I can think of four reasons why a client calls an ad agency with a job:
1. They’re passionate about a marketing idea and want the agency’s help to bring it to life.
2. They have an urgent marketing problem.
3. It’s part of an annual marketing plan.
4. They have budget to spend or they’ll lose it.
When an agency calls an existing client with a proactive advertising idea, the client may think:
1. There’s no budget for this.
2. My agency is looking for more billings this month.
3. Sure, it could be a great idea, but I’m the one accountable if it doesn’t work.
4. No thanks, more work for me.
5. The boss won’t like it.
6. I don’t like it.
7. We can do this better/cheaper in-house.
Seems to me the best way to overcome these roadblocks is to align with one of the reasons why clients call agencies:
1. Get the client passionate about the agency’s idea (hint: involve them in its development).
2. Show the client they have a marketing problem they weren’t aware they had.
3. Integrate the idea into the larger marketing plan so it doesn’t seem like an isolated tactic.
Or face the roadblock head-on, and offer:
4. Deferred payment.
5. Payment based on results.
6. Turnkey proposal – client signs off, agency does the rest.
7. Partner with the marketing team to pitch to the boss.
If the client doesn’t like the idea or thinks they can do it better/cheaper themselves, go back to the drawing board to work harder to demostrate value!