. I for one jumped out of a plane for my other half – something I would never have done if it weren’t for him (don’t worry, I wasn’t pushed).
This is similar when it comes to business – we should push each other to go further, do better, and try something new. Be it big campaigns, different ways of working, new business initiatives and goals. It goes both ways: clients should challenge their agency to be creative, and similarly the agency should push clients to take risks.
5. Have fun together
It goes without saying, but a key ingredient to a healthy relationship is having fun together. If there’s no enjoyment from a relationship, is that a relationship you want to have?
Business relationships don’t need to be dry and stuffy; clients and agencies can have fun together. Every walk of life offers new experiences and perspectives, and we should take advantage of that. Enjoy working together, build each other up, help each other learn and don’t let life get to you.
At LEWIS we pride ourselves on our positive client relationships. Find out more about our services here and get in touch to find out more about how we can work together.