Think like a personal trainer: Are you doing your agency’s “secret” job?

Written by: Karl Sakas

Do your clients understand the deliverables you provide… and the results you get them? If not, you might not retain your best clients.

Consider what happens when you hire a personal trainer. There’s a public side, and a private (“secret”) side.

Get Results for Clients + Sell Them More Work

Personal trainers typically have two jobs:

  1. help you reach your health goals, and
  2. keep you signing up for more sessions.

Just like your agency, the personal trainer is doing both sales and consulting. That is, they’re advising you… and selling you more services.

If your retainers don’t include success metrics, it’s time to add this soon. And include those metrics in your internal and external reporting process.

You risk losing clients if they don’t know what they’re getting. Let’s look at an example.

Are You Showing Your Clients the Results?

I recently advised a client whose agency did content marketing for a law firm. Their client was considering another firm for PR services and didn’t realize that the agency’s package already included doing PR pitching.

My client mentioned their work had helped the client increase unique visitors to the law firm’s website by 25% year-over-year. And the agency was digging into how this translated to new cases.

I asked, “Does your client know that?”

Let’s be honest: you need to spend part of your time justifying your agency’s existence. If clients don’t see you doing the work—and don’t attribute results to you—people aren’t going to renew. (And remember, your client is the Hero in their story—you’re the Helper or the Guide.)

The “Appearance of Clean”

When you volunteer on the Dover Harbor railroad car, you’re responsible for keeping the public spaces tidy. One of the training managers on the Dover Harbor introduced me to the idea of the appearance of clean.”

The “appearance of clean” means you want to do most of the cleaning behind the scenes, but you should do some cleaning in front of passengers. Since we focus on impeccable service, you want clients to see you working on making things look nice.

Showing bits of the process demonstrate our commitment to service—and help downplay situations where we might slip along the way. It’s part of Warmth & Competence.

Summary for Your Agency

Here’s the short version:

  1. Understand that you have two jobs: do the work, and sell clients more work (where suitable).
  2. Show clients the results you’re getting for them, in their language. They can’t guess.
  3. Give peeks into your process, to help demonstrate value.

Question: How do you tell clients about results?

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