Are Agencies Arrogant?


I had lunch the other day with a new client friend. Somebody who worked for a company whose logo would appear in every agency’s New Business deck or lobby wall if they had their business.

Look who we work for it would imply. We must be smart because successful companies work with us.

But sometimes agencies miss the chance to add those logos and show their smarts.

I was giving my client friend some advice on an agency search that she was conducting internally.

I would have loved to help her but that is how it goes some time.

She shared that she found some agencies very arrogant during her outreach to them.

My years in advertising have taught me humility but she hasn’t walked in my shoes.

I have heard that arrogance frustration from clients time to time.

I am sure that agencies can be intimidating for some clients that don’t work in cool spaces or have their cool factor.

They might not be able to bring their dogs to work, dress in whatever is on your floor from yesterday when you wake up in the morning. No free food in the cafeteria.

But they have the money.

Clients can get turned off when they reach out to agencies.

If they have to fill out a form to connect with you in the New Normal they would totally get frustrated.

Yet many agencies have forms as their primary way of contacting them when they profess their accessibility in live meetings. Yet getting connected to them is like going through the eye of the needle.

Funny thing is, if the prospects could text the President of the agency saying who they were the President would park their car for them when they came calling.

My client friend shared her story of encountering a gate keeper with attitude for an agency. She had probably been trained in three minutes on how to screen the calls or the outreach. She may have drank too much of the agency’s Kool Aid.

We need to qualify them she was told. Tell them our minimum revenue needs are $100K a month. That would surely scare off Joe the Pizza Man who found your agency by doing a Google search.

But it may alienate a potential client working with a Global company.

She could be the stairway to heaven that you aren’t aware about because you didn’t take the call or screen the email.

When I conducted reviews for companies like Jenny Craig, Jacuzzi, Toyo Tires I have had similar experiences.

I would like to leave a message for your New Business Person please. “He doesn’t return calls was the response.”

Of course once the agency management got an inkling of who the client was they circled back. Apologies, Mea Culpas did result. But it was too late. It didn’t lead to engagement but it did lead to bad word of mouth.

And isn’t that what all agencies expound. Great word of mouth and connectivity. The only problem is that agencies don’t often apply it to themselves.

You see separating the wheat from the chaff takes time and some training and discipline but it does produce a better harvest and isn’t that what New Business is about?

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Watch a Video Called: When Is It Time to Fire Your Agency?

I want a New Business Person with a Magical Rolodex.


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