Top 5 tips for briefing your new business agency/partner

by jim-piper

In the famous words of Forrest Gump, client briefings are like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.

The shortest I have been involved in is 30 minutes and the longest 4.5 hours. The latter is nearer the mark, although on average, they take 2-3 hours.

The briefing meeting is crucial. Sometimes it surprises me that agencies are prepared to spend a significant amount of money with Alchemis but don’t take the time to brief us properly. This is rare as most agencies are as excited as we are to be starting the campaign, but these are our top 5 points in order to brief your agency properly.

1) Allocate enough time

Sounds simple, but we need to leave that meeting understanding enough about your business in order to:

a) represent you as you would like us to and

b) sell your agency effectively.

This takes time and half an hour is not enough. You know your business, but we don’t. Remember, your Account Manager is calling as if they are in your office, so they really need to “get” the agency.

2) Be prepared to have a follow-up meeting

We know that 2-2.5 hours is the optimum for concentration. This should be enough time to give us the key background, facts and case histories.

However, if we feel that it would be useful to have a follow up meeting once all of that has been digested to develop things further or just to meet other key team members, that is what we will do.

3) Prepare in advance

Anything you can get to us in advance helps. We will always send an agenda and a list of guideline questions well in advance; it really is beneficial and helps streamline the meeting if you look at these and prepare answers prior to the briefing.

4) Don’t assume we know everything

You know your business back to front, but we don’t.

Often clients rattle through case studies and propositions as they have heard it/said it a million times in advance. I promise you, we find this interesting, so please take the time to go through things properly and methodically.

We really want to understand why you did what you did for any given project and often this understanding can provide key points of difference or angles to use on the phone.

5) Be enthusiastic

We know you are enthusiastic about your work, but we also know that you probably have a hundred other things on your mind.

However, I guarantee that your Account Manager will feed off your passion for the work and this will be reflected in the results.