Smart agencies work hard to remove any “chance” out of the client relationship – by focusing on the relationship.

MarketingSherpa recently published a new chart from their Website Optimization Benchmark Report survey. In it they segmented the respondents, and asked the following question to only the chief marketing officers:

Q. For CMOs: In your organization, how do you make the final decision regarding which version of a page/process should be uploaded to your live site?

The following chart outlines the responses:

CMOs make decisions

They then go on to make the point that many sales people will make generalizations about customers as if they were facts. That’s exactly what we say about how most agencies treat clients – they tend to generalize simple concepts about all clients. You’ve all heard the old joke: “This would be so much easier if we didn’t have any clients!”

But client actions can be understood if you identify their individual profiles, and adjust your style to match their expectations. Reading between the lines of the above chart it seems profiling is the driving factor in how CMOs make decisions. Their personalities determine the decision making process. If you understand how to use this, you can smooth out the decision making process, reduce stress and get more ideas approved.

We teach a simple yet effective way to work with the four main profiles— what we call Headlines, BodyCopies, Logos and Illustrations. Each one will make decisions in the way that is most comfortable to them.

Agencies that modify their behavior to make clients more comfortable improve cohesion and enhance their chances of retaining clients. Before agency behavior can be modified, the expectations of each personality profile must be identified.

For example:

Headline: Focus on getting results, will always make the decision, and will make it quickly – “I’ll approve this concept because it will achieve the best results for us.” They are 28% of the respondents in the above chart.

BodyCopy: Focus on process and details, will base their decision on testing – “I know this concept will work because it did the best in the testing we did.” They are the 15% and 9% in the above chart.

Logo: Focus on relationships, often slow to decide and will base it on political considerations and how it’s viewed throughout the organization – “So we all agree, this is the best approach… we’re comfortable with it.” They are the 29%.

Illustration: Focus on the big idea, fast decisions and love being the center of attention – “I know this concept will not only do well in the market place, but it’s sure to win an Addy for us.” Illustrations are all over the board, and they could be in any of the above categories.

Best Approach: Move to Match.

control client relatonships

Take chance out of the client relationship.

Different personality profiles have different likes and dislikes. Clients are most comfortable relating to and working closely with others when their needs are being met, and when they are safe within their own comfort zone. Once you understand profiling, you will be able to describe the expectations of each personality profile.

Agencies that fully utilize profiling will be versatile with all four personality styles, and therefore will be able to make other people comfortable, adapt to the needs of others, negotiate better and empathize more completely. They will be able to keep clients longer, sell in better work, and reduce revisions and work stress. It’s very frustrating for agencies to see great ideas killed just because they were presented in the wrong manner for that particular client profile.

How to implement these client-retention practices has been a focus at Sanders Consulting for 20 years. We’re proud of the many agencies that have used our learning programs to keep clients much longer than industry averages. The benefits are many. The agencies are fun to work at. Emergencies aren’t the rule. And clients aren’t in uproar. 

If you would like more information on how we can help, reach out. Email us at [email protected] or call 412.897.9329


Photo by Woari