6 Ways to be Your Client's Most Important Partner

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For 23 years at Y&R, Shelley Diamond, the newly appointed Global Chief Client Officer, has had longstanding relationships with many of our clients. Her relationship with Xerox spans 25 years and two agencies, and she has been helping to build Campbell's business over 16 years.

Here she presents her six tips to being your client's most important partner.

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6 Ways to be Your Client's Most Important Partner

  1. 1. SHELLEY DIAMOND CHIEF CLIENT OFFICER 6 WAYS TO BE YOUR YOUR CLIENT’S MOST IMPORTANT PARTNER
  2. 2. BE PATIENT Relationships take time to build. You don’t ask someone to marry them on the first date. This is someone you hopefully will be flying around the world with, attending four hour meetings with. Sometimes it gets off to a slow start.
  3. 3. UNDERSTAND YOUR CLIENT’S BUSINESS How they make money, who they compete with, and what keeps them up at night.
  4. 4. $ UNDERSTAND YOUR CLIENT’S MARKETPLACE They have a lot of things to do. But 100 percent of our job is understanding how markets and consumers, and customers interact with brands. We are specialists in that. They do a lot of other stuff. They have to rely on us to be their eyes from the outside in.
  5. 5. HAVE A MUTUAL RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER Clients get the work they deserve. Really good clients are up for a debate, a discussion, and the occasional argument. If they want a “yes man,” what do they need an agency for? If you want people who think like you do, you have them in your company already. Why would someone trust you, if you sell an idea and then leave? If a campaign doesn’t work, you recover together. Being your clients’ most important partner requires you to never stop bringing ideas.
  6. 6. DON’T GET COMPLACENT Never stop trying to surprise and delight each other. Do things to keep it interesting. There’s no room for complacency. You can’t take for granted that your client doesn’t have 1,000 choices every day.
  7. 7. BE A GREAT LISTENER Everyone will have a conversation with you, if you have something relevant to say. Add value. If you can help them, it changes the dynamic. If you can actually listen to what they need – communicate, then you’re speaking the same languages. Sometimes you speak French and they speak Spanish.

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