Two Clients, One Company and Managing All Three
The following is a guest post written by Katherine Payne, one of tcg: agency’s best Social Media Specialists and Account Managers.
Working with a client as an agency, and within the department of another company, is always educational, but they are always looking for one thing above all else: respect. Whether that means having an agency that respects their wishes, their time, or their product, they want to make sure you value them before they return the favor. That should be self-explanatory even if your only experience in business has been working a lemonade stand.
But what do you do when the client you’ve been working with turns into two – with two different sets of client goals and two different ways they demand respect?
That happened to me once. I had been working with the public relations department of a company when the marketing department had begun to get involved. We ended up working with both. Normally, you would expect that the rhythm of this sort of relationship would have been established long before we showed up: the public relations people and the marketing people would understand what boundaries ought not to be crossed.
Instead, we found ourselves suddenly working in conjunction with a group with similar if not conflicting goals, and with a department who was not entirely pleased to have another set of digital marketing initiatives to approve. We had to establish an entirely new set of relationships and an entirely new understanding of what was now within our boundaries of control. After all, we now had two clients to please…one of which we hadn’t even met before!
Ultimately, the relationship has worked out in the best interest of all three of us because we remembered a few simple rules:
- Treat every party with respect.
- Know that no one is an enemy. It’s important not to take sides.
- Err on the side of humbleness i.e. ask for the right to post on a blog rather than assuming you can. This will make the whole process a lot smoother.
- Understand the history of the relationships you’re walking into. If there is tension between two decision makers, take this into account as you mediate between them.
Rest assured that if you are liked by both parties, you are just that much more valuable to each. And how can that ever be a bad thing?