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The Agency Leadership Podcast provides insights for agency owners and executives. Co-hosts Chip Griffin and Gini Dietrich share practical advice and industry news relevant to PR and marketing agency leaders. Continue Reading >>
The Agency Leadership Podcast provides insights for agency owners and executives. Co-hosts Chip Griffin and Gini Dietrich share practical advice and industry news relevant to PR and marketing agency leaders. << Show Less
Featured Audio
Understanding the cost of agency business development A recent post by a member of the Spin Sucks Community raised the topic of calculating the cost of winning new clients — and determining how to account for that expense properly.



&#8220;Any thoughts on how to account for the time spent on proposals (calls and revisions) to get a job? I’m the one that has to do the work. When I’m doing that, it’s &#8216;lost time&#8217; for me. My first thought is to see how many hours I’ve spent in the first half of the year and then see how that is accounted for in my profitability margin. Perhaps I need to consider making that number a little different to make up for it.&#8221;



Chip and Gini tackle this question and explore the importance of factoring in the cost of business development into not just your pricing, but also your identification of ideal clients and the right opportunities to pursue.



Key takeaways



* Chip Griffin: &#8220;A lot of the agencies that you and I talk with don&#8217;t in any way keep track of the amount of time or cost involved with business development. I think it&#8217;s a huge issue that agencies have because agencies are willing to do almost anything to try to find revenue.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;I no longer want to work with executives who don&#8217;t value the long term investment of communications. I ask questions to help me understand whether or not the CEO understands what it is that we&#8217;re doing and what that investment is. I listen for things like, &#8216;I really want to see how it&#8217;s translating to sales&#8217;. Because those are the red flags that are going to help me understand whether or not this is a good client.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8220;You shouldn&#8217;t be buying lottery tickets in business development, you should be looking for those more sure things. I was just talking with a client this morning and part of the focus was how many people can we reach? How big can we build our email list? And it&#8217;s not about the quantity, it&#8217;s about the quality.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;It goes to human psychology. When you start to be intentional about it and you very politely say, thank you, but no, thank you. They start to chase you. You go from being the one that&#8217;s supposed to be pursuing to being the one that&#8217;s being pursued. And it gives you a lot of leverage.&#8221;



Resources



* The Spin Sucks Community




View Transcript
The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.



Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin.



Gini Dietrich: And I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: Today, we&#8217;re gonna try to figure out the cost of listening to an episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast, right after this.



So that&#8217;s actually not what we&#8217;re gonna talk about because&#8230;



Gini Dietrich: No, it&#8217;s not what we&#8217;re talking about.



Chip Griffin: But, but if you do some of the things that we&#8217;re going to suggest as part of this episode, you could actually calculate the cost of listening to the Agency Leadership Podcast. What we&#8217;re actually gonna talk about though, is how do you calculate the cost of business development? Because&#8230;



Gini Dietrich: Now I want to know the cost of listening to this.



Chip Griffin: Well, it will be different for every listener.



Gini Dietrich: Sure, right.



Chip Griffin: Because it comes down to how much does their own time c...
Newest Audio
Understanding the cost of agency business development A recent post by a member of the Spin Sucks Community raised the topic of calculating the cost of winning new clients — and determining how to account for that expense properly.



&#8220;Any thoughts on how to account for the time spent on proposals (calls and revisions) to get a job? I’m the one that has to do the work. When I’m doing that, it’s &#8216;lost time&#8217; for me. My first thought is to see how many hours I’ve spent in the first half of the year and then see how that is accounted for in my profitability margin. Perhaps I need to consider making that number a little different to make up for it.&#8221;



Chip and Gini tackle this question and explore the importance of factoring in the cost of business development into not just your pricing, but also your identification of ideal clients and the right opportunities to pursue.



Key takeaways



* Chip Griffin: &#8220;A lot of the agencies that you and I talk with don&#8217;t in any way keep track of the amount of time or cost involved with business development. I think it&#8217;s a huge issue that agencies have because agencies are willing to do almost anything to try to find revenue.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;I no longer want to work with executives who don&#8217;t value the long term investment of communications. I ask questions to help me understand whether or not the CEO understands what it is that we&#8217;re doing and what that investment is. I listen for things like, &#8216;I really want to see how it&#8217;s translating to sales&#8217;. Because those are the red flags that are going to help me understand whether or not this is a good client.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8220;You shouldn&#8217;t be buying lottery tickets in business development, you should be looking for those more sure things. I was just talking with a client this morning and part of the focus was how many people can we reach? How big can we build our email list? And it&#8217;s not about the quantity, it&#8217;s about the quality.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;It goes to human psychology. When you start to be intentional about it and you very politely say, thank you, but no, thank you. They start to chase you. You go from being the one that&#8217;s supposed to be pursuing to being the one that&#8217;s being pursued. And it gives you a lot of leverage.&#8221;



Resources



* The Spin Sucks Community




View Transcript
The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.



Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin.



Gini Dietrich: And I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: Today, we&#8217;re gonna try to figure out the cost of listening to an episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast, right after this.



So that&#8217;s actually not what we&#8217;re gonna talk about because&#8230;



Gini Dietrich: No, it&#8217;s not what we&#8217;re talking about.



Chip Griffin: But, but if you do some of the things that we&#8217;re going to suggest as part of this episode, you could actually calculate the cost of listening to the Agency Leadership Podcast. What we&#8217;re actually gonna talk about though, is how do you calculate the cost of business development? Because&#8230;



Gini Dietrich: Now I want to know the cost of listening to this.



Chip Griffin: Well, it will be different for every listener.



Gini Dietrich: Sure, right.



Chip Griffin: Because it comes down to how much does their own time c...
How to allocate your client’s PESO budget Agencies commonly get asked how much they should spend on one tactic or another.



Clients and agencies alike also ask what percentage of their budgets should be spent on each element of the PESO model.



In this episode, Chip and Gini explore how agencies should approach this question, both when developing their own strategies for clients as well as for helping to guide the client on their overall communications planning.



Key takeaways



* Chip Griffin: &#8220;The longer your time horizon, the more tactics are open to you. Certainly everybody&#8217;s going to say we need to get results yesterday. But the reality is that there is tremendous payoff for some of the more slow burn activities that you can undertake.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;Media relations has peaks and valleys. So you&#8217;d hit the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times all in one week. And then you&#8217;d have this valley where there would be nothing. And during the valleys, clients would get angry and upset and didn&#8217;t understand what you were doing. And you&#8217;re like, I just spent my entire year&#8217;s budget on the last week.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8220;The challenge that we all have is that when we&#8217;re having that conversation with a client or even a prospect, we want to do whatever it takes to win the business. So our natural inclination is going to be to give them an answer that they want to hear and/or an answer that allows them to give us the most money.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;Numbers are not fun for most agency owners, but this is something you have to get really good at. Because otherwise you&#8217;re going to be really excited when you sign a contract for more money than you&#8217;ve made before, but really frustrated six months in when you&#8217;re over servicing, not making a profit, and you feel like they&#8217;re taking advantage.&#8221;



Resources



* Spin Sucks community




View Transcript
The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.



Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin



Gini Dietrich: and I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: And we&#8217;re gonna talk about our budgets today, Gini, and how we should split them up. How much, how much should you get paid? How much should I get paid? Right after this.



Gini Dietrich: Clearly I should get 75 and you should get 25.



Chip Griffin: Uh, sure. Okay.



Gini Dietrich: Great. Awesome.



Chip Griffin: Since you know, since, since we don&#8217;t pay ourselves anything for this show&#8230;



Gini Dietrich: 75% of nothing.



Chip Griffin: I, I will gladly give you nothing. I&#8217;ll tell you what Gini I&#8217;m feeling generously. I&#8217;m giving you 90%.



Gini Dietrich: Oh yes!



Chip Griffin: Of our combined pay for this show.



Gini Dietrich: Done. Yes, let&#8217;s do it. I love it.



Chip Griffin: Excellent. Now we&#8217;re, we&#8217;re gonna be talking about something near and dear to your heart, and my heart as well, which is a question that was asked in the Spin Sucks community. And that is if, if we&#8217;re using the PESO model, which of course you should be. If we&#8217;re using the PESO model, how should we think about the allocation of the budget amongst the different letters?
Measuring (and reporting) your agency’s results for clients A question recently popped up in the Spin Sucks Community for an organization looking to implement a communications measurement program for the first time.



Chip and Gini took the opportunity to explore how to set up useful reporting for client work, as well has how your agency can communicate those results most effectively to your clients.



Measurement isn&#8217;t easy, but it doesn&#8217;t need to be hard either. There are lots of great resources available. This episode will help you to build or improve your own framework for reporting that should lead to better results, happier clients, and improved retention.



Key takeaways



Chip Griffin: &#8220;It is so important that you provide context to your report, that you provide understanding to your report, because a pile of data, even if they understand it on the other side, is not nearly as meaningful as if you are able to tell that story and distill down the key points.&#8221;



Gini Dietrich : &#8220;When you&#8217;re thinking about how you can measure the results of a communications program, probably about 50% of it cannot be measured. So you have to have the confidence to be able to say to a client, you&#8217;re gonna invest this 50%, and we&#8217;re not gonna be able to tell you that it was directly correlated to X number of customers or X amount of revenue.&#8221;



Resources



* Christopher Penn* Spin Sucks Community




View Transcript
Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin.



Gini Dietrich: And I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: And we&#8217;re gonna get out our measuring tape today and do something with it right after this.



All right. So let&#8217;s see. How do we&#8230;



Gini Dietrich: oh, you actually have one!



Chip Griffin: How do we measure the success of our efforts for clients?



Gini Dietrich: So bad, so bad. How do you have a measuring tape sitting right there? By the way your background looks very nice. I just noticed.



Chip Griffin: Thank you. I appreciate that. Yeah. I, I made a few upgrades to it over the holiday week, so.



Gini Dietrich: I like it. Looks great.



Chip Griffin: Tried to brighten it up a little bit, you know? Yeah. The brick is nice, but a little, little white bead board.



Gini Dietrich: Got some green plants in there. You have some action figures.



Chip Griffin: They&#8217;re fake. Of course.



Gini Dietrich: Well sure. That way they don&#8217;t die. It&#8217;s great.



Chip Griffin: Correct. Yeah. I mean, you don&#8217;t want me to have to take care of plants. That&#8217;s just, that&#8217;s not gonna end well. You know, but no, I have a, in, I have a measuring tape in my desk and so. Right after I, I started playing the bumper. It occurred to me that, that I had a measuring tape in my desk.



Gini Dietrich: You actually had one.



Chip Griffin: So I spun around quickly grabbed it out and had it in hand by the time the graphic came off the screen. For those of you who were watching in video.



Gini Dietrich: Okay. Well on that note.



Chip Griffin: Show&#8217;s over. Yeah. But it&#8217;s been great.



Gini Dietrich: Failed fast.
What value do clients believe your agency provides? Do you know what your clients really value from their relationship with your agency? Often we know that we are creating real value for a client, but it isn&#8217;t always aligned with the value that they see.



For example, clients may be looking to get something off of their own plates or relieving some logistical headache more than the actual results you produce.



In other cases, they may be looking for external validation or a fresh set of eyes.



The more you understand about why a prospect decides to say &#8220;yes&#8221; to your agency, the better you can tailor the work (and reporting) that you provide to match.



Remember that it is important to be both effective (in our expert opinion) but also deliver the results (or pain relief) that our clients are seeking.



Key takeaways



Chip Griffin: &#8220;Ultimately the client is always right. I mean, at least in their own minds. And in the terms of the agency client relationship, they are right. They may not be correct, but they are right. They control the relationship and can walk away whenever they want.&#8221;



Gini Dietrich: &#8220;Know your value, show your value, align your value.&#8221;



Chip Griffin: &#8220;You need to draw a very clear line from what you&#8217;re doing to the result that it&#8217;s creating. If you can do it quantitatively with third party data, fantastic. If you can&#8217;t, do the best you can, because otherwise you are going to be the first to go when they&#8217;re looking for budget cuts.&#8221;



Gini Dietrich: &#8220;So: listen, ask questions, take some good notes, figure out what the pain is. Don&#8217;t let them get away with the first answer, try to dig deeper and deeper three to five levels deeper. And when you do that, you can start to demonstrate the value that you provide.&#8221;




View Transcript
The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.



Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin.



Gini Dietrich: And I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: And we wanna know what value do you think you&#8217;re getting from this podcast? Right after this.



I don&#8217;t know about you, Gini, but I think we provide tons of value in this podcast every week.



Gini Dietrich: I would say it depends. Some weeks, probably so and some weeks&#8230;



Chip Griffin: all right. Can we agree we provide at least a little value with this podcast?



Gini Dietrich: Yeah, I can. I would agree with that. Right.



Chip Griffin: We, we can agree on that, but, but is what we think the value is the same as what the listeners think the value is.



Gini Dietrich: Not necessarily.



Chip Griffin: Not necessarily. And that&#8217;s what we&#8217;re gonna be talking about today.



Because agencies have the same problem when they&#8217;re thinking about their clients. And this is sort of a follow on to our recent conversation about the possibility of a recession. And if there&#8217;s a recession, companies will be pinching pennies and trying to figure out where to cut their budgets. And in fact, there&#8217;s already some survey research I&#8217;ve seen this week that suggests businesses are already starting to cut back just, just in case something happens.



Gini Dietrich: Yup. We&#8217;re seeing that already.



Chip Griffin: So if,
Agencies and the possible Recession of 2022 Chip and Gini put this talk off for as long as they could, but many listeners have come to them during the past few weeks asking if they believe a recession is likely and what they should do to prepare their agencies for one.



The truth is that the things that you should do to prepare for a possible recession are the same things that you should be doing to run a successful agency during the good times.



The only difference is that you might want to be slightly more cautious and build in just a little more flexibility. That&#8217;s it. Don&#8217;t go overboard investing in the good times or cutting back in the lean ones.



In this episode, Chip and Gini share their perspectives, including what has gone wrong for them in the past — and how you can make sure that you are communicating effectively with your team, clients, and prospects during turbulent times.



Key takeaways



* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;Really look at your staffing. One of the things that I repeat over and over again is have a nice mix of employees and contractors.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8220;It&#8217;s essential that you overcommunicate with your team right now because they are absolutely seeing these same things and they are worried. Fill that vacuum with information so that they don&#8217;t fill it with speculation.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;The phrase &#8220;cash is king&#8221; exists for a reason. So have as much cash in the business as you can have. Six months is better than three months. Three months is better than nothing.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8220;You will see if the economy turns down, in the early months it will be the agencies that are relying on debt and equity that will have to make the biggest cuts the soonest. Don&#8217;t be one of them.&#8221;



Resources



* Let’s talk about the “R” word (SAGA article)* Should your agency hire contractors or employees? (Agency Leadership Podcast)








View Transcript
Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin.



Gini Dietrich: And I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: And today we&#8217;re not gonna depress you, but we might recess you. Right after this.



Gini Dietrich: Boy, I missed your segues. That was, that was special.



Chip Griffin: Did you have a good vacation?



Gini Dietrich: I did. Thank you.



Chip Griffin: I&#8217;m glad to hear that. It&#8217;s important to take time off but that&#8217;s not what we&#8217;re talking about today. We&#8217;re talking about something much more stressful and yes, probably a little bit depressing for some of you to think about.



I&#8217;ve been asked. And I know you&#8217;ve been asked Gini so many times by agency owners in recent weeks about the possibility of a recession, the R word. People are, some people are freaking out. Some people are just wondering about it. Is it gonna happen? What should we be doing? And so we tried, we&#8217;ve talked about having this as a topic now for the last month or so we kept putting it off.



And I don&#8217;t think we can do that any longer because the curiosity and concern is rising to a level that we just can&#8217;t ignore it anymore.



Gini Dietrich: Yeah. I think the Jamie Dimon doing the rounds calling it an economic hurricane probably does not help matters because I have a friend who called me and was like,
Bidding wars for agency talent How should you handle it when one of your agency&#8217;s employees — or prospective new hires — comes to you and asks you to match another offer?



Or perhaps they approach you and tell you that they need to get a significant pay raise so that they aren&#8217;t &#8220;forced&#8221; to go into the marketplace to try to find opportunities that pay more.



In this episode, Chip and Gini discuss how to approach these requests, whether you are in a super tight talent market like we see today or even in more &#8220;normal&#8221; times.



Key takeaways



Chip Griffin: &#8220;If you&#8217;re going to give a significant bump in pay to somebody, you also need to change their title and responsibilities at least to some degree, because that signals to the individual that you&#8217;re not just paying them a substantial amount more for the same job. You now have higher expectations for them. But it&#8217;s also something you can use with other team members.&#8221;



Gini Dietrich: &#8220;One of the things that we do in the very first interview is we say, this is the salary range. Does that work for you?&#8221;



Chip Griffin: &#8220;I think that you can be penny wise, pound foolish on some of these hiring decisions. If a prospective employee says I need an extra 2K or something like that, for God&#8217;s sake say yes.&#8221;



Gini Dietrich: &#8220;If they&#8217;ve already interviewed, already taken time to find a new job, then I may be able to appease them for six months by giving them a bump in salary to match it. But it&#8217;s not gonna last, they&#8217;re gonna go do it again in six months or a year.&#8221;




View Transcript
The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.



Chip Griffin: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin



Gini Dietrich: and I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: And since Gini has gotten her hair and makeup all settled in the pre-show, we can now jump in today&#8217;s episode and Gini, I think we&#8217;re gonna have to have a bidding war for your services.



Gini Dietrich: Awesome. Love that.



Chip Griffin: Right after this.



Leading into today&#8217;s episode. I had to wait for Gini to fix her hair so she could actually, I don&#8217;t know, see the camera or something. I tried to do the same to mine and then realized I didn&#8217;t have any, so it wasn&#8217;t gonna happen.



Gini Dietrich: Yeah. There&#8217;s no Bobby pinning your bangs back or anything like that?



Chip Griffin: No, no. I could probably do it to my eyebrows.



They can get long at times.



Gini Dietrich: I dare you. Next time.



Chip Griffin: No but thanks for playing. No, what we are gonna talk about today though, is indeed the topic of bidding wars for employees, because we all know that the agency talent market is really, really tight today. And so you&#8217;ve got a situation where sometimes you&#8217;ve got a candidate that you&#8217;re trying to hire, who will say, you know, I I&#8217;d love to come work for you, but I&#8217;ve got this competing offer from another agency.



Sometimes you get an internal employee who says, you know, I need to be bumped up to this amount or I&#8217;m gonna have to go find another job. Or perhaps they come to you and say, Hey, I&#8217;ve got an offer from another agency. Can you match it so that I can stay? I&#8217;d rather stay with you. And so, you know,
Should your agency hire contractors or employees? The conversation about hiring traditional employees or independent contractors has been a popular one in the agency community for a long time.



Some advocate the flexibility of using contractors and the ability to stop working with them without incurring unemployment insurance costs.



Others promote employees as a better solution because they help create a real team atmosphere and are willing to do more for success than outside contractors.



In this episode, Chip and Gini discuss the merits of some of these arguments and explain how agency leaders can think about the right mix of contractors and employees in their own businesses.



Key takeaways



* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;Working with contractors, you have to be really specific about the work that you need them to do, because they&#8217;re not in your business every day so they&#8217;re missing nuance and context and those kinds of things that happen in daily stand-ups or in weekly staff meetings.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8221; I think a lot of folks incorrectly assume that contractors would prefer to be an employee. And many times they don&#8217;t. Many times contractors are contractors because that&#8217;s what they want.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;What are the pros to having an employee and what are the cons, what are the pros to having a contractor and what are the cons? And let&#8217;s figure out what the right mix is.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8220;I think ultimately if people go through the exercise that you described of working through the pros and cons, not for contractors versus employees generally, but for the specific role that you&#8217;re trying to fill, that will help lead them to the right decision for their agency.&#8221;




View Transcript
The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.



Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin.



Gini Dietrich: And I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: And today I don&#8217;t have a really exciting intro. I&#8217;m just going to say, we&#8217;re going to talk about employees versus contractors for agencies right after this.



I had a big fat nothing today.



Gini Dietrich: Yeah. I&#8217;m kind of surprised there&#8217;s no creativity coming out of you today.



Chip Griffin: No, it&#8217;s kind of sad.



Gini Dietrich: It&#8217;s because you used your segue, your creative segue in our banter beforehand. That&#8217;s why.



Chip Griffin: That&#8217;s true. I did. Yes. So what are you going to do? It is what it is. I apologize to you listeners that we didn&#8217;t give you the usual entertainment at the start of the show, but we might have some during the show because Gini has some audience members who are wandering in and out.



Gini Dietrich: Audience members in the form of children and dogs.



Chip Griffin: So if you hear something, that&#8217;s what it is. But we&#8217;re keeping our fingers crossed that all will be calm.



Gini Dietrich: I did tell them, I said, I&#8217;m going to record a podcast. So go downstairs. So hopefully they understand that that means do not come up here.



Chip Griffin: If I recall correctly, you told them that about 10 minutes ago and they got noisier right after you did that.



Gini Dietrich: That&#8217;s that&#8217;s fair. They were singing at the top of their lungs, but they were, did not come upstairs, so.



Chip Griffin: Okay. Well.
Handling clients who disagree with your agency’s advice Sometimes clients just won&#8217;t take their agency&#8217;s expert advice. There&#8217;s nothing inherently wrong with that — after all, we can only offer advice.



But how should you handle it when they ignore your recommended course of action? When should you push back — and how should you do it?



Chip and Gini explore this topic and talk about the importance of understanding the root cause of the client&#8217;s objection or desire to proceed differently. With that information in hand, it becomes much easier to figure out your own next steps.



Key takeaways



* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;When you hire a professional – and we all hire professionals in some form in our lives – do you hire them so that you can tell them what to do? Or do you hire them because they have an expertise that you don&#8217;t have? And you want them to provide real concrete professionalism that will help you do whatever it is – from building shelves, to cleaning your house, to going to the dentist. I don&#8217;t go to the dentist and say, You&#8217;re cleaning my teeth incorrectly.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8220;Sometimes clients still make bad decisions. We all do. It&#8217;s like raising kids. We can tell the kids, you shouldn&#8217;t touch that hot stove. Guess what? Sometimes they touch the hot stove.&#8221;* Gini Dietrich: &#8220;Don&#8217;t be afraid to give advice. Because even if they&#8217;re ignoring you, that&#8217;s what they&#8217;ve hired us for. They&#8217;ve hired us because this is what we do every single day and we&#8217;re professionals and we&#8217;re experts.&#8221;* Chip Griffin: &#8220;We are not the decision maker. We are the agency. It&#8217;s like a lawyer. You hire a lawyer for their advice. You have the right to ignore that advice.&#8221;



Resources



7 reasons clients ignore advice from your agency (SAGA article)




View Transcript
The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.



Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin.



Gini Dietrich: And I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: Gini, I think I want to take this show in a whole different direction right after this.



Gini Dietrich: Okay.



Chip Griffin: So have you ever been in a meeting with a client where they say, I want to go and do this, and you&#8217;re thinking that&#8217;s not a good idea, I think we should do something totally different. 180 degrees opposite.



Gini Dietrich: I have in fact, just a couple of days ago. I have been there.



Chip Griffin: Well, how timely? I didn&#8217;t even know that when we, when we settled on this topic for today&#8217;s conversation, but it is something that agencies run into all the time where our advice is to do one thing.



The client wants to do another. And so the question is, what do you do? How do you handle it? And I think too often, the default for many agencies is they just go with what the client says. Yeah, for sure. Because in their minds, that&#8217;s how I keep the business. And that&#8217;s how I make sure that I&#8217;m not rocking the boat, right.



Because we&#8217;re all, we all want to keep all that revenue we&#8217;ve got. And we think that if we start disagreeing with clients too much, they&#8217;re going to tell us to go take a hike.



Gini Dietrich: Here&#8217;s the thing about this. When you hire a professional and we all hire professionals in ...
Sharing your agency’s internal work product with clients Agency clients often ask for things like media lists, Photoshop files, raw research, and access to internal software tools.



How much of this material should you be willing to share? How should you decide where to draw the line?



In this episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast, Chip and Gini pick up a question from the Spin Sucks Community to dive into this topic.



They started out with some degree of disagreement, but as usual ended up more in agreement than they first thought.



Key takeaways



Chip Griffin: &#8220;You need to be in a position where the client understands that you&#8217;re creating value well beyond that mere media list that you have.&#8221;



Gini Dietrich: &#8220;There have been multiple times where we have said goodbye to a client, and I thought I&#8217;m never going to hear from them again. And that&#8217;s just not the case.&#8221;



Chip Griffin: &#8220;I frequently see where an agency senses that the client is headed out the door and they start throwing up roadblocks to make the transition more difficult. Don&#8217;t do that. If a client wants to leave, you should not be throwing up roadblocks. You should be trying to figure out how to end the relationship gracefully.&#8221;



Gini Dietrich: &#8220;In 99.9% of the cases you&#8217;ll share the work product and they&#8217;ll go, oh&#8230;We don&#8217;t have the internal resources. Or we didn&#8217;t know it would take this much time or we didn&#8217;t have as much knowledge about this. We need you to handle it.&#8221;




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The following is a computer-generated transcript. Please listen to the audio to confirm accuracy.



Chip Griffin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Agency Leadership Podcast. I&#8217;m Chip Griffin



Gini Dietrich: and I&#8217;m Gini Dietrich.



Chip Griffin: And today we&#8217;re going to try to disagree with each other all the way from start to finish. In this episode, we&#8217;re going to give it our best shot right after this.



So this is our second try recording this episode because the gremlins literally got into the microphones somehow. So we&#8217;re going to see how well we do here, but just one of those behind the scenes things I like to share with listeners. So they feel like they&#8217;re right here with us, even though we could have pretended that nothing had happened at all.



Gini Dietrich: Yes. Apparently there are gremlins in my microphone, so hopefully we&#8217;re ok.



Chip Griffin: Or in Streamyard, which we use to record, or, you know, maybe it was just in my own head. You just will never know. But what we&#8217;re going to talk about today is a conversation that took place in the Spin Sucks community. And Gini and I had some disagreement about it and it&#8217;s a topic that&#8217;s I think, near and dear to the hearts of particularly PR agencies.



But it&#8217;s something that all agencies confront, which is how much of your work product you should be sharing with clients. And it started with a conversation about sharing media lists with PR agency clients and what you do when your client asks for it. But I think it can be a broader conversation because agencies of all kinds get asked to share things like research or access to Google ad words accounts, or Photoshop files, instead of just finished graphic images.



All these kinds of things are issues that agencies need to deal with and they need to figure out where to draw the line.
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