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Partnerships Not Projects

How to Cultivate Long-Term Client Relationships

Courtney George

on 30 September 2016

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Transcript of Partnerships Not Projects

Partnerships Not Projects
How to Cultivate Long-Term Client Relationships
Long-term partnerships reduce business challenges.
Always selling, sucks.
Watching websites fail pains me.
Stress and chaos ≠ business success.
What is a partnership?
• Hands-off
• Mouse-mover
• Easily Replaceable
• Long-term
• Mutually Beneficial
• Care About Success
• Trust
• Respect
What kind of relationships are you looking for?
Team member or two
Services arm
Find Your Ideal Partners
Turn clients into long-term partners.
Attract more ideal long-term partners.
Client relationship dating tips
Go on a low-pressure date, first.
Watch out for red flags.
It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it
is to keep a current one.
Websites are redesigned on average every three years. What happens during those 1,094 days in between?
Your partnership toolbox
Share your success stories

Hold a brainstorming & strategy session

Provide (and discuss) a website review
Every new client is a potential partner.
Susan Snipes, Founder & President, Q Digital Studio
1 in 3 businesses are waiting on invoices 90 days past due.
Go after partners you want.
91% of B2B buyers
are influenced by word-of-mouth when making their buying decision.
You can’t just pass through life and hope that love is going to float into you like plankton into a whale’s fucking mouth.
– Louis C.K.
Red flags
Budget challenges
Short-term focus
No measure of success
Build strong client relationships.
Be part of their team.
Step into the role of trusted advisor.
Get to know their pain points.
Is your partner going to break up with you?
CEO changes
Your main contact leaves
Budget for you/your firm changes
Communication changes
When should you
move on?
Treated poorly
Late payments, missing payments
Not enjoying the work
Ethics compromised
You’ve outgrown each other
Set the right expectations.
Make your relationships last.
Provide consistent, great communication.
Stay committed.
Track and share your successes.
Create incremental milestones.
Signs your partnership may be at risk:
Not all long-term partners are forever.

And that’s okay.
Soon is not as good as now.
– Seth Godin
The average length of an agency-client relationship is currently a little under three years.

Are you ready for long-term client partners?
Long-term partnerships reduce business challenges.

Find the right match:
Client Budget + Your Services + Culture Fit

Great partnerships don’t just happen. You make them happen.

Move on when needed.
Make room for new ideal partners.

Make sure you are a good match.
Client Budget
$500k yearly / 10 clients = average $50k per client per year
Client Budget + Your Services + Culture Fit =
Soul Mates
Only clients that have a budget make the cut.
Your Services
If you can’t offer the right goods, the right budget doesn’t matter.
Culture Fit
Your values and style must be additive, not subtractive.
A client partnership is a long-term relationship.
Demonstrate you care about their success

Ask for commitment, be willing to move on
Relationship secrets.
This may change the product you deliver.
There is no one-way to price a partnership.
Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live.
– John F. Woods
1.) Say goodbye to one non-partner client.

2.) Turn an existing or new client into a partner.
Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 7x as likely to try a new offering, and 4x as likely to refer.
To find a prince, you gotta kiss some toads.
– Foxy Brown
Make yourself hard to replace.
For more information go to qdigitalstudio.com/partnerships
Is your client a partner?
Multiple projects together

Budget with your input months/years ahead

Ask and listen to your advice
Give you latitude

You’re hard to replace

Transparent communication
Not everyone is partner material.
Large projects are 2x as likely to be late, over budget, and missing critical features than small projects.
Full transcript