Agency relationships: how to develop them

Agency relationships can be difficult to navigate. For many organizations are focused on finding a vendor who can do a task or fulfill a need. For others, they’re looking for strategic partners who can help them exponentially expand their operations by utilizing a client-agency relationship that is mutually beneficial.

At Echelon Front, we’ve consulted with small businesses and Fortune 100 enterprises, and we’ve found that the best organizations are the latter: they’re looking to develop strong agency relationships that they can leverage for greater organizational success.

What are the types of agency relationships? Are you looking at your client-agency relationships as vendor contracts? Or are you looking to develop the same deep connections and relationships that you have with your own team? Agency relationships are more than just a B2B contract that we use as a stop-gap; they are interpersonal relationships that are mutually beneficial and supporting.

What Is An Agency Relationship? How Do They Work?

Anyone that you bring in to help you accomplish your goals can be a client-agency relationship. You don’t have to have an officially signed contract to work toward an agency relationship, but often times they are exactly that.

Whether it’s a digital marketing agency, a janitorial services company, or your bookkeepers, all of those relationships are important to your success, and we should be paying close attention to how we work together.

Every single agency relationship has a start and an end date. For many of us, we are tempted into thinking that pending expiration means personal relationships don’t matter. Wrong. At the end of the day, leadership and accomplishing your organizational mission requires you to look at the people first and foremost. That includes your agency relationships.

How Can I Develop Deeper Agency Relationships?

Agency relationships start with understanding what you both want out of your working agreement. Are your goals aligned? Are you working toward the same objective? Is your commander’s intent clear to them? Do they know what you consider a win?

There are a few agencies out there hoping their relationship with you expires. They want to be a better partner to you so they can maintain that working relationship and continue to earn your business. If they understand your objectives, they will work to help you accomplish those goals.

Now, the quality of that work and the expediency with which it is developed will be largely determined by the interpersonal relationships that you develop with your counterpart on the other side of that contract. It is human nature to work harder and do more for people we like. Building a deep relationship of understanding and mutual respect will go a long way toward getting more out of your client-agency relationship, but to be clear: this is a two-way road.

We are not advocating for false and pretentious relationships built with an eye toward getting what you want. You must be sincere in developing those relationships. After all, the intention has a smell.

How Can I Learn More About Developing Agency Relationships?

The short answer is training, education, and practice. At Echelon Front, our online leadership courses teach the fundamentals leaders need to succeed no matter where they are on the corporate ladder.

We also have an entire course dedicated to relationships that covers the principles and concepts that are vital to your success in building client-agency relationships.

If you’re looking to succeed in life, learning to develop and build relationships is integral to that success. Sign up today.

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