Want to quickly upgrade your client expectations management? Start saying “Clients typically…”
For example: “Our clients typically invest between $X and $Y to solve a problem like this” or “Clients typically share feedback within 2 business days.”
When you and your team add this to your vocabulary, you’ll improve client expectations management, which tends to help your client retention, which tends to help your profit margins.
Let’s look at how you can use “Clients typically…” in your agency’s marketing, sales, and client service—including 15 examples!
Using “Clients typically…” in agency self-marketing
Articles based on client scenarios are typically (haha) helpful for your content marketing. How so?
- First, you can answer common questions—like “how long does it take to build a website?” or “how long does PPC take to start working?” Those help in your SEO.
- Second, these can be strong features for your social media and email marketing—they lend themselves to juicy, question-based subject lines and headlines.
But the value extends beyond marketing, to sales and sales support.
Using “Clients typically…” in sales & sales support
Blog posts and videos based on “Clients typically…” topics tend to be great for sales support, too.
Instead of just saying that it takes 6-12 months for SEO to work (plus some initial quick wins as you fix technical issues), you can also link to your article or video. Those links help clients feel confident your agency knows its stuff.
Beyond sales support, you can use “Clients typically…”—or a variant—in sales conversations:
- “Our clients typically have between $X and $Y million in revenue, with an in-house marketing team of between 10 and 50 people.”
- “Clients typically invest at least $X to start; ongoing support tends to start at $Y a month.”
- “Some clients struggle to launch their new website on their original timeline, because they haven’t finished creating the final content. We have several ways we can help you avoid content delays.”
- “When we redesign a website of your vintage, we typically see improvements on Google-preferred factors like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and XYZ.”
- “We typically share client references once we’re among 2-3 finalists. I’m glad to share once you’ve narrowed things further.”
And of course, the value continues once someone’s a paying client!
Using “Clients typically…” in client service & project management
You and your account managers can use client expectations management to keep clients happy (or happier, at least). It also works when you’re choosing to make something “strategically free.”
- “We can typically schedule work sooner when clients share both a preferred deadline and a ‘no later than’ deadline.”
- “As we shared earlier, clients typically share feedback within 2-3 business days. I’ve noticed your stakeholders often need 1-2 weeks. Based on that, we’ll need to…”
- “Clients typically invest 10-20 hours a week during a website redesign. In your pre-kickoff survey response, you mentioned that range, but it sounds like things have changed recently. Let’s regroup in our next call about the timeline implications.”
- “Clients typically share [XYZ deliverable] with their boss, to protect them against a ‘swoop & poop‘ situation later. How can we help you present this to Sally?”
For more examples specific to client service, see my 20+ “Difficult Agency-Client Conversations” scripts. The doc is one of 14 account management templates in my Agency Profitability Toolkit.
Other ways to use “Clients typically…”
My framework isn’t agency-specific, of course. Here are examples from my work as an agency coach and consultant:
- “For comprehensive help, my clients typically invest at least $20K a year. I have narrower-scope options starting at $3K.”
- “My coaching clients typically email me 1-2X/week, and I seek to respond to most coaching Q&A emails within 2 business days.”
- “Most clients start with an Agency Roadmap and add coaching later, but some start directly in Executive Coaching.
- “When I do an Agency Roadmap, clients typically get the final deliverable within 2-3 months. It’s been as short as five weeks and as long as four months; the key drivers are…”
FAQ about the “Clients typically…” framework
Ready to starting using this with clients? Great! Here are some FAQs.
Do you need to use the exact phrase?
No; feel free to customize. Instead of “Clients typically…,” you might use “We typically…” or “Clients often…” or “Usually…”
Does this mean we can skip being precise?
Nope! Sometimes you need to make a binding commitment. In that case, “Clients typically…” isn’t an appropriate choice.
So using “Clients typically…” will fix our entire client retention problem?
Uh, no. Client retention is a complex topic, and there isn’t a ‘silver bullet.’ But it starts by committing to get better.
How else can we get in trouble?
Be sure you think about the recipient’s point of view, not just your own POV! Using “Clients typically…” is magical, but it’s not magic.
Warmth & Competence includes framing things at client’s level of technical expertise, and taking time to ensure they understand what you’ve just said.
Question: How might you and your team use “Clients typically…” to improve your client expectations management?