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Problem Clients: How to Spot Them & Turn Them Into Good Ones

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Battling big egos and unfair deadlines? You're not alone. But for solopreneurs and small agencies especially, one bad client can mean big problems, draining your resources and even harming your carefully built culture. In this presentation, given at Ad Age's Small Agency Conference (2014 in Austin), Ilise Benun identifies 4 red flags to help you spot the types of clients you should think twice about working with, and will offer tips on how to work with challenging clients more productively. Watch the video here: http://marketing-mentor.com/resources/dealing-problem-clients-video

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Problem Clients: How to Spot Them & Turn Them Into Good Ones

  1. 1. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. advice, accountability and assistancefor creative businesses advice, accountability and assistance for creative businesses Problem Clients: How to Spot Them and Turn Them Into Good Ones with Ilise Benun @MMToolbox Illustrations by Iain Keith Murray @IainKeith
  2. 2. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Business advice, accountability and assistance exclusively for creative professionals.
  3. 3. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Word of mouth  No bizdev  Vulnerable  Can’t say no to  “Problem clients”  No time for bizdev No marketing  bad clients
  4. 4. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Problem clients vs. Clients with problems
  5. 5. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Red flag #1: Chaos
  6. 6. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. • External: Chaos in the corporate culture. • Unrealistic demands and expectations. • Internal: No organizational skills or discipline. • Both: no consequences. What could be happening:
  7. 7. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. 1. Give them structure. 2. Have a process and enforce it. 3. “Yes, but…” 3 things you can do:
  8. 8. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Red flag #2: No budget
  9. 9. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. • They don’t understand what’s involved and can’t justify the price. • They’re under a lot of pressure. • They’re penny pinchers. What could be happening:
  10. 10. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. 1. Demonstrate what’s involved. 2. Adjust the scope of work. 3. Lobby later for “extra budget.” 3 things you can do:
  11. 11. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Red flag #3: Cluelessness
  12. 12. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. • Younger and younger workforce. • Layoffs == no replacements! • People in jobs they aren’t qualified for. • Higher demands on you. What could be happening:
  13. 13. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. 1. Educate them. 2. Gently insist on including decision-makers. 3. Make them your best friend. 3 things you can do:
  14. 14. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Red flag #4: Disrespect
  15. 15. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. • They have little power. • Office politics. • Frustration on the job. • Problems at home. • General bad attitude. What could be happening:
  16. 16. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. 1. Don’t react emotionally. 2. Don’t take it personally. 3. Don’t jump to conclusions. 4. Think about what’s going on for them. 5. Be accommodating yet firm. 3 things you can do:
  17. 17. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. • Take time to figure them out. • Listen for what’s really going on. • Shift to their “frequency.” • Be the one who “gets” them. • That’s rare and engenders loyalty. Handling the “high maintenance”
  18. 18. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. The simple solution • Strong positioning. • Proactive marketing. • Full pipeline. • Process for weeding out the duds.
  19. 19. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Ad Age & Illustrator, Iain Keith Murray @IainKeith Thank you
  20. 20. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.
  21. 21. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. www.creativeguidetomoney.comwww.marketing-pricing-guide.com
  22. 22. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. In the MM Toolbox: Volume 2 Includes: 9 new proposals + Best Practices Checklist
  23. 23. find us: marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc.find us: Marketing-Mentor.com + @MMToolbox © 2014 Marketing Mentor, Inc. Ilise Benun • Mentor and business coach to creative agencies/professionals • Host/Co-Producer of “Creative Business” track of HOW Design Live • Author of 7+ books • ilise@marketing-mentor.com • (201) 653-0783

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