Video: How to retain clients and grow a successful agency (is there a secret sauce?)

In this video, I chatted to David Price from The Grove Media – a successful media planning and buying agency that opened its doors in 1997. The Grove Media team successfully manages an incredible 250+ clients across a broad spectrum of industries – retaining them for well above the agency average.

In fact, the average tenure for the Grove’s Media top 30 clients is an impressive 15 years.

I’ve been hounding David to have this chat for a long time – and whilst I had heard from him about the number of clients and the tenure of them – I avoided getting into the ‘secret sauce’ behind the agency’s success because I wanted to hear at the same time as any viewers might.

For agency founders and leaders, there’s no end of information out there about how to build and run a successful agency and foster successful client relationships that build loyalty. I have daily conversations with my clients about just that, from unlocking founder potential to training and managing teams and creating robust growth plans.

My question to David was ‘how do The Grove Media manage to have so many happy clients and retain them for so long?

I’m not sure if I was expecting something utterly groundbreaking, but in fact our chat brought me to the (comforting?) conclusion that The Grove Media are successful NOT because they are doing something unique, but because they are doing the things we all know we should be doing (but probably aren’t) – well, consistently, every day.

They hire for attitude, employ young people, train them like crazy, give them responsibility early on and ensure they still have the full support of more senior members of the team – all of whom still work on the client accounts. They operate with a ‘real world’ philosophy – avoiding the smoke and mirrors and focussing on being straight talking with each and every client, and its this culture of trust and respect – which is often bandied about but infrequently achieved – that seems to be the not so secret sauce.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and thank you so much to David for taking the time out to chat.



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If you have something on your mind, a challenge you’re wrestling with or just want an alternative point of view, I’d be very happy to lend an ear and maybe help you start to unpick the issues.