VIP Marketing and Advertising is an integrated marketing advertising agency based in Charleston, SC. The encounters within this two-minute read are factual and encourage those in business especially creatives to know your value.
Last week our creative agency received a request from an agency on behalf of their client looking for branding and creative ideas. The agency representative was very kind, easy to speak with, and we looked forward to them connecting us to their client. In the category of interest, we work with medium and large companies with a proven record of success. We welcomed the call and looked forward to hearing the needs and the current challenges the potential client faces.
For what began as a creative/branding discussion within minutes, the client interrupted our team doing the presentation. The client, vehemently stated that he wanted to see how we can brand him. We presented our engagement and offered our services, but providing service offerings was not what the prospect was after, they wanted the answers to their problems. In other words, without a relationship, commitment, or engagement, the prospective client wanted our company to provide them with a branding strategy, creative ideas without being engaged or paid.
The client's demand sounded to me like I want to try it, and if I like it, I will pay for it. Many of you reading this will agree with me, and I assume there will be others that don't agree. When it comes to giving away the answers, this is where we draw the line. We feel if we offer you a solution to your problem we should be compensated for it. The category of business that the prospective client is in is highly competitive, and standing out can mean millions for the person on the receiving end of our work.
I challenge anyone to go into a service-based business and ask any company to perform a service without any engagement or compensation. Let us see how far if I like it, I will pay for it philosophy goes.
Keep in mind that our company does not provide such depth of work without being fully engaged in doing so. It is how we set up our processes, and to date, we have not come across an issue from prior prospective clients. The client mentioned was different and persistent in wanting the idea, the strategy all without paying for it first or listening until we could complete our presentation for that matter. In most regards, the prospect became highly unprofessional and authoritative during our presentations.
Our call with the prospective client ended abruptly as we immediately recognized and expressed during the creative call; they were not a good fit for our agency. Our ideal client is a good fit, a client where we respect one another can benefit from the relationship, where our values can align.
One of the quotes that have stuck with me throughout my career comes from John Maxwell's book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. "If you really do put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price." It does not matter the size of the prospective client or entity. You should know our value, and that means rejecting not only laughable offers but disrespectful prospects.
About the author: Eric Elliott is a marketing and creative professional and serves as Principal for VIP Marketing and Advertising an integrated marketing agency, Principal of Craft Creative and Editor of The Legal Ad Journal, based in North Charleston, SC.
In 2018 his advertising agency, VIP Marketing and Advertising received notoriety as one of the top 400 branding agencies in the United States by Clutch. When Eric isn’t working on an ad campaign or creating the next advertising masterpiece for his clients he spends time with his wife and children. He enjoys consuming social knowledge and attending marketing conferences. He is currently focusing his energy toward his podcast The AdCast and publishing a self-help memoir. You can reach him at Eric@heyimeric.com or various social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Snapchat.