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Client Relations

Friday 16 December 2022

“Clients” are a regular topic of conversation with my own coaching clients. Topics range from how to attract them, how to build good relationships with them, and ultimately how to deliver meaningful and impactful work for them.

However great a relationship begins, I believe it’s fair to say that both sides of the client/agency relationship can occasionally become frustrating. As hard as we try, we often communicate badly, our ideas and responses get misinterpreted, and we will read the worst into a simple one-line email response. As I often say, “the work is easy, people are hard”.

My good friend Craig Cooper recently shared a website focused on the life and work of Jeremy Bullmore, who is described by the advertising industry bible Campaign as “adland’s greatest philosopher”. There’s plenty of gold in there for any advertising geek, but the section that really caught my eye focuses on people — especially the page devoted to client relations.

The article, actually a transcript of a presentation called “Ten tried and trusted ways of getting the least from your advertising agency”, will have many of you nodding along. It’s also very funny.

Jeremy Bullmore's Ten tried and trusted ways of pissing off your client

Ten tried and trusted ways of pissing off your client

Also worth your attention is his memo (above) “Ten tried and trusted ways of pissing off your client”. Whilst point ten might be somewhat outdated (who flies with their client?) the other nine points will, I am sure, resonate.

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