Story Time series Episode 4 with Kim! He talks about how to combat a common question around trust between a client and their agency. Watch the video to find out how.
So, in my time here at running an agency I get put in all sorts of uncomfortable situations. It comes with the territory of running your own business.
And one that happens, I suppose, not common, maybe uncommonly, maybe once every two or three months, is a friend will, a friend, a potential client will come in. Let’s call them Michael for this round.
Michael will come in and they’ll say something like, “Hey, look, I don’t trust my current agency. “You know, I just I don’t know what they do with our time.”
And in the search world this is very common because not everyone understands what we do or knows what we do. And a lot of time I do get approached where people are just are “I don’t know what they do “with all that time or that kinda time. “You know, can you have a look and tell me what you think?”
So, what do we do when we get approached with this. That’s really the question, all right, just to give you some sorta insight into how I think about it.
So what’s the core issue? What’s the core issue that Michael is having?
Quite often, I find, it’s not actually about performance at all. You know, quite often, the core issue that I find is that there has been a breakdown in communication. And sometimes it happens because search marketers, we come from, sometimes we come from a very technical background.
Right, and there’s kinda this breakdown between market managers and search geeks, of which we are search geeks. And you think it’s such a small thing, but over time, a lack of communication or a lack of good communication will very quickly erode trust to the point where you’re like, where you reach out to someone else, and you’re like, “Hey, actually, you know what, I don’t know “what these guys are doing. “You know, give me someone else.”
So what can you do? What are three things that you can do if you feel like you’re in this position, if you feel like you’re in a position where you’re in a position where trust is beginning to be eroded? And by the way, I’m not excluding myself from this happening. It’s happened with us as well, and we always look back and we went, “Uh, we could’ve just communicated a lot better.”
Anyway, three things. First thing, if you’re unsure about something that the agency does, definitely ask. It is absolutely our job to make sure that you understand what we’re doing, and why we’re doing it. But sometimes we don’t know that the message’s gotten across. So, if you’re search agency is doing something, and you’re not sure quite what it is is they’re doing, should definitely ask. Definitely ask. And if it doesn’t make sense to you, from a business standpoint, from a general marketing standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to you, you should absolutely question it.
There’s really no practice now in digital and search and kinda across any digital avenue that can not be explained in such a way that this is like a good business practice.
The second thing you can do is of course, just call them up and make sure that your search team do not work in a silo. Because, our selection leads to this communication, which leads to a breaking down of trust. All right, your search team should be an active part of your marketing team. And when I first started in search, this is much more common. Where the search team, we would do our thing in a silo, off to the side, and we wouldn’t really know what the rest of the business is doing. I would argue that now, the search team has to work hand in hand with the marketing team side by side.
We from my experience, we can definitely do much better work if we know what’s going on in the rest of the business.
And then, I suppose the third and final thing you can do is go and seek a second opinion and see if it can help. In this case, Michael asked us to put in a proposal. We put something in. We’re up against a couple of others and we didn’t get it. Which is fine. We’re still good friends.
Breakdown of communication is the most common cause of agency client relationships breaking down. Do you agree? You know, tell me what you think, give me your comments, love to hear it. Thanks guys.
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With over 15 years of experience in search and online marketing, Kim is the Founder of Insight Online. Kim started Insight as he saw an opportunity to build an agency that focuses on business results and strong working relationships with clients.
As the face of the business, Kim will likely be your first point of contact, chatting with you about your work and what you’d like to get done. The best part of his job is meeting new people, getting to know their businesses, and making a tangible, measurable difference for them.
In his spare time, Kim loves playing disc golf, strumming a little guitar and is an avid bookworm.