• http://www.rimmkaufman.com/ George Michie

    David, we’ve always argued that the ultimate indicator of agency quality is the existence of deeply knowledgeable, smart, long-standing clients who are happy. Every agency can point to happy clients, but in many cases happiness is produced by ignorance not excellence. If the sharp clients like an agency the agency has to be doing good work.

  • Mike Campolattano

    Great article I totally agree that selling your strengths is far more productive than saying whats wrong with a competitor. I always say “If we tell a better story for our clients and thoughtfully approach each metric our family will win”

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Agreed George! One of my favorite quotes: “in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Thanks Mike. I just find that the weak agencies are the ones that have nothing to sell other than criticism of others. It is easy to conflate the notion that your current agency is not doing well vs. your current agency could do something better. Weak agencies prey on in-house teams by trying to confuse these two concepts.

  • robthespy

    Nice one, David!

    About five years ago a ling-time client of ours forwarded me one of those ridiculous emails. With it was a note asking “…is this true?”

    That was a wake up call for me! We were doing a good job managing our customer accounts but a horrible job communicating with our customers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Just keep in mind that there will *always* be something a snake oil salesman can use against you. If you were Michael Jordan, the snake oil salesman would try to convince the bulls to trade you because you had a weak left-hand dribble!

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    I agree, Steve, it’s sad. Hopefully there is some “economic darwinism” that eventually crushes scum agencies over time, since they can’t actually provide results!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kerstin.recker Kerstin Recker

    David we couldn’t agree more and your comment was spot on. If you have the right tools that are effective than there is no need for an external agency to harp on the negative aspects of competitor while using those to “scare” clients into working with you. A good agency focuses their efforts on their strengths and stands firmly behind the positive aspects of their service.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gohawks David Rodnitzky

    Thanks Kerstin. Ultimately, I comfort myself by concluding that clients that fall victim to these agencies are probably not a good fit for a good agency (like yours or mine) anyway!

  • http://twitter.com/le_munhoz LeandroMunhozMoreira

    Good afternoon!

    I have a small agency in Sorocaba, São Paulo (Brazil).

    Loved your article and as I’m starting the SEM business, I prefer to start right! Really want to become a “specialist in heart” because I’ve seen any adventurer in the market that was up to prescribe to make that choice (focus on SEM).

    Big hug and Success!