We started working with a few new (and terrific!) clients in the past couple of months, and early reports indicate that all systems are go and we’re off and running positively. These same reports also indicate that our smart and savvy public relations and social media teams execute in a way that is a welcome change from the process, behavior and lack of results generated from the agencies previously supporting these companies. It’s important to show a new client that you are ready to roll, and here are a few ways for a new PR agency (and specifically, a new team!) to get things started on the right foot:
First, embrace the new client/business/category with gusto – and show the client that you are sincerely interested. You should pay close attention to the client’s business objectives – first and foremost – but also key care-abouts of the new client. They may covet one specific blog over a pack of others, and one key message over the organization’s larger story. In any case, taking tactical steps to let the client know you are paying close attention as you ramp-up and get started is key.
Second, be responsive. I’m unwavering in my belief that client service continues to be hugely important in our business. It’s essential to a successful working relationship, and equally important at the start of a project or an ongoing program. Be smart and strategic, but respond with enthusiasm so the new client “gets” that they are a priority in your day.
Third, be certain you are thoroughly prepared for all of your meetings/calls/etc. Give the new client confidence by being on your game. Have a game plan for the start of the program – in a logical order so the new client knows what to expect.
Fourth, work hard to land the big hit – or specific result – early in the working relationship. Identify what that result specifically is, and do what you can to make it happen. Once a new client sees first hand that you can generate results that make a real impact, you’ve strengthened a new relationship and provided a powerful shot of optimism about the team’s abilities!
Fifth, start the ball of enthusiasm rolling forward. I’ve seen it happen so many times in my career that partnering with an agency was the catalyst for positive things happening on both sides of the relationship. The communications and product teams were active, engaged and enthusiastic about partnering with the PR and social media team, and all parties worked together for joint success. Be positive in your approach and embrace the new client, category and task at hand, as the positive vibes will go a long way.
What do you do to see that a relationship with a new client starts well? Let me know.