There are so many factors that can come into play for an agency to be successful with their clients. Things like well-thought-out plans that exceed expectations, proper budget management and developing programs that have a high ROI are a few that come to mind. A very underrated and sometimes forgotten aspect of business is the importance of small talk.
Having a good and well-balanced relationship with your client can be the difference in having an account grow more business or having an account leave for another agency. While it isn’t your job to be best friends with your client and have weekly cookouts with them, attend their kids’ birthday parties or ride tandem bicycles together, it is your job to have (at the least) an understanding of who they are as a person outside of work.
What makes them tick? What shows are they watching? What books have they read recently? What hobbies do they have? What is their favorite cuisine or restaurant? What sports and sports teams do they like and root for (Go Cubs!)? How much did they pay for their house? While that last one is kind of ridiculous (please, do not ever ask that of anyone), the others are very true and great things to learn about your clients.
Small talk can make a large impact on a client as it allows them to step back, catch a breath and just talk about something other than work. By engaging in more personal and fun conversations with clients at the start of a meeting, it allows you to step into their shoes and think like them for a minute. This also helps build additional trust, letting them know you are paying attention to them, even on the little things. Understanding where they are coming from and what they could be going through can help you in getting them exactly what they need before they can even ask for it. And that’s pretty rad. But not as rad as still using the word “rad”.
In short, get to know your clients on a personal level too. You just might find out something new about yourself, hear about a new restaurant to check out or, better yet, grow your business. And to think, all you had to do was ask how much they purchased their home for (for real, don’t ask that).