Building Partnerships Not Clients

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Posted on November 20, 2017 by Kara Demirjian Huss

Creating good relationships can result in loyalty of business. The industry average for length of a client-agency relationship is just 3.2 years. Over the last 18 years of business the average client agency relationship at DCC is 7 years, more than double the industry average. So how do we achieve this? As with any relationship the key is trust, communication, understanding and always keeping things fresh! It’s what every good relationship is built on and definitely the core to long-lasting partnerships.

Speaking from the heart, at DCC it’s about truly caring about the success of our clients. It seems a partnership philosophy isn’t always the norm with some agencies. For us it’s an everyday way of thinking—it’s about putting their business goals ahead of ours, listening to their needs, communicating openly and regularly, investing the time in understanding their business and their customers because at the end of the day if they are not successful neither are we.

The old saying put others before yourself—well that applies in business too. I believe that the fastest way to success is to first help others succeed. If you operate that way growth and success is sure to follow.

You also can’t discount the need in a partnership to be giving and flexible.

Giving—the cornerstone for any partnership. It shouldn’t be hard to give back. It can come in many forms, when clients have fundraisers or charitable events we are passionate about getting involved. If we have business opportunities we do it with them. It’s the foundation that DCC was built on, it’s engrained in our culture and our staff; in fact, it’s how we connect with our clients and the communities we serve.

Flexibility—things change that is just reality. People change positions, leadership changes priorities, new products and services get launched, something that was due in 30 days is now due in 3 days—sound familiar? Be ready, be able and be proactive. Being flexible is a valuable approach to the ever-changing and always evolving world we live in. But what does flexibility really mean in the work environment. Well for us, flexibility is a mindset we don’t employ a one size fits all relationship model purposefully so that we can react if needed and be more proactive with our partners. Using our team wisely—understanding our clients and their communication preferences, being responsive, and becoming part of their team and not just an agency they push work to.

Finally, how do you keep a relationship spicy? This is particularly critical in our creative world whether it’s a new partnership or one that has been intact for 15 years we have to keep the work and the relationship fresh! That seems like a challenge, but it’s a top priority here. Sharing insights, keeping our clients up on market trends, identifying opportunities to improve performance with new ideas and strategies, being innovative and making sure their investment in us is helping their company grow. Big or small we are thankful for our clients and appreciate the success we have had by investing in them!