3 Things I Learned About Client Service from Hollywood Talent Agents

Image

When I began my career eight years ago in the mail room of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, one of the biggest talent agencies in the world, I had no idea that I would be in for an intensive training in the art of sales, negotiating and most importantly client service. In the two-and-a- half years I spent at WME and another two years at International Creative Management (ICM), I had the opportunity to work for five of the best talent agents in their field. Though each of these agents had a unique style, there were some common threads – specifically when it came to service.  You might be saying to yourself, “Well, I am not representing A-list celebrities so how does this apply to me?”  Whether you work with individuals, small businesses or large brands, treating them like a star will build trust and loyalty. Here are three ways you can be like Ari Gold…

“No” Is Not an Option

One of the first things I learned in Hollywood was that “no” is never the right answer. If your boss asked you to get something done, no matter how seemingly impossible, you figured it out. The same mentality applies with customers. If a customer asks for help with something that might be outside of your scope or difficult to accomplish, reassure them that you can help. Don’t promise a client you know how to do something, when actually you do not. Be resourceful and connect your client with someone who can help. A client of mine recently asked me if we could maintain a blog for them. Blogging is not a service that our company normally offers, but this was an important client and we have writers on staff, so guess what? We started a blog for them. Start learning to say, “I am sure we can help you out with that”.

You Work for Them 24/7

Hollywood agents ALWAYS return client calls first, then executives, then everybody else. Your clients are your priority. If they have a problem at 10 PM on a Sunday night, then YOU have a problem at 10 PM on a Sunday night. Clients are your bread and butter. Without them, you are out of a job. So while your business hours may be 9-5, you must always be available to your clients. If the best time for your client to have a phone call or meeting is 7 AM, then that’s when you’ll have it. Most small business owners are busy from 9-5 actually running a business, so making yourself available outside of regular business hours will impress them.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen!

Sometimes your clients just want to know that you “hear them”. Stop talking and listen to what they are saying. Once you start really listening, then you will be able to start offering helpful advice which they will welcome. I have seen a lot of sales people fail at listening to their customers. They become so wrapped up in hearing themselves talk that they forget to stop and listen. This will turn customers off.  Demonstrate that you are listening by asking follow up questions or restating what the person just said. If a customer is angry, pause, listen and try saying something like “I hear you, here is how we can help solve this…”

 * * *

Michelle Mastrobattista is a Social Media Manager for Propel Marketing – a GateHouse Media company. She works with over fifty SMB’s creating social media strategies and helping them navigate the digital marketing landscape. @PropelMichelle

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Dear Michelle, thank you so much for taking the time to write 3 Things I Learned About Client Service from Hollywood Talent Agents. In those paragragraphs I have learned a learned a lot from it like to always put the people (clients) first and to always take the time to listen to them and make sure that nothing is impossible for them. There is always room to improve and this has been a great help. Once again thank you so much!

    • I agree. I would like to think that these qualities should be transferable to almost any business where you have Clients, for the most part. One of my personal favorites that I have and used is a client will ask me something and I will say, “You know? I don’t know but I will find out and get back to you.” I have never had a client get mad at that response, ever. It’s when you seem like you don’t give a sh-t, that they get upset. And understandably so. The golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated.

  2. Thank you for reading Deb! Glad you liked it. I know there are many more points that I could have shared but I wanted to keep it light and kind of fun. Hope all is well!

    Michelle

  3. Neil, that is one of my favorite lines too. It’s always better to admit what you don’t know and find the right answer! Thank you for reading and commenting.

  4. This is great and spot on!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: