When a project is taking longer because of client delays, what have you done to motivate them back on track so the agency isn’t burning hrs/money waiting on decisions? Looking for contract details, conversation motivators, money/percentage threats, recommend moving to hourly after a certain time etc. any advice welcome.

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Depends on what the hold up is so good to get under the skin of why so hopefully account management can work out what the next best move is - this takes strong relationship skills. Also make sure it’s with the leadership team client side. If they are still procrastinating there’s the money conversation but I always think a coffee and informal chat works well before laying down time spent and burn. Clients get that so money does talk if your time spent has gone way over project fee or if it’s retainer. It’s good for them to seeeee the burn and added value you have given (dreaded timesheets come in hand here and success stories). Another way is to explore what they will miss if they’re slow to market and what that could mean for them as a brand but will need to be delicately addressed. Sometimes clients just don’t have the £££ to back your plans as financially can’t support in these times so it’s realising it’s a pens down moment. Then it’s thinking about what next for them... again that takes time and money for the agency.

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Good advice here. Thank you for your time and effort to help.

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Is there a specific timeline behind the project? An in-market date, media plan or otherwise? Sometimes it helps to have the conversation around quality, if the decisions come through late and you still have to deliver to the timeline.

But otherwise, I mainly agree with the poster above. First thing should be a frank conversation between the account lead and client lead. Everybody knows the delays are taking place. The account lead needs to find out what’s driving them on the client side, and from there, figure out how they (and the agency) can help. It may be completely out everybody’s hands (which I’ve experienced) but then at least the client contact feels like the agency is on their side.

Someone on the team needs to be tracking the rounds of revisions and hours associated that are driven by indecision. And that needs to be communicated to the client in a clear but friendly manner.

That’s always better than coming in guns blazing with money threats and contract negotiations. If it comes to that, it’s an honest conversation around money spent to date that’s essentially “wasted” - work with finance to determine the burn. Say if the project extends past x date, we need to look at reevaluating the scope.

Or tell them you’re stopping work until a very final decision is made.

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