Before we dive into the ever-so-popular topic of meetings, let’s get into the right frame of mind.
Take a moment to think of someone you actually like to meet with.
What makes it so great? For me, it’s a mutual respect for one another’s time, an agenda that moves items forward, and coming away from the meeting with a renewed or strengthened relationship.
I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t always so pro-meeting. I’m a numbers person by trade, and calculating the total hours our team spends in (not-so-perfect) meetings would make my head spin. And it’s not just our team. Middle managers spend about 35% of their time in meetings, and upper management spends about 50% of their time in meetings, according to research from The Muse.
Don’t get me wrong. I agree there’s no sense in having a meeting just to have a meeting.
But, hear me out: If we spend lots of time in meetings, and there is the potential to build relationships with exceptional meetings—that’s an opportunity for our business.
Powerful, well-run meetings GSD. They build relationships. They position our team as the strategic consultants our clients have partnered with to grow their business.
The potential is evident. Holding meaningful meetings is a soft skill that is invaluable over your entire career.
So, how do you run a more meaningful meeting?
How can agencies show value, impact performance and become indispensable to clients? The first 90 days of a new client partnership set the stage, instill confidence in the agency-client relationship, and ensure a positive tone for the future of the account.
The objective for our first 90 days: accelerate our transition from a value consumer to a value contributor.
Often times, the agency-client relationship begins and ends with the value your team brings to the table. We all know it: those teams that produce amazing work, bring creative ideas to the table, and foster deep relationships built on a foundation of respect are invaluable.
So how can agencies put theory into action? How can we as business partners accelerate the time from value consumer to contributor? Below is an excerpt from a larger running list—Marketers: 101 Ways to Add Value—with tangible tips for making your team indispensable to your clients.Read More
As a millennial working with a bunch of millennials, I definitely tune out the word, “millennial.” If you’re 18-35, I bet you do too. That said, the more information I consume about my group-of-people-born-between-the-1980s-and-2000s, especially lately (have the tides turned pro-millennial?), the more nuggets of goodness I’ve been able to apply to agency operations, productivity, professional development and relationship building.
This year, one of my favorite SXSW sessions was a panel that spoke about empowering a modern, millennial workforce. Anne Dwane (@adwane) of Chegg, Ciara Peter (@ciarapeter) of BetterWorks, and Jeff Fernandez (@jefernan) of Grovo Learning discussed the secrets to working with this growing group of young, motivated professionals. The panel’s comments made too much sense, and have been useful since. So, read on for some of my favorite takeaways for the agency world.Read More
“What do you do?”
For those in the marketing agency world, it’s a loaded question. At Inbound, Robert Solomon (@RJSolomon), author of The Art of Client Service and founder of Solomon Strategic, opened his session with an answer he’d often tell his mother: “Mom, I do lunch.” Doing lunch means being there for clients, and getting the chance to build an actual relationship with them.
Yes, it’s sometimes hard to describe “client services” amongst the continual flow of client strategy, production work (writing, social media, PR, design, etc.), measurement and account management. Yet, Robert’s second response to the question offers a catchall glimpse: “We do the simple things necessary to help clients achieve their goals.” During his presentation, Robert shared his thoughts on what’s at the heart of client services.Read More
The old guard of agency leadership was hierarchical (and for many, it still is). Young professionals strove to climb the ladder from assistant account executive to account manager, group director and eventually senior vice president. Within the old guard, professionals looked to their managers for information and guidance. They worked within regimented systems and processes, and they didn’t question authority.
Yet, in more modern, startup-mentality cultures, great ideas and consensus come from a collective team—interns and CEOs alike. We’re each encouraged to think differently, build one another up, and continually improve existing processes.
As the workforce grows younger, businesses must evolve to capture the benefits millennials bring to the table. The millennial generation includes those born between 1980-2000. And by they year 2020, they’ll comprise 46% of the workforce.Read More
Some use the terms “leader” and “manager” interchangeably. For a good read on why we shouldn’t do this, check out Harvard Business Review’s Management Is (Still) Not Leadership by John Kotter (@KotterIntl). One of my favorite excerpts:
“In fact, management is a set of well-known processes, like planning, budgeting, structuring jobs, staffing jobs, measuring performance and problem-solving, which help an organization to predictably do what it knows how to do well. … Leadership is entirely different.
It is associated with taking an organization into the future, finding opportunities that are coming at it faster and faster and successfully exploiting those opportunities. Leadership is about vision, about people buying in, about empowerment and, most of all, about producing useful change.”Read More
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” - Michael Jordan
What can’t we learn from one the most talented basketball players of all time? This leader on the court had all the skills needed to push his team to the next level, yet he understood that he could not do it alone. To be a great leader, you have to have a great team.Read More
Agencies can put development programs in place, require training and promote to management positions, but it’s an internal drive—what motivates each of us—that’s critical to any young leader’s success and happiness.Read More
Young, savvy marketers have big opportunities to excel in modern firms. It’s up to these young professionals to take the initiative. But, it’s up to agency leadership to continually set the bar, provide development opportunities, and mold this next generation into a smart, powerful wave of talent.Read More