The Agony and Ecstasy of Losing a Great Account

By Marty Simon – CEO

One thing’s for sure in the marketing communications business: nothing is forever. Not even the very best accounts. Here at The Simon Group, we’ve been privileged to work with dozens of great and near-great companies in our first 24 years of business. And, before that, I had the pleasure of working with a bunch more for 19 years at my previous agency. A lot of those clients came with me when I started The Simon Group. One of them was with me for almost 40 years…not a bad run…we helped each other grow and prosper for sure before we shook hands and moved on.

This story is about the accounts we’ve lost over the years because we simply did too good a job for them. Well, that’s not quite true…we did the job they asked us to do: we made them very profitable and very famous in their markets and they went and got bought out by much bigger companies! Not that we begrudge them that…after all, that’s kind of what they hired us to do.

So, while it is painful to lose a successful and profitable account, it’s not always a losing proposition. First, there’s the extreme satisfaction from knowing that you just helped some of your colleagues score the biggest sale they may ever see in their careers. We’ve had lots of thanks and praise and “you guys have made my career!!” kind of responses from our now-sold clients.

And it doesn’t even always end there. Sometimes, our primary contacts, for one reason or another, move on to a new company and they don’t forget the job we did for them at their previous company. Frequently, The Simon Group has been transferred from one great client to another because our key contact moved on and insisted on our moving with him. As long as there’s no conflict of interest, we’re delighted to do just that!   It’s quite a compliment and certainly an acknowledgement of the success we had for that client.

We have one client, for example, who, through mergers, acquisitions or his own desire to move on and up, has changed companies five times in a 27-year period…and has taken us with him each and every time he’s moved on! Best of all, each new client has proven to be an extremely successful one…once The Simon Group, and this particular sales and marketing wizard, got onto their team.

And just a few weeks ago, we got a call from an ex-client contact, for whom we did an outstanding job, and who was able to retire very comfortably when his company was bought. Within a year after his retirement, he got a little itchy to get back in the business so he hooked up with another small technology company….and guess whom he called to do their marketing communications….

So, while we always hate to lose a client through an acquisition, we know that good things may come of it for us, as well as for our colleague.

If you’d like to get bought out…or just get rich and famous with your existing company, call us! We may be able to help make it happen!!

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