Exclusivity can win deals but it can also kill deals.
Recently we were faced with being asked to sign an exclusivity deal with one of our current clients. An exclusivity deal means you will not work for one of your client’s competitors. It can be a specific competitor by name, or it can be competitors within a geographic region. The general idea is that you will not help their competitors get ahead while you are working for them.
The advantage of the exclusivity deal is that it is meant to create a strong bond between you and your client. They essentially promise to work with you for a long time and be a great client, while you help them get more business. The downside is it can kill future deals for you, especially if one of their competitors wants to work with you, and that deal seems bigger.
One thing you can do in that case is to reaffirm your commitment with them. It doesn’t hurt to let your current client know that you’ve been approached by one of their competitors and reassure them of your exclusivity deal. They will likely confirm and that’s fine. You can use that as an opportunity to say you will not pursue that deal but ask if they know of anyone that could use your services. Never be afraid to ask for a referral from your current customers. If the working relationship is solid they will be happy to send work your way.
Erik J. Olson is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. The Founder & CEO of Array Digital, he is also the host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.
Kevin Daisey is an award-winning digital marketer & entrepreneur. He started his first company when he was just 23, and is the Founder & CMO of Array Digital. Kevin is the also the co-host of the Journey to $100 Million Flash Briefing and daily podcast, and the co-organizer of the Marketers Anonymous monthly meetups.