The more deeply you’re integrated into your client’s business the better.
You’re trained to take on as much work as possible.
To look for opportunities to add projects.
To try to become the first person your client thinks of when he has any type of need.
So it may seem counterintuitive, but there are times when it’s actually better to send your client elsewhere for some services.
Here’s how to recognize those times and how to use it to strengthen your relationship.
There’s a Baseline Cost for Opening a New Project
Everytime you open a new project for your client, there is a minimum cost associated. The clock starts ticking when the call or email comes in.
You have to gather all the input, enter all the information into the system, meet with team members, and estimate the project.
Depending on your agency’s rates and your relationship with your client, this could cost anywhere from $250, $500 and up … just to open a new project.
And it takes time for all of this to happen too.
The project cost will also entail added days for the project to wind its way through the agency processes.
Consider the Value of the Project
The key to recognizing projects to refer elsewhere is two-fold.
First, it’s something that is not necessarily in your agency’s wheelhouse. It’s not the type of business that you typically handle.
And second, consider whether the value of the project is worth the added cost and time that the agency will add to the project. Is the cost of the deliverable going to double when you add the agency overhead to it?
For example, maybe your client needs a quick banner for an event next week.
He knows what it needs it to say. Just a simple text-only banner.
Is the agency providing added value by delivering this banner … with the additional cost and time needed to work through the agency structure?
He’s probably better off just going directly to a fast sign company.
Put Your Client’s Best Interest First
Great candidates for this type of a referral are small things.
They are likely a one-time task.
They are probably production oriented.
They don’t require creative or involvement of other departments.
You’re probably going to just contact a vendor to take care of it.
It’s something that would be overkill if the agency were to handle it because it adds too much cost and time to do it.
Honest Advice Makes for a Stronger Relationship
It would be far more valuable in the long run for you to let your client know that while you’re happy to get an estimate for the project, he may consider going directly to this other resource who can do it more quickly and more economically.
Your client will appreciate your honesty.
He will understand that you’re not just out to make money off of his business.
That you have his best interest at heart.
And that is trust you cannot buy. And in the long run, it will make your relationship with your client stronger.
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