With the year coming to a close, I find myself struggling to find a topic of interest to write about. As I reflect on 2017, I realize CMA fired more clients in 2017 than we hired. It takes confidence to let a client go, but with a sharp vision for your business you know exactly where you are going and how to get there. If you have the wrong clients it is a hazard to your company’s vision and mission. If you have the proper clients the world is your oyster. It is funny to sit down with friends or family when they ask how things are going and I say, “I fired a client today”. They look at me with a puzzled look and I say, “that is correct, I fired a client; they no longer fit the company’s vision”. It is liberating, addictive and freeing to let go and move on from fear, but if you find certain people, things, and programs no longer are working to meet your mission & vision you must cut them free. Once you cut bait, something better is always on the other side if you can just find the inner-strength to make the cut. It is an awful feeling to feel stuck and unappreciated. It is overwhelming to think you’ll never be good enough or doing enough to please the client. Once you get on this merry-go-round it feels impossible to get off. Not only is it hard on me, the business owner, it is terrible to see my staff go through abusive client behaviors. It breaks down the entire team. As I reflect on the year, I have challenged myself to clear out the clients who no longer serve us. This is scary but liberating. It has taken a toll on the cashflow, but the overall happiness of the team at CMA is worth the struggle. All good things take patience. At CMA we are happier and more productive in our daily work environment which ultimately will earn the company more respect and let the cash flow freely.
Staying True to the Vision:
At CMA we are motivated by change and powered by digital…creating continued wealth and success for our clients and our team at CMA. I read this often as it is our vision. To absorb the meaning of this you must read it often and then manifest it daily. Before firing a client, I make sure it fits CMA’s vision and mission. If we are not serving a client in a way that motivates wealth, change and success; why are we working with them? So often the 80/20 rule comes into play and causes grief for the staff. We spend 80 percent of our time working with clients that generate 20 percent of the cashflow. If we are going to motivate change, we need to look within and adjust to create space for new clients; clients that have our same philosophy and goals. We have had numerous clients who took advantage of our services and have no awareness of our vision and mission. They are pushy, difficult to please, and impossible to manage. In the past I would work so hard on trying to make the 20% happy, while the good clients were lost. The lost ones are those clients who truly appreciate what we do and love our programs and trust us as their marketing partners. The clients who become personal friends and those who deserve the time and service weren’t receiving it! So, this year I cleaned house, brought on the self-esteem and found time to work closely with the clients who appreciate our time, vision, communication and creative expertise.
We create powerful programs with impeccable service, digital expertise, and seamless execution…the first sentence of our mission statement. Who wouldn’t want to find an agency that has this as the most important part of their mission? I travel extensively with my company, and I find it difficult to get quality service and clear communications. Most companies who care about impeccable service and attention to detail are rare.
Hiring A Good Client:
To remain successful, we are only accepting clients that fit our criteria and meet our vison and mission; instead of the other way around. If a client doesn’t truly appreciate our product and is not willing to work with us as a team, “No thank you.” We are looking for partnership, mindful thinking, and an understanding for clear communication and appreciation.
Without this we are doomed. Excellent communication can be the difference between rapid growth, or the slow death of a business. Every smart business owner understands that and knows when to pull the plug on a project. Additionally, marketing, communications and advertising are the keys to the success and growth of clients’ companies. We have set new criteria for our clients, we tell them not to base their hiring decisions on cost of an agency, but instead make decisions based on personalities and overall performance and recommendations from other client references. We are creating long term partnerships with open communication and an ongoing dialog. Money flows where the personality controls. If you don’t click and have appreciation for each other there is no partnership. In the end the client will get a great ROI without pain and suffering.
Seeking New Clients with an Unobstructed Vision:
We are seeking clients who let CMA color outside the lines and work slightly out of the box. We hire clients who understand that working with an open mind will provide creative flow and positive communications which is the most important part of creating a brand and identity for a program. We are hiring clients that have an unobstructed vision with goals for their company. If they are wishy washy and lack confidence this is not a good fit. So many of our clients say they want to build a brand and think that means creating a great logo. Good branding can change the trajectory of our client’s business forever. A good brand can add to your legitimacy, creating excitement and customer acquisition so much better. It may seem a bit dramatic, but a single campaign/blog/video post that goes viral can literally change a business forever. We are looking for long-term clients who want to grow and become better, make more money and grow their image and cashflow.
So, gurus, without a solid strategy and vision your idea is going nowhere. At CMA we are hiring clients who know where they are going and need a partner to help them get there. We are searching for open minded clients that love life, know how to prioritize, and create positive feedback to help us create branded campaigns that hit the mark. Our clients understand that a good brand starts with an unobstructed vision and a solid mission strategy. With a dedicated team working together, anything is possible.