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The relationship between a client and a marketing agency is a tender thing. It can be great, doomed from the start, or even degrade over time.

On today’s episode, we’re talking about knowing when you should give up and quit and when you should push on. Put another way – understanding where the line is between stubbornly pursuing a goal that isn’t working and the persistence needed to actually make your golf or craft beer business move forward.

The Show Highlights:

  • Early warning signs of a client/business relationship that’s turning sour (1:10)
  • What to do as an agency when you don’t get a response from your client (6:00)
  • How to have a ‘clean’ business relationship (8:40)
  • The monthly non-negotiable task that’ll help you build a bulletproof relationship with your clients (9:45)

If you enjoyed today’s show, make sure you head on over to www.tapsandtees.info and download your free report of ‘No BS,’ game-changing marketing tips and strategies that show you how to blow up your brand online.

Read Full Transcript

Intro: 00:04 You were listening to the taps and tea show, weekly conversations for people, passionate about marketing, golf and craft beer. Marty is the cofounder of Bad Rhino in award winning digital marketing agency helping golf and craft beer brands and get real results in social media marketing. Here is your host, Marty McDonald.

Marty: 00:24 Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Taps and t's. This is Marty McDonald and I'm looking forward to talk to you today about knowing when to quit. Normally, you know, you don't want to say quit, you know, you tell your kids or other people you know hang in there, you know, do your best, keep going. But sometimes you know client slash agency relationship or other relationships you know that are going on in the business world. You have to call it quits, right? So I want to give you a couple of examples. When you do hire an agency following up, you know from our last episode of you know, how to set crystal clear client expectations and make sure that you're following on both from an agency side and a client perspective. But I think knowing when to quit is a, is a good one. So let me give you a specific example. Obviously we don't mention names here on the podcast.

Marty: 01:12 And like I said, I relationship that I've come encountered with, with bad rhino, knock on wood has been a very positive one because we're confident in our team and we know what we're doing and we're going to get results and we do set those expectations. But even when you do that, sometimes you know, stuff doesn't work out for whatever reason, you know, and we try to limit those as best as possible. We over communicate, we do things like that. But you also have to understand that that point that comes to is like, all right, time to go and what constitutes that? What happens? So we had a client engagement and I spoke at a, an event last fall, when was I? October of 2018. And um, you know, had a couple of contacts come up during the event as well as after the event and then following up the email.

Marty: 02:01 And it was great. I mean we had one person and their brewery sign on right away and we were like, okay, this is great. You know, had a quick phone call and they were like, let's go. I need this. I have a ton of stuff going on. Let's rock and roll. So we took it at face value and said, all right, God started, sorry to pull everything out and did our audit, did our due diligence at the beginning. Everything went well there and then they went dark. It was odd, you know, it was like one of those things where the invoices were being paid, but they didn't answer their email. They didn't answer phone calls. And that lasted January and February and finally just in the middle of February, we were kind of like, okay, you know, there are certain pieces of this that, you know, since we started in December, certain pieces of it that can drag on for 30 days and we can kind of make do with what we have.

Marty: 02:51 But the key person, they're the point person who brought us on board, just vanished. Just gone. Right. They're busy with other stuff. They were wrapping up other things, they just, just wasn't there. But you know, the invoice was paying January and February and we were kind of like, okay, um, what are we gonna do here? So I said, wind up sending an email and you know, phone calls and no answer. And we, you know, we got paints and we just finished out like the bits and pieces that we could, and then we say, look, you know, hey, should we put a pause on this? I feel like we should. What's going on? And they were like, oh, you know, sorry, had some personal issues, had some other business issues, all these other things, which are great, you know, hey, you know, we all have stuff going on.

Marty: 03:36 We totally understand. And I said, well, you know, what I'll do is we'll work through some of this. I'm not going to bill you for March or April and let's pick this up in May, but we can handle some of these other things that we can clean up here. And they were like, that's fine. You know, I appreciate it. You know, we have this new website, which we were involved with a little bit and brought in our website partner, which was rocking and rolling, but at the same time you're like, what's going on? Like, what are you trying to do here? So when I say know when to quit, it's like, all right, these are signs that this may not be a great relationship on either side, through no fault of our own, no fault on, there's no fault on errors, just timing's bad. We have other people doing other things, um, on their part, so they don't necessarily need us, but they feel like they do.

Marty: 04:20 And then, uh, we reconvene in May, so when you start there and we're like, okay, let us, you know, take a drive and we'll come meet with you, we'll talk to the other team members, we'll see what's going on, you know, let's get this, you know, ship righted. And they were like, Yep, let's do that. So came up with a new plan and said, all right, we want to do this. Yes, we want to do the paid advertising. And you want us to consult. Yep. Again, starting with the expectations, right? Then they just go dark, completely dark, didn't respond, anything, didn't set up anything. At least this time they didn't pay the invoice cause that would've been awkward and been like, pay the invoice and go dark again. They just didn't respond much as fascinating cause it's the only time this ever happened and this is never happened in our almost 10 years of existence. So I was like, all right. So I sent an email and my business partner and project manager sent emails and said, Hey, you know, it's May, you guys said you wanted to do this. We can get started. Here's the parameters, here's what we need. All we need to do is connect with the marketing person. Now let's get this thing rolling. Nothing, crickets, just nothing going on.

Speaker 4: 05:28 Hey, if you're enjoying what you're hearing on this show and want more, head on over to taps and tees.info and get our free report with game changing tips and strategies straight to your inbox. Just enter your Info and stop in stuck with no marketing plan.

Marty: 05:43 And at that point I was like, all right, you know, the first time you do it, okay, stuff happens the second time you do it. Is this a pattern? What do you have going on? I mean I understand like you know, you might be going through expansion or you might be doing other things, your business that pull you away, but no response. You know? So like that point you're like, what the hell is going on? And you know what, I'm just politely just sent an email and said, hey, you know, we're ready when you are, if you're ready to do this. And you know, and they come back. If they do come back, it'll be a discussion that I have. I might not even take the project on because you know, past history you can dictate the future, right? So you don't want to just fall into that.

Marty: 06:24 But my whole point of that is no one to quit. You know, a lot of times people sit there and they work with an agency and they're confused, you know, let's say their brewery and they're not sure what they should be getting out of it, right? It's kind of like if you go, you know, go to the dentist and you're like, all right, so I have this problem and this problem. And they get in there and they're like, wow, it's not actually this problem. You know, you have just a slight issue here when we can fix that, you know, you don't push back and go, well, no, I think it's this there, the dentist, they're the doctor, they went to school, they do this, right? So sometimes in that agency client relationship, you have to be able to put those things in there. But you also have to understand too, if the client, you know, in this case that brewery doesn't want to give up anything or doesn't want to do it or doesn't respond, you know, what are you going to do?

Marty: 07:16 Like you don't want to sell your name. You don't want to have people badmouthing you. You just have to say, all right, well I guess this isn't going to work out. But when they come back and say they want to do it for the second time or the third time, you know you don't want to start off relationship there. It's kind of like, um, somebody comes into your brewery and says, wow, this IPA sucks. And then they write a review that they hate. You know, this IPA, well it turns out they don't even like Ipas, you know, and he can replace any type of beer. I see it with sours all day long. Or the Hazy IPA is now where they just don't like that style of beer. They're like, oh this brewery sucks. Cause all they make are hazy IPA as well. Yeah. That's what they're doing right now.

Marty: 07:57 And you know, they're telling people that and you showed up, they're wanting a pills and they're are longer and right now they, they're not brewing them. So go to a different brewery if you like pilsners and lagers over IP A's. But they write their review. Right. And is confusing. So it's the same issue there is if you're not giving somebody what you want, but if you can't communicate clear expectations, you know, like we talked about in the previous podcast or know what you want, you know that that time might be a time to quit. It might be on your end, maybe you have it covered. Maybe you have in house staff that are ready to go and they have, they're knowledgeable and that's perfectly fine. Wish you the best, you know? But a lot of times you have to be able to pull that plug. So when you're sitting there looking to hire an agency for marketing purposes, you want to understand like where they should deliver.

Marty: 08:43 You know, it was this following through those last podcasts where we talked about before is you know, know what their deliverables are, know where the money's going, know what they're responsible for. Noah, you're responsible for this way. It makes it a relationship. But I will also say too, where I find people bitch or complain about, you know, marketing or agencies is that they're not communicating enough to get their point across. Now the other side of it, it's just like the dentist analogy. Sometimes the agency is going to go, okay, if you want those types of results, you have to graduate to the next plan and you have to spend a little bit more money cause we can get those results, but we're going to have to expand the paid to be campaign. So if you don't want to listen to the dentist and then you go back and you'd said, no, that's not the issue.

Marty: 09:29 Even though they say it's the issue and then you're still in pain. It's the same way on this side of the agency as the expert is telling you what you need to do, but you don't want to do it and you say, well, I'm still not getting any results. You guys suck. That's not right either. So sometimes you just have to walk away from that and if you're not getting the right communication from your agency, you know that's a good indication that it might be time to switch. One thing that we've done at bad rhino for the past 10 years is we have monthly meetings no matter what. Some of our clients who've been with us for six years plus, they're like, yeah, we don't need to have these monthly meetings, but we still, you know, ask them, Hey, do you want this, you know, want us to review your analytics report this month.

Marty: 10:12 Then we have other clients where we have, you know, one month, one meeting a month just about that. And then we might have multiple emails or multiple conversations or multiple texts about other things. And that's the key. You just want to make it, you know, make it flow without being crazy. But knowing when to quit is key. You have to know when you need the back out of that. So with that, we're going to end this. We're trying to keep them quick, you know, 10 minute bites as best as possible. Sometimes I'll ramble on this a little season about ranting. So we're talking about, you know, some client expectations, knowing when to quit. So where we're going to take it. Next is, let's go with, um, now let's go with, I can't save your business. No agency can save your business. We're going to talk about some of the things that people come to us with when they're in the last throws of something thing. So they're like, they have an idea. They launched a business. Maybe they're a year in two years. I've seen them as much as 10 and they can't figure out how to increase sales. And they're like, well, we need more marketing where the other issues may not be in marketing. So I appreciate it. You're listening to this and I look forward to speaking to you on the next episode of taps and tees.

Have a podcast in 30 days

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