Things with this new client have been going along great. You had an excellent strategy session and laid out a whole marketing plan for them. They were bought in – now you are into implementation. The work you’re doing for them looks terrific, right on track.
Then the phone rings.
The client wants to go over the marketing plan again.
The CEO is asking about SEO; she didn’t see it in the plan. Plus, they just lost a big proposal, and the feedback they got from the prospect makes them question the whole premise that the marketing plan was built on.
What happened? You were getting into the grove and starting to roll out the plan, and now you’re back to strategy! You don’t have time to deal with this, plus we don’t have scope for this!
Your client doesn’t know what to do
Your clients are hiring you because the “thing you do,” whatever that is, is something that they cannot do. They are looking for someone who can lead them in a process to get them to a place they’ve never been before.
Since they don’t know how to do what they are hiring you to do, they also don’t know how to evaluate whether you are any good at it! Sure, at the end, they can say, “Did we get where we wanted to go?” But along the way? Mid-project, they can get antsy!
This is where your account team earns their money.
Most Account Managers aren’t strong enough to create the strategy.
However, they should be able to listen to the client’s fears and evaluate this new information to show the client how the plan we are working on is going to meet that client’s needs that turned them down (or suggest some options if it won’t). The Account Manager should be able to hold the client’s hand and steady the ship without bringing in the more senior team members or you.
A good account team is touching base regularly to make minor corrections so that we don’t have to make significant corrections halfway through the project.
We’ll talk about why this skill is critical for keeping clients happy, engaged, and profitable on Saturday.