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Why Marketing Agencies Should Forget Deliverables and Deal in Transformations

Andrew Dymski
Andrew Dymski I'm a Founder at ZenPilot where I help marketing agencies buy back time by developing the processes and systems they need to scale without reinventing the wheel for every client. I'm co-host of the Agency Journey podcast where each week we interview an agency owner, consultant, or author.

This is the first installment of a new segment on the Agency Journey podcast called #AgencyVision.

Each week Gray and I come to you with one big idea.

So many agency owners are sucked into their agency all the time. They’re so committed to client work, client fires, and #agencylife that they never take the time to think about the business they’re building.

This can be a long and lonely road!

#AgencyVision is your time each week to pull out of the weeds and consider topics and ideas that impact your agency from the 10,000 foot level.

We’ll record this show LIVE in the Agency Journey Insiders Facebook group on Thursdays at 11 am EST. The segment will then hit the podcast feed on Friday mornings.

Are you selling deliverables or transformations?

If you’re struggling with client retention, this is a question you need to ask yourself.

I’m talking to agency owners every week who are struggling to meet their contract quota on deliverables.

It is like they’re on a rat wheel and can never get ahead. They get the quota out there, and then they’re right back at it the next month.

They all create, create, create.

This is nuts on one client.

Spread it out across 10-15 clients, and you’re looking at pure chaos!

This deliverable-churning machine creates a super stressful environment!

Deadlines drive everything.

And once you’re done, you’re always looking to the next thing on the to-do list.

And here is the sad truth…

That to-do list isn’t getting any shorter.

Here is a question for you:

What do your clients really need?

Think about it…

At the end of the day, what do they want?

Don’t just say, “More leads! More sales! More money!”

Get specific

Do they need…

✅ More sales appointments booked?

✅ More webinar registrants?

✅ More referrals?

✅ More free trial accounts created?

✅ More estimates requested?

This is going to look a little different for each client.

And the more industries you serve, the longer your list will be.

Idea: Shift your thinking

Instead of delivering XYZ services, can you deliver outcomes for your clients?

Clients reach out for help because they’re not happy about where they are today.

They realize they aren’t where they want to be, but they don’t know how to achieve their goal.

They desperately want to work with someone who can help them get there.

If all you’re doing is meeting your “deliverable quota” every month, why should they keep you around?

It is only a matter of time until they realize that something isn’t right with this picture.

At the core, deliverable or service-based focus erodes your positioning. It places your ability to create something at the center.

You’re stuck creating large volumes of content. Once you’re done with one piece, you move on to the next.

When clients review your contracts and see that you’re doing 2 videos a month, 12 blogs per quarter, or 24 social posts, all they see is an activity.

They have something they can price shop. This leads to a race to the bottom.

And as Seth Godin says, the danger with a race to the bottom is that you might win. Or worse, come in second.

This leads to conversations about ROI.

On the other hand, transformations place a client’s desired outcome at the center of the conversation.

This outcome should drive all of your activity. It is the destination that you plug into the GPS. This destination dictates the route you’ll travel.


Think about the journey you want to take clients on.

Where do they really want to go? How can you open up conversations about those goals?

You really unlock the value of transformation positioning when you clearly target one type of client that experiences one type of costly problem.

The more narrowed your focus, the more experienced you become in delivering the transformation.

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