If I show you ours, will you show me yours?
I’ve never had the balls to say that. At times I would like to. Not in those exact words. But the sentiment is of importance to me.
It takes two to tango as my Mum always said. You’ve got to be able to get round the dancefloor together so being in step in every sense is critical from day one.
We get asked to show credentials a lot. And here’s what they tell you. That we’re great at what we do and do it for lots of fantastic blue chip clients and well-known brands. And the work works.
A bit like if I went to a new hairdresser they could show me some really great haircuts for lots of people who are a bit like me. But will they make MY hair look good?
Credentials almost become a given (you shouldn’t have to ask) at a certain size and scale of an agency. You undeniably are going to have lots of good client names and projects to show. You definitely will have a broad set of services that will tick most, if not all, the client boxes. You categorically will have deep skill sets and lots of impressive statistics on turnover, growth, volume of work you traffic through.
But I like to show people what I’m really made of!
I want any prospective client to try us on for size.
I want to demonstrate what I can do for them, uniquely them.
For me that counts more than anything.
And perhaps it’s an unpopular position to take – to offer to “give something away for free”.
But why not. I’m an “all in” type of girl and I would like to think I have encouraged and coached the Realisers to be the same.
Give and you shall receive perhaps?
So I say to every single prospect that we meet, let me show you how we would work for you, on a one line problem, a single statement, or a few paragraphs of brief or even just in a presentation.
Test us out.
The definition of credentials is evidence to one’s authority. So let it be just that – evidence to support a bigger business case to bring a new agency to the table.
A new agency, if you have picked right, that will have boundless energy and enthusiasm from before you have even appointed them. A new agency that will validate your choice in selecting them every day of your relationship.
Which returns me to the start. I want to know your background too. How you have worked with agencies, what you see as the success in relationship, what you are willing to put in emotionally and practically to make it a success? I can see that you are an amazing brand, an impressive organisation, an imposing and intelligent senior marketer. But let’s meet in the middle. Tell me stories of where it went wrong for you with other agencies so I don’t make those mistakes. Tell me honestly how it will be when I work with you.
To quote (badly) someone smarter than I am – “people can hear your words, and see your work, but they feel your attitude.”