Dear John: The Best Letter Ever for Kicking Your Agency to the Curb

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All business is personal. And just as situations in our personal lives sometimes turn sour, business relationships can also leave us wanting to walk out the door without a word — and cancel the last invoice payment before the check can clear the bank.

Not a good strategy.

Despite having suffered headaches and heartburn from unfulfilled promises, unmet expectations, lame excuses, and endless attempts at reconciliation, it’s important to say goodbye like a civil adult.

Dear John: The Best Letter Ever for Kicking Your Agency to the Curb is a very brief guide to help any business cut the ties that bind it to its current marketing agency, land on its feet, and move forward. It even includes sample letters customized to fit three different corporate cultures. We’re sure you’ll find one that applies to you — more or less.

Whether you’re ready to leave that agency today, or just want to scratch that itch that nags you now and then (and who doesn’t have that itch sometimes?), you’ll learn something in Dear John: The Best Letter Ever for Kicking Your Agency to the Curb.

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Dear John: The Best Letter Ever for Kicking Your Agency to the Curb

  1. 1. THE BEST LETTER EVER FOR KICKING YOUR AGENCY TO THE CURB
  2. 2. SO, AFTER ALL THE AGONY AND TRAUMA OF A RELATIONSHIP GONE BAD ... 2
  3. 3. THE ROLLER-COASTER RIDE OF LOFTY PROMISES, UNMET EXPECTATIONS, LAME (AND SOMETIMES EVEN HEARTFELT) EXCUSES, AND MAKING UP AGAIN AND AGAIN ... 3
  4. 4. THE CONSTANT NUMBER CRUNCHING THAT FAILED TO SHOW THE PROMISED RESULTS AND INSTEAD CONFIRMED YOU WERE THROWING GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD ... 4
  5. 5. YOU’VE FINALLY DECIDED TO END YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CURRENT MARKETING AGENCY. 5
  6. 6. BE SURE YOU’VE READ THE FINE PRINT. The Starr Conspiracy knows strategic marketing and advertising for enterprise software and services inside and out. 6
  7. 7. BUT WE’RE NOT LAWYERS. WE DON’T EVEN LIKE LAWYERS. However, we respect them. 7
  8. 8. Carefully read the agreement you have with your current agency. Be sure you’ve considered any obligations you have before you formally make the move to cut the ties that are binding you. If you’re uncertain at all, yep … get the advice of your lawyer. 8
  9. 9. Ready to write that letter and kick your agency to the curb? You don’t need to. We’ve already written one for you. 9
  10. 10. But first, it’s important that your letter truly expresses you as a person and represents your company culture. It shouldn’t come off as words typed into a Microsoft Office template or a generic sample letter that you downloaded from www.LettersForBusinessPeopleWhoCan’tWriteLetters.com. Instead, use the following quick guide to get a letter that says you know who you are and aren’t afraid to show it. 10
  11. 11. Read the following company descriptions. Choose the one that most reflects your organization, then click through to get your customized Dear John letter. If your organization is more likely to: Still officially recognize casual Friday for dress standards Demand a 40-hour work week Frown upon flextime, job-sharing, and telecommuting Have strict rules about displaying personal items on your desk If your organization is more likely to: If your organization is more likely to: Have a dress code along the lines of “whatever, if it’s in good taste and doesn’t reflect badly on the company” Consider anything more formal than T-shirts and blue jeans a sign that you’ve been to a funeral or to the bank for a new mortgage Make you account for your time, but doesn’t beat you up over it Not care how you account for your time, as long as the billable hours are tracked to the right client Allow working remotely, but lets you know it’s not the sign of a true team player Have a rule like “personal items displayed in the office cannot offend based on race, ethnicity, religion, or gender, and must not show full-frontal nudity” Not even want to know where you are, as long as the work gets done, your co-workers don’t complain, and the customers are happy Consider the office a reflection of its people, encourage you to imbue your space with items of personal significance and meaning — to the point that visiting family members have considered interventions 11
  12. 12. Dear _________, I know you’re well aware that despite your team’s efforts, our sales remain sluggish. This has caused us to re-examine the profitability of all of our vendor relationships. Because of the costs of your services and the trends in our business, we are going to terminate our current relationship with [Current Agency Name] effective immediately [or Date]. Our decision reflects our need to get our gross margins in better shape and in no way should reflect badly on the service we’ve received from your team or the quality of their work. The professionals at [Current Agency Name] are among the most helpful and informed with whom we do business. I am really hopeful that conditions change so we’re able to do business with [Current Agency Name] again sometime. Until then, please know we’ve appreciated the service you’ve given us. Sincerely, [Your Name Here] 12
  13. 13. #youarefired Dear _________, As we’ve discussed, despite your team’s efforts and our continued partnership, we’re failing to see the bottom-line results that we’d hoped our relationship would produce. As a result, and after a close examination of our arrangement with [Current Agency Name], we’ve decided to terminate our relationship effective immediately [or Date]. Our decision reflects our need to improve our business performance and our belief that our relationship with [Current Agency Name] fails to support that goal. This is not a reflection of the professionalism of the people at [Current Agency Name] with whom we’ve worked. I really hope we can do business with [Current Agency Name] again sometime. We’ve appreciated the service you’ve given us. Sincerely, [Your Name Here] 13
  14. 14. Dear _________, It’s time to call it quits. We can’t go on like this, continually causing each other such pain and grief. We’ve talked until we’re blue in the face. We’ve pleaded. We’ve harangued. We’ve suffered missed deadlines, low-quality work, churlish attitudes, and miserable client service. And yet, we paid. Boy, did we pay. So, enough talking. No more trying to set the course right. No, don’t say it. This time, sorry won’t cut it. Basta! You said you’d help us increase our market share. What did we get? Headaches punctuated with heartburn. The only things that increased were your billable hours and bank account. Read my lips: Our arrangement with [Current Agency Name] is terminated effective immediately [or Date]. I really doubt we’ll ever find a reason to do business with [Current Agency Name] again. In fact, I’ll do my best to make sure no one makes that mistake, if I can help it. Thanks for nothing. Sincerely, [Your Name Here] 14
  15. 15. READY TO SEND THAT LETTER? JUST WANT TO SCRATCH THAT ITCH TO KNOW WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE? We understand. We’re here for you. thestarrconspiracy.com info@thestarrconspiracy.com 817-204-0400 15

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