Argh. You just finished a call with another unhappy client, trying to smooth things over.
You promised them free work to keep them happy, but that’s going to make the overall project unprofitable… and now you need to break the news to your team.
What’s going on here? The truth is, you’ve made a key agency management mistake. You’re putting clients first, at your agency’s expense.
When you make that choice, the outcomes are predictable—unprofitable work, low team morale, and stress levels through the roof. So how do you turn things around? The key is to shift your priorities.
I spent the first six years of my marketing agency career chasing hourly quotas instead of results. Our goal was to bill a minimum of five hours per day.
Yes, we cared if the client was happy and successful, but the fundamental economic driving force behind the firm's existence, and my career potential, was the billable hour.
I discovered early on that the billable-hour model was a flawed, archaic, agency-centric system that wrongly tied agency performance to outputs, not outcomes.
In 2004, four years into my career, I became highly motivated to build a more efficient and profitable solution that shifted the focus to client needs and goals.
The idea was centered on making services tangible with clearly defined costs, features and benefits, almost like buying a product off a retail shelf or signing up for a software service.
My theory was that if clients understood exactly what they were getting, and agreed ahead of time what it was worth, then we could remove the mystery from the equation and focus on delivering value and results.
The problem was that the billable-hour model was the only one I had ever known. How would I build an entirely new financial model and productize a service business?Read More
This is a guest post from Joe Olsen. Joe is the CEO of Rova, an agency growth tool, built by agency veterans for agencies. With Rova, dubbed The Client Services Engine, empower your agency team to manage, measure and grow strategic client relationships. You can get in touch with Joe on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Let’s start with a fact. Successful agencies create revenue through the ability to generate profitable business with new clients but also within current relationships. Show me your New Business and Client Services team, their processes and tools, and I can tell you how far you’ll go, your capacity for growth and your ability to thrive in this cutthroat industry.Read More