The Gorilla Account

Apr 24   •  Client Growth

A Gorilla Account named for its size and significance. It’s an account that provides your agency with a considerable share of its work and also sufficient revenue to compensate for this work done. A Gorilla Account is significant for business. They command their position on the client list of the company, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they are, for the most part, irreplaceable. The agency would struggle both financially and socially if this account was to be terminated and would go to extremes to retain it somehow.

How do you measure if an account can be considered a Gorilla Account? If it contributes anything upward of 25% to the Agency Gross Income, you can be sure it’s a Gorilla Account. There are companies with Gorilla Accounts that makeup almost the entire AGA. It’s not a healthy practice for agencies to have accounts of such size as in the off chance that they were to walk away, the agency would have a difficult time recovering the losses.

You must keep the Gorilla happy at all times!
When a client account commands such control of your business decisions, it is only natural that you will work to keep this client happy. What happens in such a situation is that all company resources are directed towards ensuring that the needs of this particular client are looked after above others. More time is spent on catering to this client account. Think – more work after hours and on weekends. You don’t mind as long as you can keep the Gorilla account in possession.

When you have such a big account already under your belt, you begin to undermine other client accounts that may come your way. You end up not being able to distribute your attention equally, focusing more on the welfare of the Gorilla account.

A good rule of thumb when operating an agency would be to have somewhere between 8-12 clients, so every client makes up around 10% of your Agency Gross Income. If you happen to lose one, you can always work to compensate for this loss by looking out for another. The trouble begins when you have a Gorilla Account that contributes to around half of your total AGA. If a client account worth 15% of your AGA comes along, you don’t give it much importance. That’s okay because your business now has different goals. Your new objective is to tie down this Gorilla account as best as you can. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, it’d be wise to proof yourself from damage from losing this Gorilla Account from before, so it doesn’t hurt the overall AGA as much as it would, were the Gorilla Account to vanish all of a sudden. In such light, it becomes essential to not only welcome but nurtures these smaller accounts as well.
Can a Gorilla Account hurt your business prospects?

An agency has to find the middle ground between appeasing the Gorilla Account and neglecting the other client accounts. If the agency focuses only on keeping the clients of the Gorilla Account happy, other clients will think twice before initiating business with the agency. They will form an opinion that if they do decide to join hands with the agency, they will be second priority to them after the Gorilla Account holders.

It can hurt your personal life too
Surprising, isn’t it? No really, when you take things into perspective. When an agency has a Gorilla Account, the employees that handle this account are always made to be on the beck and call of the client who commands this account. So, it doesn’t matter if you had scheduled vacation or wanted to get off early from work if the client needs you for anything you have to drop your plans and cater to them. You could say such is agency life. It becomes worse when you have a Gorilla Account to look after.

How do you prevent losing a Gorilla Account?
You try to infiltrate multiple departments of the company to try and expand your account as well as mitigate risks. So, if your company was previously only engaged in business with the client company’s HR department. Try and make inroads into the PR and marketing departments too. So, if the HR department happens to be unhappy with a specific job you did, the PR and marketing departments still want your agency on board.

You allocate an account manager who will specifically focus on your Gorilla Account if you haven’t done so already. You can’t have an account of such primary importance to your agency’s earnings and not have a person assigned to take care of this client’s needs. If possible, you should have this account manager make frequent visits to the client’s office and interact with the employees in that office to build a deeper bond with the client. It will make you less disposable.

Attempt to make them agree to a longer-term contract. Usually, clients sign annual or two-year contracts with agencies. If you could convince them to sign a contract with you for a longer duration, you could save yourself from the constant worry of having to lose the account.
Another productive perspective on the subject is to woo another client to open a somewhat big account with you – say 25% of your AGA. Having an account, i.e. 10% of your AGA will do very little to make up for the loss of an account worth 45/50% of the sum. However, if you can land yourself another Gorilla Account, you are safer off. At least, you have some cushion to protect you from the losses you’ll incur when the bigger Gorilla Account ceases to be in your possession.

In conclusion, a Gorilla Account is an asset to your agency. Just try to keep your work responsibilities balanced, and it doesn’t have to end up as a liability. Your job with a Gorilla account will testify to the industry that you can handle big projects.

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