New vs. Existing Clients

Emily takes a breather from a busy start to the new year to reflect on the differences between relationships with new and exisiting clients…

We seem to have been putting together a lot of planning documents recently – ongoing year plans for existing clients and proposals for potential new clients. It has got me thinking about which I get more of a kick from – the excitement at the prospect of a brand new client or the satisfaction of working with someone who has already experienced the Companion way and come back for more?

The thrill of a new project always gives a fantastic buzz. Having a completely novel message to communicate, working with new people and coming up with ideas afresh is exhilarating. That said, building on previous work, re-inventing aspects of a communications plan and the ultimate accolade – repeat business, induces a wonderfully warm and fuzzy feeling too.

I suppose it’s analogous to a relationship – you have all that passion and discovery at the start, which eventually settles into deep understanding and care. Just like a teenage couple who throw themselves at each other with enthusiasm at the exclusion of the rest of the world, we and our new clients enter into the relationship brimming with exuberance and creativity. Bitten off more than we can chew? Not a chance! Compare that then to the pair who have been together for years; she intuitively always knows what his preference will be and he can always recognise any seed of doubt in her, despite her words and actions saying otherwise… Both are equally functional models, in a beautifully dysfunctional way and at Companion, we enjoy generating successes for both of these clients.

In either of these scenarios though, there is the potential for trouble. Novelty can breed misunderstanding – those early stages in the relationship can be stormy as both parties’ foibles are revealed. On the other side of the coin, comfort can lead to stagnancy and disillusion on both sides. Both need work – a great degree of understanding and careful communication in the early days as everyone finds their feet, an injection of passion and remembering not to take each other for granted as time wears on.

So, returning to the original question, which is best? I think it is safe to say that as long as a client offers us a challenge and works together with us, understanding our vision as we strive to understand theirs, then whether they are new or old, they are precious to us. So allow us to wish everyone a happy 2013 and may everyone’s relationships, as dysfunctionally functional as they are, continue to bring joy and prosperity in the new year.