You don't bring me flowers anymore
Talking at The Drum – Brief Encounters, Feed’s MD, Matt Lynch, used Barbara Streisand & Neil Diamond’s song to explain how keeping the romance alive in a client relationship is the same as that of a personal relationship.
Just because it’s a business relationship doesn’t mean that it isn’t a human relationship. It might be called B2B but when it comes down to it, it’s really a H2H (Human to Human) interaction. You’re in it for the long term and as with all relationships it should get better over time as you learn more about each other – so don’t neglect it!
Things that work with your nearest and dearest should be shown in a business context too; trust, honesty and transparency.
Brief Encounters is an event about agency new business, and relationships was a real theme of the day.
Paul Davies, CMO of Microsoft said:
The agency client connection is a “relationship not a transaction”
Ben Tagoe, Screenwriter of Coronation Street said of pitching:
“They are buying into you…your passion”
Stephen Reed, Creative director at Specsavers said:
“When agencies pitch to me, the cultural fit, passion and people are just as important as the ideas that are brought to the table.”
Another frequent theme was procurement, a department where relationships are crucial. Don’t be scared of procurement, they’re people too! Remember why they exist, learn more about their targets and their involvement in the decision making process. It’s a relationship that will bear fruit if you approach it how you would any new relationship.