A part of our journey, there has been the task of winning over prospective clients. However, I am confident of the value Satira Media and of course, myself, have to offer the client. Our company’s profile and client testimonials speak for us. This equally plays out as referral enquiries we often receive and our subsequent retention, following a successful engagement.
A challenge however, arises when we encounter and must engage with a prospect with the belief that ‘new’, means an agency or its individuals should not charge nor demand an engagement fee. In other cases, it prompts the query asking why engaging your agency or its individuals is not cheap? Their expressed incredulity when they ask, “why are you asking for an engagement fee?”. At the same time, these challenging prospects are of a view they are within their right to slight an agency and its founders’ effort at growing the business, because to them, your agency is yet to work with a known or established brand they know.
Seasoned PR practitioners mostly refer to this cadre of prospects and their briefs as ‘Problematic Clients’. We consider it unfair practice, especially against growing agencies, where a prospective client makes an unreasonable demand of an agency, requiring they validate their expertise despite being presented with a clearly laid out portfolio, client testimonials and a reference website.
At Satira Media, we occasionally offer a trial period of service, before a potential client makes a commitment. So, why not give us a try? The big agencies you compare us with also started out like we are, small and initially unknown. I, however, appreciate the trust placed in us by our portfolio of clients. This is why, on closing out each project for a client that hands over their brief to us, especially those choose to trust and not demand client profiles nor social media links to evaluate our professional capability, I send a personalised ‘thank you’ message. This is to appreciate their trust.
And for the ‘problematic clients’ that we do encounter, I always respectfully advise they engage other agencies. I don’t believe it fair, to short change our professional standard and ethics in a bid to please them.