Possible CEO's open letter to the future client

After the honeymoon phase, how will we keep the spark alive?

Dear Future Client,

As it stands right now, you and my team are only an RFP and a few rounds of pitching away from entering into a serious commitment. And I’m already concerned about where this relationship is heading. I know that as soon as we join hands, there will be an initial rush of bliss in which you think we’re perfect.

After the honeymoon phase, how will we keep the spark alive? Over time, all relationships change. Will you get used to us? Will our best efforts suddenly become boring? Worst of all, will you start looking at other, perhaps younger, agencies to pick up the excitement level and scratch that itch?

This doesn’t have to happen. We believe that to make this relationship work, we have to work hard every day for you. But we also know that it takes two to tango. Here’s what you can do to keep our relationship strong:

Agree to clearly defined goals and KPIs
Agencies need to know what you expect from the relationship, and goals and KPIs are the best way to keep us aligned. We don’t mind being held accountable when we fall short, but we get discouraged when we don’t know what falling short means.

Be willing to take risks
Every relationship needs a little spice to succeed. As your agency, we’re going to try to keep the flame burning hot by suggesting new and risky ideas — though we will also use data and insights to show why. To get the most out of us, you’ll need to set aside time (and budget) to let us pursue them.

Be honest about your organization
Just as we’re not perfect, neither is anyone else. Every organization can have its dysfunction. We can’t solve that for you, but we can learn to love you as you are and work through any quirks you have. Be honest with us about stakeholders, internal dynamics, how you’re structured, and what keeps you up at night. We won’t judge. 

Show appreciation to the team
No relationship endures without an occasional sign of affection. Our teams work better with clients who are free with the compliments when deserved. I can’t think of a less expensive way to keep our love alive and our team going all out for you.

Get real about finances
How many relationships have been destroyed by fighting about money? We know you’re under a lot of pressure to grow the business and find new efficiencies. We know our time is your money, and we urge you to use us wisely. We promise not to run up your credit cards on tasks you can do in-house. We’ll also look for efficiencies on production and other repetitive tasks.

Free is never really free
We’re happy to woo you once, but our relationship will go sour if we have to do it every day. Some clients like to put everything out to pitch. The problem with this is that pitch work almost never sees the light of day. Pay us so we can put the best and most diverse team on your business and let the real work shine through.

Trust us
Trust is necessary in any relationship, and we know we need to build it over time. Let’s start with mutual respect, focus on building a strong partnership, and then we’ll be able to do amazing things together.

I’m sure you’re dying to meet us, just as we can’t wait to meet you. And in the effort to be completely transparent, you should know in advance that we’re not in this for a fling. No hook-ups please — we’re ready to commit to an LTR. If you’re available and willing to work to make our relationship a success, I guarantee it will be.

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