What Makes A Good Client?
Public relations agencies are always looking for new clients. Early in my career, I heard a colleague whom I respect say, “All current clients will one day be former clients.” Sort of like death and taxes, I guess.
It can be tough when clients end their agency relationships because we often become friends with our clients. And changes occur sometimes despite the agency doing outstanding, even award-winning work.
So what makes a good client?
David C. Baker, author of Managing (Right) for the First Time, and Financial Management of a Marketing Firm, spoke at the recent Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) meetings.
He said agencies should ask their prospects these questions – and get the answers before deciding to move forward in the new business process:
- What scares you about our possible engagement?
- Who else are you talking to?
- Can we include your highest level of decision-maker who is on board with this?
Baker also provided three rules he said he would never violate:
- The client must be between four and 20 percent of the agency’s billings.
- The client is not spending his or her own money but rather managing a budget.
- The client must have direct access to the top decision-maker.
All good in theory.