I could probably write a blog post on a thousand reasons we love our clients, but I wanted to be a bit more succinct here and share some of the key characteristics that make for an effective and successful business partnership. We’ve worked with all kinds of businesses in many different industries and stages, and yet there are some clear reasons why some have incredible success with their inbound marketing, and some experience subpar results. This is actually a question I get asked often: “What do we need to do to be successful in this partnership?” So, this article will aim to answer that question while also showcasing the clients that make our days enjoyable day in and day out.
1. They treat us like we’re part of their team.
I have some clients who I truly feel like a part of their company. They keep us looped in on business updates and what’s going on internally. They involve us in larger business conversations and ask for our opinions and ideas on a regular basis – even if it’s not something we were exactly hired to do for them. They like that we don’t just do what they say to do, but always lead with our recommendations and best practices. While it might not happen overnight, they trust us and know that we genuinely care about their company and getting them results. It’s a win-win because they get a lot more bang for their buck, and we get to feel like we’re really part of the team and not just some outsourced consultant.
2. They know we’re all working toward the same goal.
This is key when it comes to marketing and sales because we have to work together. We have to collaborate and trust in the process, as well as be willing to try new things, take risks, and test, test, test. When we work with clients who are on the same page with us and we’re working together to reach a shared goal – that is when we’re all most successful. The opposite of that is when a client feels like their agency is solely responsible for all aspects of reaching this goal and in some unfortunate cases are even waiting to prove us wrong. A true partner knows that what matters most is that we reach the goal and that we’re going to be most successful when no person or department is rooting against that.
3. Their leadership team is bought in and engaged.
Even if the owner or CEO isn’t involved in the day-to-day conversations, they get inbound marketing and they see the big picture. They aren’t focused entirely on the numbers (even though the numbers are of course important!) but they understand the value of all types of ROI including thought leadership, increased sales velocity, improved branding, client retention and referrals, and much more. When the leadership team at a company cares enough to share blog posts on LinkedIn, encourage salespeople to participate, or ask about a campaign, but also trusts enough to not get caught up in the minutia, that is when the magic happens!
4. They encourage collaboration.
Two brains are better than one, right? Well, five brains are also better than one, and that’s why the clients we work with who regularly are engaged and pulling different team members into brainstorms and conversations are some of the ones we’re most thankful for. This is because as smart as we know we are, we also know that nobody knows your customers and prospects as well as the people on the front lines talking to them every single day. So, the companies that encourage collaboration from their marketing, sales, and customer service departments tend to be the ones with the best campaigns, best content, and also the most engaged teams who end up sharing and utilizing all the resources we’ve developed.
5. They don’t get hung up on the small stuff.
This is coming from a recovering perfectionist, but there is truly nothing that gets in the way more than paralysis by analysis. Most people that have worked with me know that I believe details matter and I can be hyper-vigilant about organization and processes (and man, I love a good spreadsheet!) But what I’m talking about here is the people who sweat the small stuff that actually doesn’t matter at all. For instance, some organizations get so hung up on a shade of a color or a type of font that it could take weeks to approve a piece of content – when during that time we missed out on capturing numerous leads for their business. I’m not saying branding doesn’t matter – but the best marketers know that sometimes you just have to ship it and then adjust later. It’s all about finding that happy medium.
While this list could go on and on, these are some of the top reasons I am thankful for my clients – and I honestly believe that we work with some of the BEST and BRIGHTEST businesses around. Take it from their lead, and if you do work with an inbound marketing agency (or anything similar), keep these traits in mind and you’re going to find a lot more success than you would otherwise.
Lastly, in the nature of Thanksgiving this week… I’d like to give a big THANK YOU to all of our LeadG2 clients new and old who have helped shape our agency and the people who work here. We’ve learned a lot from every business and person that has crossed our path, and we’re incredibly thankful for every single one of you. Happy Thanksgiving!