Thurs 22 Aug 2024 11:00am UK time

“My mantra is ‘serve, don’t sell’,” says Marcus Hemsley, founder and director at Fountain Partnership. “Even when I’m selling, it’s the same thing.”

To Marcus, who’s been in the agency world for 15 years, agency partnerships are joint ventures between agencies, serving the same types of clients but offering different services.

“It’s entirely trust-based,” he explains. “If you help others, you will get it back in abundance.”

Just because pressure has been put on agencies over these last few years, it doesn’t mean partnerships are dead.

You can’t be tactical with your kindness either. Instead, according to Marcus, you should help others with leads, serve them, and hope for the best; eventually, once you’ve earned trust, you can swap client bases with others.

“It’s genuine when you help people,” he says. “People can tell when there’s an ulterior motive – so I’m always keeping an eye out, because the more leads I pass to others, the more likely they are to pass me something back. But I don’t keep a ledger like, ‘Hey, I passed you three leads, where’s mine?’ It’s more, if I do enough good, people will want to help me.”

Many agencies make the mistake of approaching partnerships with a ‘What can you do for me?’ mentality – Marcus wants to change this. He wants to bring the human element back to the forefront; serving people, rather than selling to them.

“Where people go wrong with agency partnerships is they come with their hand out,” he says. “They’re like, ‘Oh, I want to partner with people who can pass me money’. But for me, that’s never on my mind. I’m always thinking, ‘What’s your biggest challenge and how can I help you solve it?’”

Join us for our next marketing and new biz session with Marcus Hemsley, where he’ll dive deeper into agency partnerships and how you can shift your mindset from ‘selling’ to ‘serving’ to create lasting partnerships.