"Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind." -Teddy Roosevelt
The Shape of Successful Business Engagements

Content for the win | Vol. 5, No. 6

When working with a new partner, it's essential to ask if you've laid the groundwork for a successful business engagement. Often there's very little time for this critical first step, as clients call with a need that needs to be met, typically a.s.a.p. Nevertheless, it's important to hit the pause button in these situations and go over "the rules of engagement."

Rule number one: We recognize your industry expertise, please return the favor. Rule number one is the "Golden Rule," and there's little need for more rules when this one is religiously followed by all parties. 

One thing that goes unsaid in many of these startup proceedings on a new account, or with new team members on an existing account, is how one's past experiences weigh on the current proceedings. We all carry baggage into the room, and when it goes unacknowledged and unmanaged it can place obstacles in the path. Maybe a client's last agency was amateurish, wasteful and other bad-for-business things. That would taint anyone's experience and POV.

How do you wipe the slate the clean and bring the team's focus to present-day challenges? I'm no master at this, but I do know that mutual respect and the kind of honesty rarely practiced in "corporate America" are required to move the needle.

Post Script
  1. Chuck Porter of CP+B has this to say about Cannes: "This is where talented little agencies get famous and not so little anymore." Not sure that I agree.
  2. Starbucks customers have loaded their loyalty cards and smartphone apps with more than $1.2 billion. That's some buzz waiting to happen.
  3. Cleveland Clinic is always "on brand" thanks to their online style guide
  4. New York Times best-selling author and management consultant, Steve Ferrazzi, reminds us that relationships are everything (and that candor is needed to escape mediocrity).
  5. My friend Stephen Landau says, "The world doesn't need another interactive agency...the world needs more people who care about what they do and why they do it."
  6. What does the future of podcasting look like? 
  7. From the blog: Relationship Marketing Is The New Black.
  8. We helped our client HealthCo Information Systems put on a morning workshop for clinic administrators last week. 
Bonehook is a guide service and bait shop for brands. Call 503-970-3862 to charter an expedition into customer-rich waters.
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"The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none." -Thomas Carlyle

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