Agencies: Make Impact in Your First 90 Days with a New Client

Onboarding A New Client PR2020For many agencies, the most successful client relationships begin well before a contract is ever signed. For example, many of our best partners are network referrals, subscribe to regular agency resources, and are generally aligned with our overall mission and values.

Sounds great, right? In general, it sure is. And just as new clients expect a lot from an agency investment, it’s our job to deliver on those expectations.

Yet over time, as I’m sure we’ve all learned the hard way, there can be a disconnect. As Mike Kaput penned on the PR 20/20 blog: “A full 80% of CEOs don’t trust their marketing teams … Let that sink in. Our job is to develop credible, profitable connections with customers—and with the people that hire us.”

What causes distrust, and why do many new relationships fail? According to Korn Ferry research, as presented in Penn State’s MBA program, common mistakes include:

  • Failing to establish strategic priorities (23.5%).
  • Committing cultural gaffes / political suicide (16.4%).
  • Waiting too long to make an impact (15.8%).

So how do we show value, impact performance and become indispensable to our 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.