Rules For Agencies: Be Great At Taking Your Client’s Money

There have been a number of times when I’ve tried to spend money and for some reason I couldn’t. Whether it was the fact that the online store couldn’t process my type of credit card or didn’t have a link for me to pay with Paypal or when I’ve walked into an actual store, with cash in my hand, only to find out that what I want isn’t there. That feeling has always left me perplexed at why someone would let that happen.

Which brings me to the first in my potential series of theme based posts on some general rules for agencies. I also want to be clear that I truly value agencies and the role they play in our industry and in driving the work I get to do towards being more valuable. Of course, every industry has their downside – but that’s not the focus here.  ((and of course – since agencies are always a sensitive topic – I am not at all representing or speaking for my current employer or influenced by my current agencies))

For my first rule, I wanted to focus on something fundamental – collecting money.  In this case, let me explain a little bit more about what I mean by giving some scenarios.

I want my agency to be great at taking my money in situations like:

  • When I want to spend it FAST.  It’s the end of the year and all of a sudden we’ve found an extra ??K in the budget, that must be spent and the work performed before the end of the year, and we want to finally do that program that’s been sitting on the shelf for months.
  • I want to pay for this particular program, fee, subscription, etc. through a different means than the one we pay for every other program with you.
  • I want to pay for this out of 6 different budgets, with 6 different invoicing parameters required. Oh, and it all must roll up to the master financials we look at.
  • I need a highly specialized area of expertise that you may have in your agency, although we may not have used before.
  • where you know that this new thing that your agency is recommending is now better than the previous thing you were or the other thing we were doing and you prove it to me, even though it may cost a little different than previously described.
All in all, I think the headline says everything that needs to be discussed when you take it from a positive approach.  I think the great agencies make it easy to work with them and money is more likely than most things to bring pain in a relationship.  When your agency partner is adding true value, money is never an issue.
Matt Kane
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