27 August 2015
I'll never forget one of the key messages that was imparted by our vicar at my wedding: "If the grass appears greener on the other side of the fence, its time to water your lawn." Succinct, I think we all know what we mean here, but I wonder whether we can apply this to other relationships we share in our lives in business in the world of high-end interiors. The client-agency relationship.
Once upon a time, there was a design agency and a client. They decided to work together. There was optimism and excitement on both sides. The agency and client set to work managing the constraints of budget and timeframes. The project came to fruition. The client was pleased. The agency was happy with this new exciting relationship. It was the start of a beautiful relationship.
Time passes and slowly, the lights started to go down on the relationship. Little niggles began to creep in on both sides. The level of contact between the agency and the client started to tail off. The client, sensed that something was wrong and commenced looking at other agencies. And the agency, sensed too that something was wrong and responded by starting to seek out new clients. Both parties went off in search of greener grass.
Does this sound familiar, inevitable even?
Going in search of a new partner is an expensive way to work for clients and agencies. It takes up both time and money. Both new parties have to get used to each other and build a strong working relationship. And it’s a pattern that’s destined to be repeated. When the grass on the other side appears to be greener, both new partners are at risk of repeating the same behaviour over again, unless thei tend to their own garden and improve the relationship.
So why does this happen in a client-agency relationship? Perhaps the issues are not tackled in the right way when they emerge, by either partner. Neither has the appetite to do it, and because the situation is left to roll on in the hope it will fix itself, in the end both parties are left exposed.
Ways to 'water your lawn', or 'what can you do to avoid this happening to your relationships?