Agency/client relationship

The Agency/Client Relationship: 3 questions to ask to make sure you’re both on the same page

Annie McManis

Strategic Counselor

Friday, January 15, 2016

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The new business relationship can be a delicate dance between agency and client. Those early-on, “getting to know you” agency/client meetings tend to primarily serve as an information-gathering session about the work at hand. But, more than that, these meetings are a chance for both parties to set some expectations to ensure the relationship works for all parties.

Here are three questions you should consider discussing before diving into the work.

  1. What did you like/not like about working with previous agencies/clients? This question can yield some great insights into understanding why things failed or succeeded in the past. Many times, agencies assume clients are seeking new talent because they were unhappy with the previous agency’s creative, but things like account service, billing issues or even personality fit can all be factors. It’s good to know how the prospective client prioritizes key issues.

  2. Do you like to cook or be served? This question is a great conversation starter for understanding work expectations. Some client/agency teams prefer to collaborate and develop strategies together; other times, a client might prefer to hand-off a project and expect to be served with a final deliverable. It also sets the stage for the budget conversation.

  3. How will we define success? It’s crucial to know up-front what looks like success for all parties, and to document clear, measurable objectives for both parties.

What other questions give you insight into your prospective clients? We'd love to hear your take on the agency/client relationship. Share your thoughts via @IntrinzicSays on Twitter.